Current Projects

The Panel often has multiple projects and efforts going on simultaneously.  Read on for a snapshot of current projects and initiatives to which various Panel members are contributing:

NVC Peer Review Process Testing:

Panel members are conducting a pilot project in which regional vegetation data will be analyzed to develop a proposal for new types to be inducted into the NVC; this pilot will develop a peer review process that can be used for future proposed changes to the classification.  Several members of the ESA Panel on Vegetation Classification will to working on this project, including Dr. Robert Peet at UNC-Chapel Hill and Don Faber-Langendoen at NatureServe.

This pilot project will involve conducting analyses to identify new types and perform modifications to types currently described in the USNVC, ensuring the data used in the analysis is placed into VegBank (, the Panel’s public and permanent plot archive, managing the peer review process, and reporting the decisions made, process used, and recommendations for a formalized peer review process for the USNVC.

The team is still in the process of cleaning up the data and finalizing the analysis.  The first round of proposed changes to these types is scheduled to be completed by mid-May 2013, and the peer review process will begin immediately after the submittal of that work.

Screening of Alliance Concepts

NatureServe staff and members of the NVC Peer Review Board (PRB) are working together to conduct a review of the NVC’s Alliances.  The Associate Editors that comprise the PRB will build out concept sentences for Alliances while looking at their relationship with Groups and Associations.  Associate Editors will also be helping to finalize recommend changes that came about during the Group Level Review, which was recently completed in summer 2012.

Establishing an Interim Review Process for the NVC

While a long-term review process for the NVC may take time to develop, Panel members are establishing a set of documents that will lay out a process for reviewing proposed changes to the NVC in the interim.  The Panel plans to finalize this process in early 2013.

Developing Online Education and Outreach Materials

The Panel’s Education Subcommittee is in the process of creating online materials to help answer common questions from NVC users.  These materials are still in development, but will become available in 2013 on the Outreach and Education page.