Forest Inventory Growth Program

Maine Tree Foundation, Maine Audubon, Maine Project Learning Tree

How can students and professional foresters effectively track change over time in Maine forests?

The Maine Forest Inventory Growth (FIG) project is a field based, exploratory, citizen science program that connects students to Maine forests. Schools across Maine team up with professional foresters for in-class learning and field-based data collection.


Students collect information year after year about the health of forests to determine how forests are changing over time. From these long-term datasets, students and foresters model and predict future change to make informed decisions about how to manage forests for ecological health and economic productivity.


For 10 years, FIG data collection, field protocols, curriculum resources, and communication had been largely paper- and email-based. The program’s growth and evolution into data analysis called for a new system.


In 2016, we worked with the FIG team from Maine Tree Foundation, Maine Forest Service, and Maine Audubon to imagine and design on online system that improves data collection, automates tree height calculations, ensures data quality, allows map- and table-based data viewing and export, and motivates community interaction for data analysis and curriculum sharing.


Additionally, we streamlined navigation, and wrote key messages, content, and curriculum for FIG’s various audiences. We created a brand new logo for the program to match the modern look of the new site.


A custom WordPress site now keeps the FIG community connected and sharing data and ideas across a network of the best educators, students, and natural resource professionals in the state.