As global temperatures rise, ecosystems struggle to keep up and adapt. Weather patterns become increasingly erratic, and new research must be done to comprehend what these changes have on our forests.

Ngā Ara Whetū has allocated $2,500 in funding to support George Perry and James Brock in exploring the future of forests with a lens on climate change and environmental sustainability. The project is in partnership with researchers from Pennsylvania State University. 

The project, Assessing Climate Futures through Environmental Data Analytics, is a collaborative initiative with Pennsylvania State University to expand the landscape of climate research and environmental conservation. 

Perry said the project’s aims are two-fold.  

“There’s the research part, which will be about forests, carbon, and some of the trade-offs involved in allocating land to native forests vs production forests. The second part will be curriculum development around environmental data and analysis for students working in the climate and environment space.”

As part of the project researchers from Pennsylvania State University will come to New Zealand next February for fieldwork and to connect. Afterwards, the Kiwi side of the team will visit the United States. The team from Penn State University are interested in meeting other researchers while they are here. 

Perry said he is looking forward to learning from his US peers who are specialists in collaborative teaching of quantitative material, which will be important with the rise and rise of big data and artificial intelligence. 

As this project gains momentum, it has the potential to unearth discoveries that can shape climate policy, ecological conservation efforts, and education initiatives. 


The University of Auckland Team: 

George Perry 

James Brock 


Penn State University Team: 

Erica Smithwick 

Peter Buck  

Brandi Robinson 


Photo used by Soliman Cifuentes on Unsplash

Print Friendly, PDF & Email