Documenting habitat

Beginning in 2005, Bob Christensen and I developed a protocol for rapid field assessment—new-age ground-truthing—that builds on timeless naturalists’ skills and adds cutting edge technologies as these emerge.

Our CBJ wetlands survey team bushwacking east of Héen Latinee in July, 2014.

Office tent at Emerald Bay, June, 2005. Distant generator on long extension cord is powering 2 laptops and recharging batteries from cameras, GPS units and radios. Kenyon Fields photo.

Field device technology evolves rapidly. Every few years I create an update of my methods and workflow: prefield prep, fieldwork, and postfield processing and journaling. Usually these updates happen during or after a chance to hang out with Bob, who’s always several leaps ahead of me at the intersection technology with boots-on-the-ground.

Most recent update was in 2017 after a trip to northern Tàan, sea lion (Prince of Wales Island) with the Last Stands trekkers. As I wrote it I was thinking about the new generation of ground-truthers, bringing news from the rainforest back to conservation groups and the media. Here’s from my appendix in the Last Stands journal

The methods paper discusses:

● cameras

● gps

● field notes (including audio)

● navigation apps

● drones

● and processing programs including: ● ACDSee ● Robogeo ● ArcMap

● journaling

● online slideshows and video editing

In this section

False Island journal 20080806

Four years into the Ground-truthing Project, Bob Christensen and I helped explore northern Shee Ká, above Shee (Peril Strait). This…

2008 | Richard Carstensen | 70 pages

Tree hunting manual

The Tongass needs 50 athletes with ground-truthing skills, to range the timberlands each summer by bike, skiff, 4-wheeler and kayak,…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 14 pages

Hammered gems & unproductive leftovers.

In 2008, Bob Christensen and I were 3 years into the Ground-truthing Project. During those 3 years, the Forest Service…

2008 | Carstensen & Christensen | 30 pages

Ground-truthing Project final report, 2005

The Ground-truthing Project, sponsored by Sitka Conservation Society, ran from 2005 to 2010. Kenyon Fields at SCS administered the program,…

2005 | Carstensen & Christensen | 63 pages

Supplement to the CBJ wetlands surveys, 2016

In summer 2014, Koren Bosworth, Cathy Pohl, Andrew Allison and I surveyed wetlands throughout the CBJ. Although we were not…

2016 | Richard Carstensen | 31 page excerpt (of 512p)

Area descriptions for CBJ wetlands surveys, 2014

Supplement to the 2016 Juneau Wetlands Management Plan In summer 2014, Koren Bosworth, Cathy Pohl, Andrew Allison and I surveyed…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 8 separate pdfs, 2 to 5 MB

Suitability for logging

In 2009, after several years of cruising the Tongass timberlands under the auspices of Sitka Conservation Society, I wrote them…

2009 | Richard Carstensen | 19 pages

A week at Soule River

In July, 2009, I assisted with field surveys for a proposed hydro project near Hyder, on the Canadian border. My…

2009 | Richard Carstensen | 85 pages

Mud Bay survey for SEAL Trust

In June, 2013, Diane Mayer of Southeast Alaska Land Trust asked Koren Bosworth and me to survey and describe wetlands…

2013 | Richard Carstensen & Koren Bosworth | 64 pages, 12MB

Ground-truthing methods and workflow

Every few years I create an update of my methods and workflow: prefield prep, fieldwork, and postfield processing, journaling and…

2017 | Richard Carstensen | 5 pages

New tools for old naturalists

The 21st-century cartographer New tools for old naturalists In March, 2015, I gave a fireside presentation at the Mendenhall Visitor…

2015 | Richard Carstensen | 31 minutes

Focus and breadth: science and natural history in Southeast Alaska

In March, 2015, I gave a banquet presentation to the Alaska Chapter of the Wildlife Society. Afterwards, I archived it…

2015 | Richard Carstensen | 31 minutes

Forest restoration in the Tongass: Why, how, and where

Bob’s summary for The Wilderness Society. Techniques and strategies. Download here (8MB): †

2012 | Bob Christensen | 71 Pages

Community Landmark Trees : Petersburg

Interpretive guide to Ohmer Creek Community Landmark Trees area south of Petersburg. Part 1 is a step-by-step guide to trees…

2004 | Richard Carstensen | 22 pages

Community Landmark Trees: Ketchikan

Interpretive guide to Ward Lake Community Landmark Trees area north of Ketchikan. Part 1 is a step-by-step guide to trees…

2004 | Richard Carstensen | 22 pages

Northern Baranof Island: Past, present, and future

Reflections from our 2007 field surveys of northern Shee, volcano woman (Baranof Island). Covers history of logging in the province,…

2007 | Bob Christensen|Richard Carstensen | 12 pages

2011 fall newsletter. Recording nature: field journaling as Raven goes global

Journaling is my work and play. It‚’s how I taught myself to be a naturalist, and one of the ways…

2011 | Richard Carstensen, Kathy Hocker, Kevin O'Malley | 16 pages

Landmark Trees of Áak’w & T’aakú Aaní

Northern challenges As you might expect, our highest-scoring Landmark Tree stands are on the central and southern Tongass. But we‚’ve…

Habitat use of amphibians in northern Southeast Alaska

Final report on Discovery’s 2-year study of amphibian habitat relations. Population numbers, breeding pond origin types, and amphibian natural history…

2003 | Richard Carstensen, Mary Wilson, Robert Armstrong | 77 pages

Community Landmark Trees: Sitka

Interpretive guide to Gavan Hill Community Landmark Trees area near Sitka. Part 1 is a step-by-step guide to trees along…

2004 | Richard Carstensen | 22 pages