July 2016


ducks
Jul 19, 2016Land Cover Matters: An Avian Flu Researcher Talks Landsat

We recently spoke with veterinary epidemiologist Todd Kelman from the University of Davis, California about his avian flu research. Todd has incorporated Landsat data into his research and we wanted to know more.

Mike Wulder
Jul 12, 2016Landsat & Lasers: Your Job is to Monitor 860 Million Acres of Forest, Go!

Landsat Science Team member, Mike Wulder, spoke with the International Boreal Forest Research Association last year during their May 2015 conference in Rovaniemi, Finland.

14 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, June 2016
Jun 30, 201614 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, June 2016

These maps, provided to responders for free, often show where the damage is and where crisis victims are, allowing responders to plan and execute relief support.

Collaroy
Jun 30, 2016Monitoring Coastline Change with Landsat

Q & A with John Trinder, a Professor Emeritus from the University of New South Wales, about using Landsat data to monitor coastal change.

NASA Shareable on Google Maps' Landsat update
Jun 29, 2016A Cloud-Free Makeover of Google Maps Courtesy of Landsat 8

Google Maps Blog announced on June 26, 2016 that Google Maps and Google Earth have a new cloud-free mosaic based on Landsat 8 data.

wheat
Jun 27, 2016Agriculture: The View From Space

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations published an audio article about using geospatial data, including Landsat, to monitor would agriculture on soundcloud.

drawing of Restore-L and Landsat 7
Jun 23, 2016Restore-L Mission to Demonstrate Technology by Refueling Landsat 7

NASA moved forward with plans to execute the ambitious Restore-L mission, an endeavor to launch a robotic spacecraft in 2020 to refuel a live satellite. The current candidate client for this venture is USGS-operated Landsat 7.

Mike Mackowski
Jun 22, 2016Maker of a Miniature Landsat 8

We asked Mike what inspired him to create the miniature Landsat 8 and found out that making model spacecraft has been a lifetime hobby for him.

Flying High: Landsat 8 Sees the International Space Station
Jun 22, 2016Flying High: Landsat 8 Sees the International Space Station

We are used to seeing photographs captured by the International Space Station, but on June 19, 2016 Landsat 8 caught a glimpse of the station itself.

Sierra Nevada Snowpack Not Likely To Recover from Drought Until 2019
Jun 21, 2016Sierra Nevada Snowpack Not Likely To Recover from Drought Until 2019

Even with this winter’s strong El Niño, the Sierra Nevada snowpack will likely take until 2019 to return to pre-drought levels, according to new research.

NASA researchers in the field
Jun 2, 2016Details of a Greening Arctic

The northern reaches of North America are getting greener, according to a NASA study that provides the most detailed look yet at plant life across Alaska and Canada. In a changing climate, almost a third of the land cover – much of it Arctic [...]

west Antarctica
Jun 1, 2016Antarctic Coastline Images Reveal Four Decades of Ice Loss to Ocean

A study of images along 2000 kilometers of West Antarctica’s coastline has shown the loss of about 1000 square kilometers of ice – an area equivalent to the city of Berlin – over the past 40 years.

12 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, May 2016
May 31, 201612 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, May 2016

The International Charter is a system that supplies free satellite imagery to emergency responders anywhere in the world. The Charter concept is this: a single phone number is made available to authorized parties providing 24/7 contact to a [...]

Thirsting for Equitable Water Distribution, Australia Turns to Landsat
May 25, 2016Thirsting for Equitable Water Distribution, Australia Turns to Landsat

Since record keeping began in 1860, no period has been drier for southeastern Australia than the decade-long Millennium Drought. The lack of rain between 1997 and 2009 led to livestock losses, crop failures, and percentage drops in the Australian GDP.

dead trees in the Sierra Nevadas
May 20, 2016Decades of Foothill Forest Growth in Sierra Nevada Mountains Erased Due to California’s Extreme Drought

Analyzing a three-decade record of vegetation cover change from the Landsat to compare previous controls on Sierra Nevada forest growth rates and effects of recent fluctuations in water availability since the mid-1980s.

Trees burned by the Summit Fire
May 19, 2016Landsat Data Show Rapid Recovery for Some Forests in Santa Cruz Mountains Despite Drought

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat satellite images over the past three decades showed that the severe drought periods recorded since the 1980s have not slowed rapid tree and shrub growth, especially on steep slopes burned recently by [...]

Thermal Infrared Sensor-2 Instrument Cryocooler Contract Awarded for Landsat 9
May 17, 2016Thermal Infrared Sensor-2 Instrument Cryocooler Contract Awarded for Landsat 9

NASA has awarded a sole source contract to Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation of Boulder, Colorado, for the Thermal Infrared Sensor-2 (TIRS-2) instrument Cryocooler for Landsat 9.

bird
May 16, 2016Landsat Helps Feed Tired And Hungry Birds

The BirdReturns program, created by The Nature Conservancy of California, is an effort to provide "pop-up habitats" for some of the millions of shorebirds, such as sandpipers and plovers, that migrate each year from their summer breeding grounds [...]

Tom Loveland
May 11, 2016What’s the Big Idea? — Charting Change from the Skies

Tom Loveland, research scientist with the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, explains how he uses data — both past and present — to help scientists, natural resource managers, and the public better understand how the face of [...]

19 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, April 2016
Apr 30, 201619 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, April 2016

The Charter concept is this: a single phone number is made available to authorized parties providing 24/7 contact to a person who can activate the charter. Once activated, a project manager takes charge.

irrigation photo
Apr 29, 2016Mapping Water Use: Landsat and America’s Water Resources

Water is one of our nation’s most important natural resources, one that’s long been considered inexhaustible. Yet changes in land use, climate, and population demographics are placing unprecedented demands on America’s water supplies. As [...]

Top 40 NASA Spin-offs
Apr 28, 2016Landsat Featured Among Top 40 NASA Spin-offs

For its fortieth anniversary, the NASA Tech Briefs publication published an article about the top 40 NASA Spin-offs of the last four decades. Landsat data is directly involved in three of the featured technologies.

tornado destruction
Apr 27, 2016April 27, 2011–Five Years Later: A Satellite Imagery Perspective

On April 27, 2011, a severe weather outbreak occurred across the southeastern United States, resulting in 199 tornadoes across the region and over 300 fatalities.

Landscape of West Kalimantan, Indonesia by Yayan Indriatmoko , CIFOR
Apr 27, 2016Staying Alert: How a New Landsat-Based Tool Spots Deforestation

Forests are commodities. The biggest driver of deforestation worldwide is the economic value of trees and the land they stand on. With the high demand for agricultural land and wood products, deforestation has become an intractable problem.

Antennae at a ground receiving station
Apr 26, 2016AIA White Paper Focuses on Importance of Earth Observation

Landsat is mentioned often in this 22-page report.

Preparing an optical profiler
Apr 25, 2016A Real-Life Bay Watch: NASA Helps Monitor LA Coastline

When a Los Angeles water treatment plant had to discharge treated water closer to shore than usual in the fall of 2015 due to repair work, NASA satellite observations helped scientists from the City of Los Angeles and local research institutions [...]

report cover
Apr 18, 2016USGS Open-Report File: Users and uses of Landsat 8 satellite imagery—2014 survey results

In 2013, Landsat 8 began adding high quality, global, moderate-resolution imagery to the more than 40-year archive of Landsat imagery. To assess the potential effects of the availability of Landsat 8 imagery on users and their work, the U.S. [...]

Canadian forest changes 1985-2011
Apr 18, 2016Landsat Used to Recreate the History of Canada’s Forests

Canada has recreated the recent history of its forest disturbance and related recovery using Landsat data; a history that would otherwise not be possible to recreate in a manner that is spatially explicit and at a spatial resolution of relevance [...]

TIRS telescope
Apr 12, 2016USGS TIRS Update

Toward the end of April, reprocessing efforts will begin for Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS scenes acquired from January 1 to March 31, along with data acquired during April, to create nominal Level-1 products containing valid TIRS data. 

tornado damage Perry Co. 2015
Apr 11, 2016Landsat Imagery Helps Determine Tornado Tracks

On December 23, 2015, an unusual early winter season tornado outbreak struck much of the Tennessee Valley.

WELD data product; Collyer, Kansas
Mar 31, 2016WELD View: Using the Big Picture to See the Finer Details

A first of its kind, the WELD data products were designed with the purpose of providing scienctific quality Landat data consistent in both temporal resolution and quality at a continental scale with limited clouds. WELD products are available at [...]

20 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, March 2016
Mar 31, 201620 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, March 2016

The Charter concept is this: a single phone number is made available to authorized parties providing 24/7 contact to a person who can activate the charter.

diagram about social benefits of data
Mar 29, 2016Thinking on the Socioeconomic Impacts of Data Democracy

If the impact that data democracy and the knowledge commons has on society is of interest to you, you'll be interested to know that USGS has published an Open Report of the Workshop on Assessing the Impact and Value of Open Geospatial Information.

EAA4 brochure cover
Mar 29, 2016Earth as Art 4: A Fusion of Science and Art

At first glance, science and art might seem like an unlikely pairing. Yet throughout history, the intersection of these two fields has often resulted in science-based works of sublime beauty.

2016 William T. Pecora Award Announcement
Mar 28, 20162016 William T. Pecora Award Announcement

The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. The Department of the Interior (DOI) and the National Aeronautics and [...]

wetlands in winter
Mar 16, 2016New Technique Tracks ‘Heartbeat’ of Hundreds of Wetlands

Across the U.S. and particularly in Washington state, very little is known about the acreage, yearly flooding cycles and even the actual locations of wetlands. Even hazier is what could happen to these vital ecosystems under climate change.

Sentinel-2A
Mar 15, 2016USGS Partners with European Space Agency to Deliver Copernicus Earth Data

USGS and ESA have established an innovative partnership to enable USGS storage and redistribution of Earth observation data acquired by Copernicus program satellites.

126 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, Feb. 2016
Feb 29, 2016126 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, Feb. 2016

This month, 126 Landsat scenes were ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for Charter activations.

Landsat 8 Used to Pinpoint Shipwrecks
Feb 23, 2016Landsat 8 Used to Pinpoint Shipwrecks

Nearshore shipwrecks can leave telltale sediment plumes at the sea’s surface that reveal their location. Using Landsat 8 data, researchers have detected plumes extending as far as 4 kilometers (~2.5 miles) downstream from shallow shipwreck [...]

Tim Assal
Feb 16, 2016Documenting Spatial and Temporal Trends of Drought

We turned to the remote sensing archive to determine if drought altered forest structure over the course of a decade-and-a-half. We analyzed 22 years of Landsat satellite data to determine changes in forest condition between 1985 and 2012.

TIRS diagram
Feb 12, 2016Landsat 8 TIRS Updates from USGS

As of Feb. 12, 2016, many of the Landsat 8 scenes acquired from October to December 2015 have been reprocessed into nominal Level-1 products containing valid TIRS data and are available for download, and can also be submitted for higher-level [...]

in the field
Feb 2, 2016A New Observation Method That Sees the Forest for the Trees

A marriage in the remote forests of China promises to unite two important forces to better inform the health and future of biodiversity. The union is reported in this week’s journal Ecological Indicators by Michigan State University researchers.

56 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, Jan. 2016
Jan 31, 201656 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, Jan. 2016

The Charter as a one-stop-shop for impact maps—an essential resource, since in many cases satellite data are the only practical method to assess current ground conditions after a disaster.

paper graphic from Kays et al.
Jan 29, 2016Science, Nature, and Landsat in 2015

Last year, Landsat data were used in some aspect to inform more than a dozen research papers published in Science, Nature and Nature’s discipline-specific journals. The paper topics included animal migration patterns, [...]

D.C. covered in snow
Jan 26, 2016Landsat Sees a Blizzard, January 24, 2016

On January 24, 2016 Landsat 8 acquired a clear view—from South Carolina to Pennsylvania—the day after a blizzard covered much of the eastern United States in snow. Watch as more than 620 miles (1,000 km) of landscape are shown in detail.

Tim Newman at LSTM
Jan 25, 2016Landsat Science Team Meeting – Jan. 2016

The USGS Landsat website has made all presentations given at the January 2016 Landsat Science Meeting available online.

Edits to NOAA Chart for Yukon River
Jan 18, 2016Satellite Images are Source for First-of-its-Kind Charts of Alaska’s Yukon River

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has issued provisional charts for barge operators and others traversing Alaska’s challenging Yukon River.