J. McLean Sloughter collaborating with Forest Service

October 26, 2010

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Assistant Professor of Mathematics J. McLean Sloughter has received $35,000 to collaborate with the U.S. Forest Service Stanislaus National Forest to study tree mortality. The title of the project is "Creating a Spatially-Dependent Model for Probability of Jeffrey Pine Beetle-Caused Mortality in the Lake Tahoe Basin."

Sloughter will conduct spatiotemporal statistical analysis of tree-level data taken on approximately 10,000 trees on 60 acres during a Jeffery pine beetle outbreak from 1992-1997 in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The analysis will produce spatially dependent probability of tree mortality or similar models that will provide land managers with a quantified risk or likelihood of tree mortality based on the spatial location, and other significant independent variables, of trees attacked the prior year. Completion of this project will yield quantified, scientific information that improves pest management efforts to mitigate the impacts of the Jeffery pine beetle on high-value trees designated form retention. Sloughter will collaborate with Tamre Cardoso, environmental statistician with TerraStat Consulting Group in Seattle.