The BASAL lab research interests are divided almost equally between basic research on spatial data uncertainty/map accuracy and applied research applying the tools of remote sensing, GIS, and spatial data analysis to solving natural resource problems. These projects have included deer, loon, and bear habitat mapping; endangered plant habitat analysis, mapping forest change; fire and fuels management; and eelgrass mapping, to name just a few.
Currently, there is research being conducted in both basic and applied research on land cover/vegetation mapping and validation of New England forest cover types in southeastern NH using various sources of remotely sensed data including unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and different automated image processing methodologies. Russell Congalton was a part of an NSF-funded environmental science and education project called the GLOBE Program. He was the principal investigator of the Land Cover component (one quarter of the GLOBE Program) for the over ten years. This research is international and involves developing scientific protocols and educational learning activities for GLOBE schools to perform land cover mapping and collect scientifically valid data. Over 25,000 schools in more than 100 countries participate in this program. In addition, he is working on an NSF-funded multi-investigator project evaluating the effectiveness of payments for ecological services in Mexico and also a NASA MEaSUREs multi-investigator project mapping agricultural crops worldwide at Landsat 30m resolution. Lastly, he is the Director of the New Hampshire View Program, a part of AmericaView, that is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the use of spatial data analysis and education throughout the US.