Nitrogen is an essential element in all plants, and it strongly regulates plant growth and decomposition in ecosystems. Recently, CAO’s forest canopy nitrogen mapping capability went operational by successfully using single calibrations between its imaging spectrometer measurements and laboratory-based nitrogen applied to forests in Hawaii, Costa Rica and the Amazon basin. This image shows canopy nitrogen mapped throughout a 25,000 acre section of forest on the windward flank of Mauna Kea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Forest canopy nitrogen levels are a result of elevation (temperature), geologic substrate and dominant species present. Image provided by Chris Balzotti.