Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Serena McIlwain, joined by GEOG Associate Chair George Hurtt and Adjunct Assistant Professor Rachel Lamb (also MDE), celebrated the state's ambitious tree-planting program by participating in an Earth Day tree-planting event in Baltimore on April 21.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) aims to plant and maintain 5 million native trees in Maryland by 2031, with at least 500,000 trees in underserved urban communities.

The University of Maryland College Park and NASA's Carbon Monitoring System are helping the state of Maryland to improve the state's forest carbon inventory and meet its ambitious climate mitigation goals.

GEOG researchers will play a key role by analyzing the planting data and measuring progress toward environmental benefits such as improved air quality and the capture of carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. NASA Carbon Monitoring System utilizes high-resolution remote sensing and USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis plot data to ”detect, quantify and validate annual changes to Maryland’s tree and forest carbon stocks.” This data will be instrumental in assessing progress against Maryland’s Greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The tree planting team including George Hurtt and Rachel Lamb