Principal Investigator: Dr. Stephen Prisley, Principal Research Scientist, and Dr. Holly Munro, Senior Research Scientist, NCASI

Collaborators: USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory & Analysis Program (FIA)

Supported by: USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station. Award 22-CA-11221638-201 for $2.57 million over five years.

Project Summary: The overarching objective of this project is to evolve FIA’s small area estimation capacity to meet resounding user demand. This goal will be achieved by collaboratively devising and implementing a blueprint for the transition of FIA-based SAE approaches from experimental to operational status through determination of user needs, research, and development.

This project will assemble and coordinate three panels of experts, designated as the User, Science, and Development Panels, to guide FIA’s adoption of new methods to increase the precision of estimates of target forest attributes in subpopulations spanning small geographic areas and short time intervals. The effort will be driven by user needs and will provide a lens through which historically independent research and development endeavors can be focused on unified production solutions.

The specific activities for resolving technical challenges include:

  1. Develop a standardized framework for comparing competing estimation methods.
  2. Test the range of small area techniques proposed to date, as well as new approaches, at operational scales and for a broad set of variables.
  3. Explore strategies to dovetail with current direct estimates reported by the program.
  4. Compare tools (online and otherwise) to determine those that most effectively deliver small area and improved model-assisted estimation techniques to our user base.

Call for PSAE RFP’s

Click here for RFP information and forms

Contact Steve Prisley at or Holly Munro at