May 2018


cloud forest El Yunque
May 31, 2018Data Record for Tropical Forest Monitoring Extended with New Cloud-Detection Method

A new, highly accurate, automated way to detect clouds and their shadows from satellite images over unusually cloudy places.

Rocky Mountain National Park
Apr 27, 2018Watching A Quarter Century of North American Forest Dynamics with Landsat

Annual maps of the lower-48 United States produced from Landsat satellite data illustrate how these dynamic systems changed from 1986-2010.

before and after mangrove images
Apr 13, 2018NASA Mapping Hurricane Damage to Everglades and Puerto Rico Forests

Last spring, NASA researchers flew over the Everglades and Puerto Rico to measure how mangroves and rainforests grow and evolve over time, then hurricanes Irma and Maria struck.

map of forest damage on Puerto Rico
Mar 1, 2018Assessing the Impact of Hurricanes on Puerto Rico’s Forests

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have produced a rapid mapping of the disturbance intensity across Puerto Rico’s forests with the help of Google Earth Engine and Landsat 8.

Warren Cohen
Feb 26, 2018USGS Video: Landsat in Action—Forestry Research with Warren Cohen

Warren Cohen from the USDA Forest Service talks about the value of Landsat's long history of observations in monitoring and assessing forests.

Mike Wulder
Jan 16, 2018USGS Video: Landsat in Action—Monitoring Canada’s Forest with Mike Wulder

In this USGS Landsat in Action video Mike Wulder of Canada's Forest Service talks about the value Landsat images have for mapping and monitoring Canada's forested areas.

Hankui Zhang
Jan 11, 2018Satellite-based Program to More Accurately Identify Land Cover

A new program uses Landsat satellite data to automatically categorize what’s on the ground more accurately than other land cover products.

Harvested and burned forests of Canada from 1985-2010
Nov 6, 2017Tracking Forest Change in Canada

Researchers used a time series of data from Landsat satellites to quantify areas burned or harvested across Canada.

GEO Announces Major Milestone Reached in Forest Monitoring from Space
Oct 1, 2017GEO Announces Major Milestone Reached in Forest Monitoring from Space

Thanks to a major effort to ensure full satellite coverage of the world’s forests, all countries now have the necessary data for annual forest monitoring for the first time ever.

trees in Myanmar
May 17, 2017Myanmar’s Extensive Forests Are Declining Rapidly

The loss of intact forest cover in Myanmar has accelerated in the past decade, according to a study by Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists and partners.

forest near Mt. Rainer
May 16, 2017“Listening to Landscapes” Wins Science’s People Choice Award for 2017 Data Stories Contest

The data animation based on LandTrendr-derived land cover change illustrates the effects of political boundaries on forest cover as well as the relationship between insect infestations and forest fire behavior.

Chesapeake Bay tributary
May 2, 2017Revolutionizing Land Cover and Land Change Research

A new initiative called Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection provides definitive, timely information on how, why, and where the planet is changing.

Map of harvest and wildfire forest changes in Canada
Apr 10, 2017Canada’s Forests Return Following Disturbance

Tens-of-thousands of Landsat images representing billions of pixels, were used by White and co-authors to map forest wildfire and harvesting on an annual basis and to then characterize the return of forest vegetation following the disturbance.

Uncertainty at the Forest's Edge
Dec 16, 2016Uncertainty at the Forest’s Edge

What edge effect means for U.S. southeastern forests.

forest inventory
Dec 16, 2016How FastEmap is Helping Foresters

A new a tool to help with annual forest mapping.

forest near Mt. Hood
Dec 15, 2016Fingerprinting Carbon Loss in Pacific Northwest Forests

Looking at the causes of carbon loss in Pacific Northwest forests.

Helena Forest Service
Dec 15, 2016A More Detailed Map for Forest Managers

A Landsat-based continuous mapping method to enable better forest management.

Map of Columbia and the state of its forests
Nov 29, 2016Boston University Researchers Use Landsat to Discern Patterns of Deforestation Through the Decades

Colombia loses hundreds of km2 of rainforest every year to agriculture and industry.

RI forest 2015
Nov 21, 2016Landsat 8 Shows Forest Cover in Rhode Island with Gypsy Moth Damage

Twin satellite views show gypsy moth destruction in Rhode Island.

slash and burn deforestation
Nov 17, 2016Landsat Eyes Help Guard the World’s Forests

If trees could talk, they would say that Hansen is among their best friends. He is one the world's foremost forest sentries.

Txomin Hermosilla
Nov 1, 2016Visualizing Canada’s Forest Change, 1985–2011

A joint project of University of British Columbia and the Canadian Forest Service—made possible by free and open access to the Landsat archive—has characterized the changes to Canada's forest between 1985 and 2012.

Rhode Island gypsy moth damage
Oct 5, 2016New Satellite View of Gypsy Moth Damage in New England

Valerie Pasquarella, a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Northeast Climate Science Center, recently released a series of new maps showing the magnitude and extent of damage from the current gypsy moth outbreak in [...]

fisheye view of field team
Aug 24, 2016Linking Field and Space-Based Observations

A key component of the research is our ability to connect what we see on the ground with what we see from the sky via satellite imagery.

trees killed by pine beetles
Jul 19, 2016Landsat—The Watchman that Never Sleeps

In western North America, mountain pine beetles infest and ravage thousands of acres of forest lands. Landsat satellites bear witness to the onslaught in a way that neither humans nor most other satellites can.

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.

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 [...]

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.

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 [...]

forest and fungi
Mar 31, 2016Landsat Uncovers Underground Forest Fungi

A NASA-led team of scientists has developed the first-ever method for detecting the presence of different types of underground forest fungi from space, information that may help researchers predict how climate change will alter forest habitats.

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.

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.

longwall mining machine
Dec 16, 2015Assessing Longwall Mining Impacts on the Forests Above

Erin Pfeil-McCullough, a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, gave a talk at #AGU15 on insights that she has gained from her research to determine what impacts longwall mining has on forest canopies above as the ground subsides and [...]

fire boundary, Red Lassic
Dec 15, 2015Forest Disturbances and their Causes in California

Courtney Reents, a graduate student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented a poster on forest disturbance in California at #AGU15.

U.S. forest
Dec 14, 2015Finding Where U.S. Forests Have Been Undisturbed for a Quarter Century

Chengquan Huang presented a poster explaining where to find U.S. forests that have been undisturbed for last 25 years at #AGU15. His research relied on Landsat to both find these forests and understand forest disturbance trends in the U.S.

Government Leaders Endorse Forests as Key Climate Solution
Dec 1, 2015Government Leaders Endorse Forests as Key Climate Solution

Heads of Government from major forest countries and partner countries joined together on Nov. 30, 2015 to endorse forests as a key climate solution. They recommitted to providing strong, collective and urgent action to promote equitable rural [...]

forest fall colors
Oct 28, 2015Forest Disturbance History from Landsat Released, 1986-2010

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory DAAC, has just release a Landsat-based forest disturbance history covering the years between 1986 and 2010.

Matt Hansen
Oct 21, 2015Visualizing Data—Landsat at the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum has published a talk given by Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics from Carnegie Mellon and Matthew Hansen, a remote sensing specialist at the University of Maryland, that demonstrates how visualizing big data can [...]

ridge-top bristlecone pine forest
Oct 5, 2015A forest by any other name?
Semantics, carbon implications, and solutions


Using the world’s first global, Landsat-based 30-meter resolution map of tree cover, researchers found that ambiguity of the term “forest” has the potential to create 13 percent discrepancies in forest area maps. While ecologists have long [...]

New Global Data Finds Tropical Forests Declining in Overlooked Hotspots
Sep 2, 2015New Global Data Finds Tropical Forests Declining in Overlooked Hotspots

The world lost more than 18 million hectares (45 million acres) of tree cover in 2014, an area twice the size of Portugal, according to new data from the University of Maryland (UMD) and Google released by Global Forest Watch. The data find that [...]

Forester showing pine beetle damage
Aug 19, 2015Improved Forest Disturbance Monitoring via an Algorithm Ensemble

Forest resource managers, natural resource policy makers, and global change scientists need comprehensive, consistent, and up-to-date information on trends in forest cover and condition. This information is essential for understanding carbon [...]

the sound of deforestation
May 28, 2015The Sound of Deforestation, A Hack to Make Data Sing

In his lightning talk Lagomasino proposed a challenge to help study deforestation by linking satellite imagery and ground-images gathered via crowdsourcing

Mountain pine beetle destruction
Mar 7, 2015Landsat-Based Insect Atlas Gives Best View of Outbreaks in Forests

Scientists for the first time have simultaneously compared widespread impacts from two of the most common forest insects in the West—mountain pine beetle and western spruce budworm – an advance that could lead to more effective management policies.

DNC deforestation
Feb 25, 2015Landsat Shows Felling of Tropical Trees Has Soared

The rate at which tropical forests were cut, burned or otherwise lost from the 1990s through the 2000s accelerated by 62 percent, according to a new study which dramatically reverses a previous estimate of a 25 percent slowdown over the same [...]

Moore and Surui chief
Jan 28, 2015Wrangling a Petabyte of Data to Better View the Earth

When viewed from space, clouds largely obscure the Earth. It isn’t a matter of time of day, angle or distance. It’s just the way it is – unless, of course, you are gazing at the planet using Google Earth. The story of how Google Earth offers [...]

Aspen Tree Trunks
Dec 22, 2014SilviaTerra: Landsat Use by a Forestry Start-up

SilviaTerra is a four-year-old start-up company with five full-time employees that is contributing to the change in the way forests are managed in the United States. The company provides next-generation, highly accurate forest inventory data to [...]

Uinta Mountains
Dec 19, 2014U.S. Forest Service Uses Landsat to Improve Estimates of Forest Disturbance

Each year the U.S. Forest Service takes a census of trees, chronicling the nation’s forest heath and timber resources. Forest managers use this information to project what U.S. forests will be like in coming decades and, if needed, to adjust [...]

boat in the Sundarbans
Oct 29, 2014Mapping South Asia’s Mangroves

Along the sea’s edge in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, the dense coastal population lives largely in symbiosis with the region’s mangrove forests. Mangroves—a vast network of intertidal trees and shrubs with their characteristic [...]

Lake Michigan phosphorus and turbidity predictions
Aug 7, 2014Landsat Aids Forest Service Research

Ensuring the health and sustainability of the nation’s forests requires scientifically credible and timely information about the extent, location, health, and ownership of these forests and the possible effects of global climate change. Forest [...]

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

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 occurring in Indonesia.