An imaging spectrometer that could detect the chemical and light-reflecting properties of individual plants and trees 7,000 feet below, combined with laser technology, has proven successful in instantly gathering a vast amount of information about unexplored tracts of tropical rainforest. This technology could help alleviate uncertainty about carbon emissions from deforestation and different forms of forest management, both of which are critical to the emerging policy of REDD, a UN initiative to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation activities.  The Carnegie Institution for Science’s spectranomic work was supported by MacArthur, which aims to conserve tropical forests and to detect their relative vulnerability and resilience to climate change. Read more about the use of spectranomic technology.

Conservation & Sustainable Development, Conservation, Latin America, Technology