“Giant kelp forests are especially sensitive to environmental changes and have a history of undergoing abrupt, dramatic declines and increases in response to a variety of climatic and human-induced factors. The application of our remote sensing methods to the long-term (continuous since 1984), high frequency (~ once per month) global coverage of Landsat imagery is providing a unique opportunity for studying these dynamics over spatial and temporal scales that were previously impossible to examine. The recent decision to make Landsat data available to the public at no charge has greatly facilitated our use of this phenomenal resource for investigating giant kelp forests and is proving to be an invaluable tool in marine spatial planning and evaluation of recently established no-take marine reserves.”

“The USGS’s Landsat mission has an incredible 40-year record of the planet’s changing landscape, with virtually every spot imaged every eight days. It’s an incredible scientific asset.”

“Landsat is the oldest continually operated program of its kind: Its satellites have been capturing images of the Earth since the Nixon administration.”

“Landsat 8 can collect more than 700 images per day—14 times as much as in the 1980s.”

“When the archive was opened, there were more Landsat images outside it than in it. Many images were retained by the global network of receiving stations. An effort to consolidate these has added more than 3 million images to the repository since 2010; agreements are in place for a further 2 million to be ingested.”

“Usage rocketed in 2008, when Landsat made its images free. More than a million images were downloaded in the first year, compared with a previous annual high of 25,000 images sold. More than 20 million images have been downloaded since the archive opened and the rate continues to increase.”

“A new era of open-access satellite data has arrived. In 2008, The U.S. Geological Survey released for free to the public its Landsat archive, which dates back to the 1970s and is the world’s largest collection of Earth imagery.”

“Landsat data gives us a fuller picture of the planet we live on and the resources humanity needs to survive.”

“In the world of water resource management, Landsat has played a key role in providing objective and continuous data for the United States, particularly in the arid west. Water-related benefits of Landsat imagery are also reaped far beyond the United States’ borders in countries such as Chile, Australia, Morocco, Sudan, and Venezuela, which are using Landsat data to make informed decisions regarding natural resource allocation and use.”

“The Landsat mission has been monitoring Earth from orbit for more than 40 years. It is by far the longest continuous record of the surface of the planet, and certainly one of the most valuable data sets in existence.”

“Fire perimeters collected using Landsat imagery are accurate, timely and cost-effective.”

“Landsat is currently the only satellite program to provide a consistent, cross-calibrated set of records stretching back over more than four decades, which in turn means the program occupies a key position in the provision of terrestrial essential climate variables.”

“An engineering degree opens many doors. It has served me well.”

“The value of Landsat data is internationally recognized as indispensable to science, natural resource management, commerce, security, foreign policy, agriculture, and education.”