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Ramos trains on high-tech wood identification
February 17, 2016

Forester Mario Ramos, Senior Science Research Specialist, recently returned from a three-month training program with the Center for Wood Anatomy Research (CWAR) at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) , Madison, Wisconsin, USA. The “Training Course on Wood Anatomy, Identification and Imaging” honed his skills in all aspects of wood anatomy as well as in constructing and maintaining a XyloTron.

According to CWAR team leader and research botanist Alex C. Weidenhoeft, “The XyloTron is a machine-vision-based wood identification system that uses a custom-designed wood imaging device (the XyloScope), image analysis, and statistical processing software run from a laptop/netbook. With it, users can identify wood more accurately than trained law enforcement personnel. The technology can help combat the global problem of illegal logging by empowering law enforcement agents to make field identification of wood.”

“I am excited that my involvement in the FPL’s machine vision project can eventually be used to help preserve threatened or endangered wood species in the Philippines. The training program gave me key ideas and provided skills I can use to help enhance the wood anatomy laboratory facilities and services we offer at FPRDI,” said Ramos.

The FPL and FPRDI signed in February last year a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in various areas of mutual interest aside from wood anatomy. These include cellulose nanomaterials; wood composites; wood decay and preservation; lignin and products from lignin; fire and fire testing; life cycle assessment; non-destructive testing, among others.

Ramos’ training was funded through the Bases Conversion Development Authority which is being managed by the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development. (Rizalina K. Araral, 3 February 2016)#

The Center for Wood Anatomy Research team.
The Center for Wood Anatomy Research team that For. Ramos worked with. (Left to right) Alex C. Wiedenhoeft, Research Botanist and Team Leader; Adriana Costa, postdoctoral visiting scientist from São Paulo, Brazil; Richard Soares, visiting scientist from São Paulo, Brazil; For. Mario Ramos; Rafael Arévalo, postdoctoral visiting scientist, Bogotá, Colombia. Photo credit: A. Wiedenhoeft.