Research on airborne laser scanning for forest inventory is awarded the 28th Marcus Wallenberg Prize

During a ceremony at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm on 3 October, the Swedish King, His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf awarded the Marcus Wallenberg Prize 2011 to Prof. Erik Næsset, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, for his path breaking research that incorporates the airborne laser scanning method as an integral part of forest inventory

Sustainable forest management is based on good information about the resource and its biological and social environment, collected through various inventory methods. Prof. Næsset has invented a straightforward and practical method for utilizing airborne laser scanning in combination with forest field data which automatically produces stand-wise forest data with high accuracy. The area based method of airborne laser scanning that he has developed has become a reference against which new inventory methods are compared.

“Laser scanning is now a commercially used practice, making a considerable difference in how forests are inventoried throughout the world. It is also useful in assessment of many other forest ecosystem services such as for detection and valuation of habitats of key species for maintenance of biodiversity. Prof. Næsset stands out as the most important person for making airborne laser scanning an operational method for forest inventory”, said Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of the Marcus Wallenberg Foundation at the award ceremony.

The Laureate
Professor Næsset was born in 1958 inNorway. He took his Dr. scient. in Forestry in 1992 at the AgriculturalUniversityofNorway. After employment at the Department of Forest Sciences, Agricultural University of Norway, from 1990, he was appointed Professor in 1996. Since 1997 he has been Professor at the Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management at theNorwegianUniversityof Life Sciences inÅs,Norway.

The Marcus Wallenberg Prize
The Marcus Wallenberg Prize was instituted to encourage scientific achievements within the forestry and forestry-related sectors. This year it was awarded for the 28th time. The prize winners receive 2 million Swedish Crowns.

For more information, please contact:
Per G. Broman, The Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, +46 70-577 69 93
For general information about the prize, see




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