October 2014


UNC paleontologists in the field
Oct 22, 2014Dinosaur GPS

[by Frank Graff, UNC-TV] Dr. Robert Anemone is the head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. But he works out of a pretty standard office. The administrative assistant greets you in the outer [...]

abandoned farm in Montana
Sep 26, 2014Modeling a Changing American Landscape

[By Jon Campbell, USGS] Land change is a signature activity of human civilization. Since the dawn of history, people have purposefully converted natural landscapes to human-dominated areas. Typical motivations for land change are cultivation [...]

Giant kelp
Jul 31, 2014Tracking Giant Kelp From Space

[By: Julie Cohen, UC Santa Barbara] Citizen scientists worldwide are invited to take part in marine ecology research, and they won’t have to get their feet wet to do it. The Floating Forests project, an initiative spearheaded by scientists at UC [...]

Chart showing old-growth forest loss in Indonesia, 2000-2012
Jul 30, 2014A Closer Look at Old-Growth Forest Loss in Indonesia

Jul 30, 2014 • A group of researchers from the University of Maryland, the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, and the World Resource Institute joined forces to remedy the lack of consensus about the amount of old-growth forest clearing [...]

aquaculture operation
May 28, 2014Losing Tidal Flats Around the Yellow Sea

May 28, 2014 • Using Landsat time series data, a group of Australian and British ecologist have found that the Yellow Sea has lost 28% of its tidal flats in the last three decades. The Yellow Sea lies east of mainland China and west of the [...]

CLASlite team
Mar 7, 2014Carnegie Landsat Analysis System-lite (CLASlite) Classroom Launches in Spanish

[Source: Moore Foundation] On March 4, 2014, the CLASlite team at the Carnegie Institution for Science (Department of Global Ecology) launched the Spanish version of the Carnegie Landsat Analysis System-lite (or CLASlite) Classroom, hosted by [...]

newly established black mangrove grows amid salt marsh plants north of St. Augustine, Florida
Dec 30, 2013Landsat Satellite Sees Florida Mangroves Migrate North

Cold-sensitive mangrove forests have expanded dramatically along Florida's Atlantic Coast since the mid-1980s, as the frequency of killing frosts has declined, according to a new study based on 28 years of satellite data from the NASA-USGS [...]

CLASlite in Peru
Dec 18, 2013Forest Monitoring: Bringing the Power to the People

[Source: Carnegie Institution for Science] Forest conservation is an issue of major concern to communities large and small around the globe. But gathering the monitoring data needed to make the right decisions has proven extremely prohibitive [...]

Leonard Lopate
Aug 8, 2013Environmental Monitoring with Public Domain Satellites

WNYC's Leonard Lopate talks with SkyTruth president, John Amos, about using public domain satellite imagery, such as Landsat, to monitor the environment. SkyTruth uses all types of satellite imagery to monitor environmental changes and [...]

May 9, 2013Landsat Images Provide the Gold Standard for New Earth Applications

Images from Landsat satellites provided free to the public by the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey were the starting points for “a new breakthrough” reported today by Time and announced on the Official Google Blog. Using its [...]

Feb 1, 2013Landsat Monitors Chesapeake Bay Change

Landsat is a critical and invaluable tool for characterizing the landscape and mapping it over time. Landsat data provides a baseline of observations for science about how human activities on the land affect water quality, affect wildlife [...]

Jan 14, 2013Sensing Forest Disturbance: Landsat Sees Insect Outbreaks From Space

A new way of studying and visualizing Earth science data from a NASA and U.S. Geological Survey satellite program is resulting in, for the first time, the ability to tease out the small events that can cause big changes in an ecosystem. Called [...]

Nov 15, 2012NASA DEVELOP: Colorado Ecological Forecasting

This past summer, NASA DEVELOP interns partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey and the USDA Forest Service to create a fine resolution forest cover classification model of Fraser Experimental Forest (FEF), located in northwestern Colorado. [...]

Cladophora on shore of N. Manitou Island
Sep 26, 2012Using Landsat to Map Cladophora in the Great Lakes

Cladophora, a nuisance, native green algae that grows attached to solid substrate in all of the Laurentian Great Lakes, has expanded its range partially due to invasive quagga and zebra mussels. During significant storm events it detaches and [...]

Shemya Island
Aug 29, 2012Analyzing Landsat to Mitigate Bird/Aircraft Collisions

The presence of birds near an aircraft runway is a constant concern. Although deadly crashes are rare, a bird strike to the windshield can cause visibility issues for pilots, and strikes to jet engines can cause engine failure. Flocks of birds [...]

Aug 20, 2012Landsat Shows Yellowstone Burn Recovery

A combination of lightning, drought and human activity caused fires to scorch more than one-third of Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1988. Within a year, burn scars cast a sharp outline on the 793,880 acres affected by fire, [...]

Jun 28, 2012“Mud Island”

• Poplar Island rises out of the Chesapeake Bay as it's rebuilt by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers using dredged mud from the Baltimore Harbor which lies about 30 miles (about 48 kilometers) north of the island. In these Landsat images, [...]

Chesapeake Bay region
Jun 19, 2012EarthSky Interview with Peter Claggett: Seeing Chesapeake Bay Changes with Landsat

Satellite images show big changes happening to Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S., where freshwater meets the sea. Peter Claggett is a research geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey's Eastern Geographic Science Center. [...]

May 30, 2012ESA Video Explores the Mississippi River Delta with Landsat

Source: ESA Online Videos • A recent European Space Agency (ESA) online video features a Landsat image from October 3, 2011 showing the Mississippi River Delta, where the largest river in the United States empties into the Gulf of Mexico. [...]

Pinnacle III reef in Discovery Bay
Jan 26, 2012Detecting Detrimental Change in Coral Reefs

Over dinner on R.V. Calypso while anchored on the lee side of Glover's Reef in Belize, Jacques Cousteau told Phil Dustan that he suspected humans were having a negative impact on coral reefs. Dustan—a young ocean ecologist who had worked in the [...]

beached giant kelp
Dec 23, 2011Explaining Beached Kelp

Have you ever walked along a California coast and wondered about all of the kelp washed-up on shore? In winter when storms are more frequent, giant kelp is regularly washed ashore. University of California, Santa Barbara researcher David Reed [...]

Kirtland's Warbler
Dec 9, 2011Satellite Data Shows that Kirtland’s Warblers Prefer Forests After Fire

Kirtland's warblers are an endangered species of lightweight little birds with bright yellow-bellies that summer in North America and winter in the Bahamas. But be it their winter or their summer home, a new study using data from NASA-built [...]

aspen stand suffering from sudden aspen decline
Dec 6, 2011Consequences of Aspen Die-off

Trembling aspen are dying. No tree species in North America has a broader habitat and no other is as large (a single clone can be a hundred acres in size). So their recent widespread mortality, caused by a severe five-year drought and higher [...]

caribou
Dec 5, 2011Canadian Caribou Habitat Declines

Source: Global Forest Watch Canada At the International Society of Conservation Biology Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, representatives from the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) in Quebec Canada today presented dramatic scientific [...]

Caernarvon freshwater diversion in Louisiana.
Aug 11, 2011Wetland Restoration Challenges

A recent publication inGeophysical Research Letters has called into question the effectiveness of current wetland restoration methods. Using more than two decades worth of Landsat data, Dr. Michael Kearney of the University of Maryland analyzed [...]

Rice paddies
Jul 19, 2011Monitoring Waterbird Habitat

In an article published this month in The International Journal of Avian Science,Spanish researchers used Landsat data to map waterbird habitat in rice paddies adjacent to the Doñana National Park in southwestern Spain. As the area of natural [...]

Kelp forest in Santa Barbara Channel.
May 24, 2011Scientists Track Environmental Influences on Giant Kelp with Help from Landsat Data

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have developed new methods for studying how environmental factors and climate affect giant kelp forest ecosystems at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales. The scientists merged data collected underwater by [...]

Yellowstone National Park and the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming
Sep 8, 2010Landsat Reveal Surprising Connection Between Beetle Attacks, Wildfire

If your summer travels have taken you across the Rocky Mountains, you've probably seen large swaths of reddish trees dotting otherwise green forests. While it may look like autumn has come early to the mountains, evergreen trees don't change [...]

A portion of the map showing mangrove forests distributions of the world.
Aug 18, 2010Landsat Enables World’s Most Comprehensive Mangrove Assessment

The most definitive map of Earth’s mangrove forests has been created with Landsat data. A group of scientists, led by Chandra Giri from USGS-EROS, has calculated that approximately 53,190 square miles (137, 760 km²) of mangroves exists, 12.3 [...]

Black-throated Blue Warbler
Jun 1, 2010Lasers Together with Landsat Help Researchers Predict Birds’ Preferred Habitat

Every spring, migratory birds like the Black-throated Blue Warbler journey from tropical Caribbean or South American refuges to North American forests. But which forest patch will they call home this year? And, how can researchers predict where [...]

Blacklegged tick
May 12, 2010Tick Hunting with Landsat, ASTER, and QuickBird

Contributor: Janet Anderson, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL Using state-of-the-art NASA satellite information, about a dozen students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, [...]

woodpecker
Mar 29, 2010Extreme Weather Impacts Migratory Birds

Every year, hurricanes and droughts wreak havoc on human lives and property around the world. And according to a pair of new NASA-funded studies, migratory birds also experience severe impacts to their habitats and populations from these events. [...]

urban heat island effect graphic
Dec 15, 2009Ecosystem, Vegetation Affect Intensity of Urban Heat Island Effect

NASA researchers studying urban landscapes have found that the intensity of the "heat island" created by a city depends on the ecosystem it replaced and on the regional climate. Urban areas developed in arid and semi-arid regions show far less [...]

Nov 12, 2009Landsat Used to Estimate Deforestation in Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem

On Indonesia's island of Sumatra a large expanse of tropical rainforest, known as the Leuser Ecosystem, is home to many endangered species of plants and animals. Among its more famous animals are orangutans, rhinoceros, elephants, and tigers. [...]

Jul 3, 2009Sensor Synergy: Landsat Together with SAR and Lidar Maps Boreal Wetlands

Researchers from Columbia University and the University of Western Ontario have combined Landsat TM data with European Remote Sensing 2 radar data and lidar-derived elevation data to map a remote boreal landscape in northern Alberta, Canada at a [...]

Jun 3, 2009Scientists Use Landsat to Assess Potential Impacts of Ocean Acidification

In a new study published in the Marine Ecology Progress Series, scientists have used Landsat 7 data to assess coral reef productivity and calcification in Florida's northern reef tract (northeast of the Florida Keys). Landsat data were used to [...]

Emperor penguins
Jun 2, 2009Scientists Map Penguins From Space with Landsat

Source: Athena Dinar & Linda Capper, British Antarctic Survey Penguin poo (guano) stains, visible from space, have helped British scientists locate emperor penguin breeding colonies in Antarctica. Knowing their location provides a baseline [...]

coral reef map
Mar 31, 2009Landsat Used to Map Persian Gulf Coral Reefs

Contributor: Rashmi De Roy, World Wildlife Foundation In 2006, the WWF helped prepare the first map of coral habitats in the southeastern Persian Gulf, highlighting some of the most extensive and biologically important coral reefs around the [...]

Oct 31, 2008Tracking Biodiversity in the Amazon Rain Forests

Source: Lance Nixon, South Dakota State University NASA is paying researchers on the cool prairies of South Dakota to help track biodiversity in the steamy rain forests of the Brazilian Amazon.It’s not as odd as it sounds. Professor Mark [...]

glacially formed depressions that hold dynamic wetlands
Sep 30, 2008Landsat, Potholes, and Climate Change

Contributor: Laura E.P. Rocchio What could Landsat, potholes, and climate change have in common? Well—when you use the term “potholes” to refer to the glacially-formed wetland depressions of the Prairie Pothole Region of central North Read more [...]

Green sea turtle.
Aug 31, 2008Landsat Important to Coastal Studies

Contributor: Laura E.P. Rocchio When you think of Landsat, images of the Earth’s land surface rightly come to mind because that is the type of imagery that Landsat was designed to collect. However, also included in that land category are coastal [...]

Apr 22, 2008An Earth Day Perspective: NASA Satellites Aid in Chesapeake Bay Recovery

Contact: Andrew Freeberg From the distant reaches of the universe, to black holes and Saturn’s rings, NASA explores some of the most far-out parts of space. But NASA also does research much closer to home. In fact, NASA Earth Science satellites [...]

Chesapeake Bay
Apr 22, 2008Landsat’s Role in Chesapeake Bay Management

• John Smith’s Bay Then & Now - When Captain John Smith first explored the Chesapeake Bay in 1607, the “Great Shellfish Bay,” as it was called by the Algonquian Natives, had transparent waters teeming with aquatic life, massive Read [...]

Feb 10, 2008Establishing Historical Land Cover

USGS and NASA researchers teamed together in a highly ambitious effort to reconstruct historical land cover and biophysical parameters of the eastern U.S. Their resulting data sets will support future climate modeling, studies concerning the [...]

Lantana
Feb 1, 2008Landsat Tracks Down A Pesky Weed in Australia

Source: Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries, Australia Queensland scientists are using satellite technology to help manage one of Australia’s most damaging weeds. “This a world first,’’ Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries [...]

Pilot Jim Demers (left) and researchers John Lekki (center) and Norman Prokop (right)
Aug 28, 2007Sensor Synergy: Great Lakes Algae Monitoring

A rare bird has been flying over the Great Lakes recently, and it isn't migrating or searching for prey. This hawkeyed species is a Learjet aircraft outfitted with an advanced imaging system. Engineers at NASA's Glenn Research Center in [...]

A Landsat 7 image of Okawa Bay
Jan 24, 2007Landsat Helps Monitor Toxic Algal Blooms in New Zealand

Every summer in New Zealand, recreational swimming in Okawa Bay is often prohibited because of toxic algal blooms. According to a Jan. 20 article in the New Zealand Herald, Waikato University biologist Brendan Hicks is using Landsat data to both [...]