The National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network is hosting a quarterly online seminar series to regularly share innovative soil moisture research activities. This seminar focused on monitoring and assessing drought impacts and fire risk in forested environments.
In addition to Congressional mandates to the USDA to incorporate soil moisture information into the production of the U.S. Drought Monitor, lawmakers have prioritized the need to make Western states more resilient to drought and fires. Additional knowledge of soil moisture conditions under forest canopies will significantly improve the ability to assess these risks, and activities are currently underway to make in-situ soil moisture data accessible to users in all fields. This seminar detailed current activities and future plans championed within the USDA for improving soil moisture monitoring, with an emphasis on forested areas.