2023 Joint Meeting of Southern and Northeastern Mensurationists (SOMENS & NEMO)

We are excited to announce the 2023 joint meeting of SOMENS and NEMO. The conference will be held at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from October 8 – 10 (Sun. – Tue.).

2023 Joint SOMENS & NEMO Meeting Booklet and Group Photo

Click here to view and/or download the 2023 meeting booklet (PDF)


Registration is currently closed.

Nomination for the 2023 SOMENS lifetime achievement award:

“SOMENS Achievement Award” honors scientists that contributed significantly to quantitative southern forestry. The award aims at senior researchers that are associated with the Southern Mensurationists group and have shaped the forest research of/from the southern region of the USA. The following outstanding mensurationists received the award:

  • 2022 Barry Shriver – UGA
  • 2021 Dehai Zhao – UGA
  • 2019 Chris Cieszewski – UGA
  • 2018 Ralph Amateis – VT
  • 2017 Tom Lynch – OKSU
  • 2016 John Paul Mctague – Rayonier
  • 2015 Quang Cao – LSU
  • 2014 Mike Strub – Weyerhaeuser
  • 2013 Harold Burkhart – VT

Submit your nomination for the 2023 SOMENS lifetime achievement award via the link (https://forms.office.com/r/at32i4Lj0A).

Mike Strub Challenge:

Dear Forest Biometrician:

I am requesting your help to build a parametric height-diameter relationship model for palm trees. I will then use your model to predict the height of the palmetto palm trees in my and my neighbor’s yards in South Carolina. Data for model building were queried from the USDA FIA database, which include the palm trees measured in SC, GA and FL in the most recent measurement cycle. The data can be accessed via google drive by clicking here. To build the model, you need to meet the following specifications:

  1. DBH is the only measurement that can be incorporated into the model, but you can include multiple DBH-derived independent variables (e.g., DBH2, LogDBH) in the model.
  2. You must use the dataset provided. However, you can use the entire dataset or a subset of the whole dataset.
    • What to submit: submission should include a justification of data selection, a description of model (an equation and variable explanation), and a table of estimated coefficients. Missing any of the items or specifications listed above will not be considered for competition.

The winner will be determined using trees growing in Mike’s yard and his neighbor’s yards in South Carolina. The evaluation criteria are given in order as: (1) absolute mean bias, (2) root mean square errors, and (3) parsimony. You can also provide estimates for the following two types of trees. The estimate for the appropriate type will be used to judge results. The white pole in the pictures is 5 feet long. The picture on the left is trunk type 1 and the picture on the right is trunk type 2.

Scientific and organizing committee:

  • Sheng-I Yang, University of Tennessee
  • Bronson Bullock, University of Georgia
  • Thomas Brandeis, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station
  • Aaron Weiskittel, University of Maine
  • Donald Hodges, University of Tennessee
  • Corey Green, Virginia Tech
  • KaDonna Randolph, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station

Detailed schedule:

Day 1 – October 8 (Sunday)

05:00 pm – 08:00 pm Reception at Ijams Nature Center

Day 2 – October 9 (Monday) Morning

08:00 am – 08:20 am Breakfast and check-in at UT Student Union Room 262

08:20 am – 08:30 am Welcome

08:30 am – 09:30 am Keynote speech (Moderator: Micky Allan) John Paul McTague – Modern methods of estimating tree and log volume, part II

09:30 am – 09:45 am Mike Strub Challenge

09:45 am – 10:20 am Break

10:20 am – 12:00 am Presentations (concurrent sessions)

General session I Room 262A (Moderator: Corey Green)

10:20 am – 10:40 am Angel Adhikari (Student) Assessment of understory vegetation

10:40 am – 11:00 am Caddis Fulford (Student) Effects of dominant tree height definition

11:00 am – 11:20 am Nasheeda Yasmin (Student) Effect of stand on soil carbon

11:20 am – 11:40 am Kamana Parajuli (Student) Crown ratio model for loblolly pine

11:40 am – 12:00 pm Noah Shephard (Student) Remotely sensed canopy dynamics

FIA special session I Room 262B (Moderator: Tom Brandeis)

10:20 am – 10:40 am Sakar Jha (Student) Evaluating H-D models for pantropical trees

10:40 am – 11:00 am Tara Skiba (Student) Evaluation of maximum stand density

11:00 am – 11:20 am Bergit Uhran (Student) Examining inaccuracies in SAE

11:20 am – 11:40 am Emmerson Chivhenge (Student) Estimating forest relative density

11:40 am – 12:00 pm Mukti Subedi Site index model for Loblolly pine

12:00 pm – 01:30 pm Lunch at UT Student Union Room 377A

Day 2 – October 9 (Monday) Afternoon

01:30 pm – 02:30 pm Presentations (concurrent sessions)

General session II Room 262A (Moderator: Dehai Zhao)

01:30 pm – 01:50 pm Surya Adhikari (Student) Aboveground biomass estimation using Lidar

01:50 pm – 02:10 pm Suveksha Jha (Student) Lidar-derived tree heights for forest models

02:10 pm – 02:30 pm Quang Cao Projecting stand basal area

General session III Room 262B (Moderator: John Young)

01:30 pm – 01:50 pm Quentin Boccaleri (Student) Impact of thinning on yield

01:50 pm – 02:10 pm Simone Lim-Hing Tornadoes in pine plantations

02:10 pm – 02:30 pm Bipana Subedi (Student) Improving precision through SAE

02:30 pm – 03:00 pm Break

03:00 pm – 04:00 pm Presentations (concurrent sessions)

General session IV Room 262A (Moderator: Bronson Bullock)

03:00 pm – 03:20 pm Thomas Lynch Big BAF sampling with a regression estimator

03:20 pm – 03:40 pm Sharad Baral Model assisted estimation of forest area

03:40 pm – 04:00 pm Dehai Zhao Deriving new models from existing models

General session V Room 262B (Moderator: Consuelo Brandeis)

03:00 pm – 03:20 pm Francis Roesch Risk-averse importance sampling

03:20 pm – 03:40 pm KaDonna Randolph Number preference as source of error

03:40 pm – 04:00 pm James Westfall Inventory nonresponse bias mitigation

06:00 pm – 08:00 pm Dinner banquet at Emilia

Day 3 – October 10 (Tuesday)

08:00 am – 08:30 am Breakfast and check-in at UT Student Union Room 262

08:30 am – 09:30 am Keynote speech (Moderator: Aaron Weiskittel) Are we missing the forest for the trees with Lidar?Greg Johnson

09:30 am – 09:45 am Student presentation award

09:45 am – 10:20 am Break

10:20 am – 12:00 am Presentations (concurrent sessions)

General session VI Room 262A (Moderator: Krishna Poudel)

10:20 am – 10:40 am Jeff Atkins Estimating forest age using Lidar

10:40 am – 11:00 am Mike Strub Using site index to estimate height

11:00 am – 11:20 am Timothy Albaugh UAV to measure stand characteristics

11:20 am – 11:40 am Corey Green Tree list model comparison

11:40 am – 12:00 pm Mingliang Wang Further development of Clutter-Jones model

FIA special session II Room 262B (Moderator: Phil Radtke)

10:20 am – 10:40 am Consuelo Brandeis Spatial distribution of roundwood volume

10:40 am – 11:00 am Shelbie Hardy Methods to identify non-response on TPO surveys

11:00 am – 11:20 am Todd Schroeder Using repeat NAIP data to estimate growth

11:20 am – 11:40 am Qianqian Cao SAE of county-level biomass

11:40 am – 12:00 pm Krishna Poudel Estimating county-level forest attributes

12:00 pm – 01:30 pm Lunch at UT Student Union Room 377A

01:30 pm – 02:30 pm Business meeting



Keynote speaker: Greg Johnson

Presentation title: Are we missing the forest for the trees with Lidar?

About Greg: After receiving an MSc in Forest Biometrics from Oregon State University, Greg held a number of research, technical services, and biometrics positions at International Paper, Willamette Industries, and finally Weyerhaeuser. At Weyerhaeuser he capped his 40+ year career by forming and leading its Advanced Forestry Systems team, focused on Biometrics, Operations Research, Remote Sensing (including lidar), Statistics, and Wood Science. Greg and teams he led developed several growth models in use by the companies he worked for and participated directly in lidar-based inventory systems design and implementation.

The abstract for Greg’s talk is:

Remote sensing has played a role in forest inventory for decades and that role is rapidly evolving. Our experience with it has ranged from disastrous failures to important achievements in cost reduction, accuracy improvement, and variance reduction. It is easy to imagine that these advancements will continue and perhaps accelerate. We are going to take a journey into the future and look at how remote sensing, and especially lidar and related technologies, will change how we think about forest inventory, the way we describe our forests, how we project their growth and development, and report standing and future products and conditions. Along the way, we will explore some technology and information gaps to be bridged on our journey (a jobs program for current and future mensurationists and biometricians!). Will stands exist? Will we have tree lists in our inventory databases? What will forest sampling mean? Will our existing permanent plot data be useful? Will we wake up from a bad dream or a bright new future? Get ready to suspend belief for a few minutes and explore.


Keynote speaker: Dr. John Paul McTague

Presentation title: Modern Methods of Estimating Tree and Log Volume, Part II 

About Dr. McTague: Dr. McTague currently resides in Florida pursuing his interests in biometrics as Manager of Southern Cross Biometrics LLC and as adjunct faculty in Forest Biometrics at the University of Georgia and North Carolina State University. Dr. McTague’s storied career started with a BS degree from SUNY-ESF, a MF degree in Forest Economics from Yale and a PhD in Forest Biometrics and Quantitative Forest Management from the University of Georgia. His professional career spans the continents of North and South America, where he has held managing/director positions for multiple multinational forest management firms. Dr. McTague also instructed at Northern Arizona University for twelve years; publishing growth and yield models for the ponderosa pine, mixed-conifer, and spruce-fir forest types.

The abstract for John’s talk is:

Two major themes of the 1993 IUFRO Conference, entitled ‘Modern Methods of Estimating Tree and Log Volume’ are re-examined. Heavily focused on Importance Sampling, Control-Variate Sampling, and Centroid Sampling, several papers of 1993 Conference demonstrated how much a 3rd measurement (three-point system) can improve the estimate of volume. The Souter SE-282 taper model directly incorporates a 3rd measurement into the profile equation and displays yet further improvement for loblolly pine volume estimation. Returning to early solid of revolution derivations of Pressler and Hossfeldt, which directly incorporate stem form into the volume formula, further precision is attained. The second major theme of the 1993 IUFRO was directed to determining the optimal location of the 3rd or multiple upper-stem measurements. Jim Flewelling’s additive adjustment to upper-stem predictions, based on one or multiple observed upper-stem measurements, is particularly relevant 30 years later with the availability of terrestrial LiDAR instruments. Finally, the presentation will examine how auxiliary information that is readily available during routine timber cruises, can be used to enhance volume estimation. The Southern Pine Volume and Weight Consortium collects sample trees from measured forest plots, thus affording the development of expressions for volume and taper that utilize the stand-level variables of age, relative spacing, thinning status, and tree ranking (dbh/dq).


A block of lodging rooms has been held at a discounted rate of $169 per night (plus taxes and fees) at the Cumberland House Knoxville. You must book before September 8th, 2023 to get this rate. Reserve the rooms at  https://www.hilton.com/en/attend-my-event/tyschup-somens-8a1b400d-5dce-4369-ba69-0f2e1e7f7959/ or call the hotel at +1 865-971-4663. The hotel may be able to offer a limited number of rooms at the government rate if you are state or federal employees. Contact the hotel directly for more information.

Please feel free to email Sheng-I Yang if you have any questions or concerns.

We are looking forward to seeing you this fall in Tennessee!