Analytik, leading suppliers of innovative analytical instrumentation and Malvern Panalytical’s ASD reseller for the United Kingdom and Ireland, share this report on how the ASD FieldSpec® HandHeld 2 spectroradiometer has been used to study the Amazon rainforest.

Dr. Chris Doughty is a former research fellow in tropical forest ecology within the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the University of OxfordBlog_AnalytikHH2

While at the University of Oxford, Chris described his work and vision where a handheld spectrometer became a vital part of his laboratory on the move. “Our goal was to use leaf spectroscopy to predict leaf traits (photosynthesis, leaf chemistry, etc.). We then hoped to develop these techniques to eventually use airborne remote sensing above the forest to better predict the carbon balance and health of tropical forests.”

During his fellowship, Chris coordinated research at seventeen rainforest plots in six sites across the Amazon basin. At these plots, intensive monitoring of forest carbon cycling and allocation: 1) provided baseline estimates of current forest carbon storage, and 2) tracked ongoing changes in forest carbon cycling. These results will continue to help to develop the next generation of coupled atmosphere-biosphere models and guide international climate policy.

Chris is now in the role as an Assistant Professor of ecoinformatics at Northern Arizona University. His research combines computational and field methods to better understand how these changes will affect ecosystems, with a specific focus on tropical forests. One major goal of his research is to determine how climate change will affect tropical forests and how this might, in turn, impact global climate. He combines a large network of field plots from South America, Africa, and Asia with remote sensing and models to better understand and predict forest growth patterns and carbon uptake. Another major goal is to understand how the loss of large mammals will impact nutrient distribution and forest structure globally. He uses both simple and complex models to predict nutrient diffusion and verifies these models using both field and paleo-data.

Chris’ enthusiasm for his research is clear: “I love studying tropical forests because they are important stores of biodiversity and carbon, but they are often difficult to study due to their remote locations. Our work will hopefully make it easier to measure and understand forests in the most remote regions.”

Speaking of his choice of the portable Vis-NIR FieldSpec system, he noted, “I had previously learned on another ASD spectrometer from 350-2500 nm and an integrating sphere. Working with the FieldSpec® HandHeld 2 provided me with a system that is robust in the field, easy to carry and ideal for my diverse working environments.”

The ASD FieldSpec HandHeld 2 spectroradiometer performs rapid, precise, non-destructive and non-contact spectral measurement in a truly portable design. The HandHeld 2 minimizes field data collection time while maximizing the quality of spectral results.

Want to learn more about the ASD FieldSpec HandHeld 2?