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

Start Date: October 8, 2023
End Date: October 10, 2023
Location: Knoxville, TN


  • Day 0 – October 8 (Sun.)
    • 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Check-in at the hotel (Cumberland House Knoxville)
  • Days 1 and 2 – October 9 and 10 (Mon. – Tue.)
    • 08:00 am – 12:00 pm: Breakfast, check in, presentations and breaks
    • 12:00 pm – 01:30 pm: Lunch
    • 01:30 pm – 05:00 pm: Presentations and breaks (may end earlier on October 10)
    • 06:00 pm – 08:00 pm: Reception and banquet (October 9 only)

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).

About this Event
Topics in forest measurements, forest modeling, forest inventory, remote sensing applications in forestry, and quantitative forest management are welcome. The meeting will include a special session focused on projects which aim to explore and expand upon the uses of the data produced by the USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. For example, we welcome presentations on:
  • Small area estimation
  • Sampling and survey non-response
  • Volume, biomass and carbon modelling
  • Harvesting and wood flow
  • Ecosystem services and non-timber forest products
We are open to not only research work but also projects in forest practice. Students who have preliminary results are encouraged to present. Only oral presentations will be given this year. Submit your abstract via the link (https://forms.office.com/r/2t09tiD0c0), no later than September 8th, 2023 (EST).
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).

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

Lodging Information:
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.

Registration Information
Registration Pricing:

Register before September 8th, 2023 to receive a 20% discount!

  • General participant: $500 (early, -20%); $625 (late)
  • Student: $300 (early, -20%); $375 (late)

Questions about this conference?