Attean Pond from a roadside rest area in Jackman in this May 28, 2019, file photo. A University of Maine project to study forest health recently got a boost from NASA. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is helping Maine get a better handle on the health of its forests.

The University of Maine said NASA is providing nearly $750,000 for a three-year project that will focus on assessing and monitoring “the quality, health and value” of Maine’s forested land. Maine is the most forested state in the U.S.

UMaine School of Forest Resources assistant professor Parinaz Rahimzadeh is leading the effort. The university said a team of researchers will use remote sensing technology to develop models with “near-real-time data on forest tree species identification, and forest tree decline detection and damage assessment.”

The work is expected to ultimately provide information on the composition of Maine’s forest and on damage caused by recent outbreaks of pests and pathogens.