fRI Research began as Foothills Model Forest in 1992 and was part of the Canadian Model Forest Network. Foothills Model Forest, and the GIS program with it, transitioned and grew through the Canadian Model Forest Network's three phases.
In Phase I (1992 - 1996), Geographic Information Systems was a key project area involved in developing a comprehensive data model, a decision-support system for forest planning and assembling infrastructure for technology transfer in the form of hands-on training. Near the end of Phase I, and through much of Phase II (1997-2001), the demand for GIS products and support for various programs and initiatives grew tremendously. Consequently, GIS staff began to provide a supporting role for other projects at fRI Research.
While incorporating the goals from Phases I & II, Phase III (2002-2007) saw the GIS program develop GIS tools and models to facilitate research that supports sustainable forest management. GIS staff also play an important role in information technology management and support. Currently two members of the GIS program participate on the fRI Research Information Technology Committee and one GIS staff member is the information technology liaison and on-site lead in collaboration with our IT provider (NIRIX).