2016 Biometrics Working Group Meeting

July 14
Atlanta, Georgia

Purpose: To discuss issues effecting the FIA program and to provide an opportunity for FIA staff to hear from stakeholders.

Meeting Attendees 

Meeting Agenda 


Meeting Action Items & Endorsements 

  1. Western GRM data: The BWG applauds the strong progress made in production of GRM data for western states and looks forward to the distribution of this data in August 2016.
  2. NCASI Tools: Users of the NCASI tools COLE, SOLE, and GForest expressed strong interest in the maintenance of these tools. It is especially important that access to alternative estimators be maintained. NCASI has committed to maintaining these tools, updating data as needed, and completing the work that was started on developing linkages between GForest and SRTS.
  3. Automated TPO Data Capture: The BWG supports the use of automated data capture of receipts data from large corporations that have the capacity to provide single-source reporting for all mills within the company. The reliability, consistency, and efficiency of this approach will provide benefits to TPO and to the companies themselves.
  4. TPO sampling: There is strong support for the development of a flexible sampling approach for TPO data collection that allows states to tailor the approach (e.g., defining strata in a stratified sampling scheme) to their situation and needs. FIA should move quickly to define and document the sampling approach, submit for scientific/technical review, obtain buy-in from states, and implement the approach.
  5. TPO marketing: To reduce non-response to TPO surveys, the FIA TPO program should develop communication materials making the business case for mill participation in these surveys. NCASI will work with AF&PA, members, and other organizations to help communicate with companies and encourage participation.
  6. Small area estimation: NCASI should work with USFS to encourage the development of a suite of approaches for small-area estimation (using remotely sensed data with FIA plot data), possibly through initiating some additional cost-shared research projects that would develop and/or test some approaches.
  7. Remote sensing and FIA plot data: Enhanced communication between USFS scientists doing remote sensing/FIA research and the user community (such as BWG participants) is important for the scientists to understand the specific needs of wood supply planning and assessment, and for the user community to understand the potential of the products being developed. NCASI will work to facilitate such communication through conference calls, webinars, symposia sessions and other means.