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Tom Luther, Featured ScientistFeatured Scientist:
Tom Luther

I grew up on a dairy farm in western New Hampshire where my family owned about 200 acres of forestland. I spent a lot of time as a kid hiking and working in the woods and as a result, developed a very strong bond with the land and natural environments in general. When I was in high school my dad hired a consulting forester to develop a forest management plan for the farm. I tagged along with the forester for a bit and remember thinking that would be a pretty neat way to make a living.

I went on to study forestry at the University of New Hampshire with an emphasis on forest management. But, it wasn’t until I returned to complete a master’s degree that I became exposed to the emerging role of geospatial technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and global positioning systems (GPS) in natural resources. I found the technologies themselves fascinating, and it was easy to see the applications to forestry.

If someone had asked me to characterize my ideal job, I think I would have described something very similar to what I am doing right now with the USDA Forest Service – working for a natural resource-related organization using exciting new technologies to solve critical, real-world problems. Our field office’s area of service includes all of New England and New York so I have the opportunity to become involved in a wide variety of types of projects covering very different issues in different geographic locations.

Geospatial technologies allow us to integrate, organize, and visualize information in ways that would be impossible otherwise and so are invaluable in helping us to understand and address many of our most pressing environmental issues.

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National Science Foundation Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Maine Forest Products Council Irving Woodlands, LLC Desiree Carlson, M.D. More Connected. More Maine.

Major funding is provided by the National Science Foundation.
Additional funding is provided by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Forest Products Council, Irving Woodlands LLC., Desiree Carlson, M.D., and gifts to More Connected. More Maine, The Campaign for Maine Public Broadcasting Network's Programming.

A list of other funders includes:
The Davis Family Foundation, Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, and Lincoln Ladd.

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