Again this year, International Paper (IP) is offering a program that’s funded $500,000 in academic research grants the past two years to explore new technology and key issues for forest landowners and the forest products industry. Since 2019, IP has asked U.S. universities for research proposals to explore innovations in: remote sensing technology; timber supply modeling; understanding and managing risk from the forest to the mill; and the relative advantages of important global wood baskets.

During the past two years, six programs at four universities were selected for funding. North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Mississippi State University are researching timber supply modeling with the ultimate goal of improving market models that predict resource trends and prices. Virginia Tech and Texas A&M are exploring remote sensing technologies that will help characterize forest attributes. 

Virginia Tech is evaluating satellite and aerial imagery to estimate stand characteristics over large areas, and Texas A&M will be studying the use of space-borne and aerial sensors. Mississippi State University and NCSU are also conducting a comparative assessment of global wood fiber production.