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National Biomass and Carbon Dataset (NBCD)

Dataset Description

From the NBCD site at the Woods Hole Research Center:

Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center have produced a high-resolution “National Biomass and Carbon Dataset for the year 2000” (NBCD2000), the first ever spatially explicit inventory of its kind. The dataset was produced as part of a project funded under NASA’s Terrestrial Ecology Program with additional support from the Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools Project (LANDFIRE). The project has generated a high-resolution (30 m), year-2000 baseline estimate of basal area-weighted canopy height, aboveground live dry biomass, and standing carbon stock for the conterminous United States.

See their web site for more information.

Registration for Data Access

Users must register for access to the NBCD data here. For the data download script to work you must save the credentials emailed to you in a .wgetrc file within the working directory like so:

user = foo
password = bar

This is done to respect the registration process and to not distribute credentials with this source code repository. Please do not commit the .wgetrc file to revision control or otherwise inject any NBCD credentials into the source code. To reinforce this there is an entry for this .wgetrc file in the .gitignore file.

Data Access and Usage

According to the NBCD Fair Data Use Policy:

The data provided on this site are freely available and were furnished by individual scientists who encourage their use. Please kindly inform in writing (or e-mail) the NBCD Team of how you are using the data and of any publication plans. If not yet published, please reference the source of the data, as a citation and in the acknowledgments (See below for dataset citation). The NBCD Team will tell you if they feel they should be acknowledged or offered participation as authors. We assume that an agreement on such matters will be reached before publishing and/or use of th! e data for publication. If your work directly competes with an ongoing investigation, the NBCD Team may ask that they have the opportunity to submit a manuscript before you submit one that uses their data. When publishing, please acknowledge the agency that supported the research (NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program). We kindly request that those publishing papers using any data from NBCD to supply reprints to the NBCD Team.

Dataset Citation

Kellndorfer, J., Walker, W., LaPoint, L. , Bishop, J., Cormier, T., Fiske, G., Kirsch, K., “The National Biomass and Carbon Dataset ­ A hectare-scale dataset of vegetation height, aboveground biomass and carbon stock of the conterminous United States.” Data published by The Woods Hole Research Center, 2011.

Codeset Description

This repository can be found here on GitHub. It is an example of a Blox component. Blox is a modular source code management, data management and scientific workflow concept under development at the University of Chicago’s Computation Institute. Blox currently relies on the Git distributed version control system and GNU Make, but could conceivably be implemented using other source code management systems and dependency tracking utilities.

Git Hooks

This repository relies on a Git pre-commit hook to keep the source code embedded in in sync with the code in the scripts/ directory. Currently this hook is not active when the repository is cloned. A simple solution is to use symbolic links:

ln -fs ../../git_hooks/pre-commit .git/hooks/pre-commit


The codeset was developed by Neil Best at the University of Chicago’s Computation Institute in support of ongoing research at the Center for Robust Decision Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP). Attribution is appreciated.

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