Kate Miller, who leads the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program, will discuss her work monitoring the health of forests including those in Acadia National Park Nov. 12 at College of the Atlantic. PHOTO COURTESY OF COA

How are our forests? Ecologist to discuss trends

BAR HARBOR — Ecologist Kate Miller will discuss her work in monitoring forest health in national parks Tuesday, Nov. 12 at College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum. The forum begins at 4:10 p.m. in McCormick Lecture Hall and is free and open to the public.

Miller leads the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program, which conducts long-term forest health monitoring in more than 1,500 permanent plots across 39 eastern national parks from Virginia to Maine. Plots are sampled on a four-year rotation, and nearly all 1,500 plots have been sampled at least three times. The program has data spanning 14 years.

She will summarize statuses and trends in eastern park forests, and relate these findings to conditions and threats to forests in Acadia National Park.

Miller also leads freshwater wetland monitoring in Acadia National Park in collaboration with the EPA National Wetland Condition Assessment. Her research focuses on developing tools for long-term monitoring, such as power analyses for fixed-plot data, developing ecological indicators of wetland condition and building packages in the programming language R to summarize monitoring data.

More recently, her research has expanded to examine regional patterns of vegetation and human stressors that will likely impact forest response to climate change, along with the influence that forest protection has on patterns of tree diversity, forest structure and invasive species.

Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from Northland College, and masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Maine’s School of Biology and Ecology.

Contact 288-5015.

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