To conduct its mission, the Department of Defense (DoD) manages over 28 million acres of natural and built infrastructure across a wide variety of ecosystems and geographies around the globe. The Services need to be able to train like they fight, and SERDP and ESTCP produce tools and technologies that maximize the number of training days and mission readiness. DoD lands provide the contiguous, unencumbered spaces needed to closely replicate the operational environment of assigned missions, and the same training lands must be available for numerous units to train over time. Wildfires, flooding, exotic species invasion, dust emissions, and other challenges to training and testing environments require careful management. SERDP and ESTCP provide the best available science required to manage these resources for the needs of the current force and future generations using the weapons of tomorrow. 

Mission Priority Species and Biodiversity

The DoD has and continues to play a vital role in sustaining many rare plant and animal species. SERDP and ESTCP projects advance the management and sustainment of rare wildlife habitats on military installations.

Invasive Species

The DoD controls and manages invasive species in accordance with individual plans governing each installation or base. SERDP and ESTCP tools and technologies help control and prevent further invasion by non-indigenous species (such as invasive ants, insects, grasses, etc.) on military lands.

Resilient  Lands  and Ecosystem  Management 

The DoD manages natural ecosystems, including deserts, coastal areas, and Arctic systems, on nearly 28 million acres of land to provide realistic training environments. SERDP and ESTCP projects enable the DoD to comply with federal environmental legislation and regulations, including the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended), and ensure DoD lands and ecosystems are resilient to changing climate conditions. 

Advanced Technologies for Resource  Conservation

Monitoring the status and trends of species habitat, vegetation communities, watersheds, and invasive species is a critical component of natural resource management. SERDP and ESTCP demonstrate and validate advanced and emerging monitoring methods and remote sensing technologies on DoD lands.

Water Conservation

Maintaining access to reliable and secure sources of water is essential for supporting installation operations and sustaining military forces. ESTCP is demonstrating innovative solutions to increase water re-use (graywater), reduce water demand, and eliminate waste through improved water system operations. 

Wildland Fires

Fire is uniquely present on military training and testing lands as an element of military land-use since mission readiness requires the delivery of ordnance and pyrotechnics. SERDP and ESTCP investments in wildland fire research promote co-production of management-relevant science between fire managers and researchers with a focus on next-generation fire behavior and smoke dispersion models.