Landsat Pixel Walkers: Getting a Feel for Field Work

Landsat Pixel Walkers: Getting a Feel for Field Work

October 06, 2021 • In the summer of 2021, on the tundra of Alaska’s remote Brooks Range mountains, a team of researchers trekked some 800 miles making detailed notes of vegetation conditions on the ground. This field data, collected with a smartphone app over Landsat pixel-sized 30-square-meter plots of land, is being used to better decipher the Landsat satellite data record and thereby better understand what impacts climate change is having on the Arctic.

What happens in the Arctic has relevance for us all. As research participant Logan Berner said, “Arctic greening is really a bellwether of global climatic change.”

Two recent NASA blog posts share what it was like to be on this field trip and why the field-collected data is an important part of understanding the changes happening to the plant communities of the Arctic. You can read those posts here:

group of researchers
To better understand impacts of climate change on vegetation in the Alaskan Arctic, a group of researchers are linking long-term satellite observations with ecological field data collected while trekking through the Brooks Range in northern Alaska. Photo credit: Roman Dial

Too Remote, Too Wild, and Too Cold: Helping Satellites See Arctic Greening With Boots on the Ground
by Roberto Molar Candanosa 
for NASA Earth Expeditions

Researchers recording visual observation
Researchers record visual observations of plant community composition and density while “pixel-walking” through the Brooks Range in northern Alaska. Photo credit: Roman Dial

Unraveling the Mysteries of Arctic Greening and Browning
by Logan Berner, Patrick Burns, and Roman Dial 
for NASA Earth Observatory

Related Data Set:
ABoVE: Landsat Tundra Greenness and Summer Air Temperatures, Arctic Tundra, 1985-2016

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