UBC Forestry professor receives ‘Nobel Prize of Forest Research’

Marcus Wallenberg Prize supports research on how forests respond to climate change


The Faculty of Forestry at University of British Columbia has announced faculty member and Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing (I), Nicholas Coops, is the recipient of the world’s most prestigious forestry honour, the Marcus Wallenberg Prize.
With this distinction, UBC is the top-ranking institution on the globe in terms the highest number of prizes received in the 40-year history of the Marcus Wallenberg Prize, and Canada is now tied with Sweden as the top two nations with the most prize winners.  
Known as “the Nobel Prize of the forest sector,” Coops shares this year’s prize with colleagues Richard Waring of Oregon State University and Joseph Landsberg of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia.
The 2020 prize was awarded in recognition for their work in addressing one of the largest global challenges of our time. The 3-PG (Physiological Principles Predicting Growth) model developed by Landsberg and Waring predicts forest growth and the ability of forests to store carbon.
With Coops’ work on satellite imagery, it is now possible to make these predictions on a much larger scale. Together, their research may be used to understand forests’ response to climate change such as global warming, insect infestations and forest fires.

“One of the most exciting things about the honour of receiving the Marcus Wallenberg Prize is how it will inevitably further elevate the utilization of the 3-PG model,” notes Coops. “The 3-PG model is an open-source model, available from UBC, and can be easily used and accessed by graduate students and industry alike. Combining it with analyses from satellite images from space means that today, we can better answer questions such as the trends in the future growth of key forest species such as the Douglas fir in British Columbia.”

Faculty of Forestry at University of British Columbia has announced faculty member and Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing (I), Nicholas Coops

What Makes the 3-PG (Physiological Principles Predicting Growth) model Technology Unique:

  • UBC hosts the 3-PG technology which is open-sourced so freely available to anyone who may want to use it.
  • Due to its flexible design and ease-of-use, it is the most widely used forest growth model in the world.
  • Anyone who wants to use it in their work can access it here: https://3pg.forestry.ubc.ca/

The prize will be awarded to Coops, Waring and Landsberg by King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden in a ceremony set for October of this year. To learn more about 3PG, visit: https://3pg.forestry.ubc.ca/software/ To learn more about the UBC Faculty of Forestry, visit:  https://forestry.ubc.ca/

Steph Troughton
UBC Faculty of Forestry
604 362-7706 (c)
Lou Corpuz-Bosshart
UBC Media Relations
604 999-0473 (c)

About UBC Faculty of Forestry
The University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Faculty of Forestry is recognized globally as one of the leading forestry faculties in the world. What began in 1921 with the first degree program lectures being given, today embodies a comprehensive offering of undergraduate and graduate programs that cover a breadth of disciplines including wood products science, natural resources conservation, forest sciences, urban forestry and forest resources management.
Our programs model the broad spectrum of topics that relate to forests’ interplay between our environment and all those who live on our planet.

About the Marcus Wallenberg Foundation
The shareholders of Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags AB, Falun, Sweden, honoured its retiring Chair in 1980 by a donation, which formed the basis of an international prize to pay attention to forestry and the forest industry, i.e. The Marcus Wallenberg Prize.
The Foundation has its office in Falun, Sweden, and Mr. Mikael Hannus is the Executive Secretary of the Foundation.
phone: +46-703775702
To learn more about The Marcus Wallenberg Prize, visit https://www.mwp.org