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Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Robert E Froese


Michael J Falkowski


We used active remote sensing technology to characterize forest structure in a northern temperate forest on a landscape- and local-level in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Specifically, we used a form of active remote sensing called light detection and ranging (e.g., LiDAR) to aid in the depiction of current forest structural stages and total canopy gap area estimation. On a landscape-level, LiDAR data are shown not only to be a useful tool in characterizing forest structure, in both coniferous and deciduous forest cover types, but also as an effective basis for data-driven surrogates for classification of forest structure. On a local-level, LiDAR data are shown to be a benchmark reference point to evaluate field-based canopy gap area estimations, due to the highly accurate nature of such remotely sensed data. The application of LiDAR remote sensed data can help facilitate current and future sustainable forest management.