July 2011


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 [...]

adult bison
Nov 2, 2006Landsat Data Help National Park Service Manage Bison in Yellowstone

Contributor: Gretchen Cook-Anderson Grainy photographs of America's Old West recall a time when large bison herds migrated across wide prairie lands, 30 million strong, with the changing seasons determining their path and destination. Now, NASA [...]

A Landsat 7image of a coral reef near Key Largo, Florida.
Oct 3, 2006Landsat and MODIS Data Help Assess the Health of Florida’s Coral Reefs

Contributor: Mike Bettwy NASA satellite data was used to help monitor the health of Florida's coral reef as part of a field research effort completed this August and September. The project was the first comprehensive assessment of the resiliency [...]

Hawaii's Pearl and Hermes Atoll image
Jul 27, 2006Landsat Coral Reef Images Key to New Global Survey

Detailed global coral reef maps created with Landsat 7 imagery have enabled scientists to determine which reefs have adequate protection. It is well documented that coral reef biodiversity is in decline due to anthropogenic influences such as [...]

Mesopotamian marshes
Apr 6, 2006Supporting Restoration of the “Garden of Eden”: Mesopotamian Wetlands

Contributor: Jeff Masek The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has undertaken an assessment of the recent dramatic decline in some unique Mesopotamian marshes, and has relied heavily on Landsat data for their mapping. The Mesopotamian [...]

Landsat-derived record of increasing urbanization
Apr 6, 2006Planning for Restoration of Chesapeake Bay

Contributor: Scott Goetz After years of scientific research, policy analysis, public education, and substantial sums of money spent, restoration of Chesapeake Bay remains a challenge. Few of the indicators of habitat, fisheries, or water quality [...]

Florida Keys coral reefs
Apr 6, 2006Mapping Coral Reefs

Not long ago, people searching for coral reefs traveled by boat or plane, and relied on notes from captains who spotted them on voyages in the 1800s.  Knowing the location and distribution of reefs is important for exploring their role in the [...]