Iuliia_Polevshchikova

Assessment and monitoring of forest cover disturbances to reduce the risk of natural disasters

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I am from the city of Yoshkar-Ola in the Mari El Republic, Russia, and I work at the Center of Sustainable Forest Management and Remote Sensing as a senior scientist. My research interests focus on land cover and land-use change with the use of remote sensing. In 2016, I passed the defense of Doctor of Agricultural Science.

Iuliia Polevshchikova (Volga State University of Technology) will be hosted by Dr Mikko Kolehmainen (Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland).

Remote sensing imagery is an integral component in forest cover monitoring for large areas of forest. In Povolzhje (the Volga River Basin) of Russia, there are two main issues that require combined remote sensing: (1) monitoring changes in forest cover (afforestation, reforestation, deforestation, ARD activities); and (2) remote sensing of forest disturbances (forest fires, insect outbreaks) or composition changes in the conditions of climate change.

My research is looking at: (i) identification of different classes of land use and land cover, and its spatial distribution in the Volga region; (ii) determination of the trends, nature, location and magnitude of forest cover change; and (iii) preparation of maps of forest cover and land-use change in the Volga River Basin. Geographic information system (GIS) techniques and remote sensing (RS) from EU and Russian satellite platforms (Modis, Landsat, Rapid Eye, Resurs-B) are used to analyse the forest cover change.

The short scientific visit will allow me to improve the quality of thematic maps and database as a result of use of the following: field material; more absolute research methods; the most up-to-date methods for handling satellite data; space images from different times; analysis of foreign literature; international atmosphere in campus and foreign experience in this research field. We also will be developing methods to quantify wood production, biomass potential, carbon sequestration, deadwood (as an indicator of biodiversity), and forest fire risk.