Quotes to Note

“One of the most powerful capabilities we can offer is a continuous global view of our planet. Without the observations of land, precipitation, the atmosphere, and our oceans, we would be flying blind in terms of what trends have been and how we can improve of our models for the future.”

— Dalia Kirschbaum, Hydrological Sciences Lab Chief at NASA Goddard
April 22, 2022 •

“The Landsat satellite program has provided images of the Earth’s surface for more than 40 years, and so it is ideal for documenting long-term changes in ecosystems such as giant kelp forests.”

— Kyle Cavanaugh, kelpwatch.org lead scientist; UCLA
April 4, 2022 •

“Landsat 9 data will be delivered in a format that is consistent with currently available data from the previous Landsat satellites. This provides an unbroken story of land changes through over 40 years of Earth observation data.”

— Geoscience Australia
February 28, 2022 •

“It’s really a new era for Landsat, in that we’re going to have two observatories with very similar capabilities and very similar—if not identical—performances operating together. And this is going to provide more data to the Landsat mission than we’ve ever had before.”

— Chris Crawford, Landsat 9 Project Scientist (USGS)
February 23, 2022 •

“Mr. Chair, in the era of climate disasters, the value of Earth observations and global cooperation has never been more apparent.”

— Kevin Conole, Senior Program Specialist, NASA Office of International and Interagency Relations to 59th Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
February 14, 2022 •

“[B]eing able to produce maps with Landsat data that show how things have changed over time, and then actually seeing how they are improving and how we are losing less of these really critical and important ecosystems to me is really encouraging.”

— Dr. Lola Fatoyinbo; Research Physical Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
February 14, 2022 •

“Landsat is really important because it gives us that time component. We can go back in time and see what an area let’s say a coastal zone or a mangrove forest has been like over time.”

— Dr. Lola Fatoyinbo; Research Physical Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
February 14, 2022 •

“We did a study… where we were looking at the main drivers of change in mangrove forests on a global scale. And we would not have been able to do that if it wasn’t for Landsat data and the standardized, well-calibrated data sets that come out of Landsat.”

— Dr. Lola Fatoyinbo; Research Physical Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
February 14, 2022 •

“The power of Landsat is that you can travel through time and you can travel through space and tell these really rich stories to help the greater good.”

— Kate Fickas, remote sensing ecologist, and USGS Mendenhall Fellow
February 8, 2022 •

“Landsat is, on its own merits, an extremely important capability for our country. It becomes all the more important when we overlay on top of that, the challenges of climate change and the fact that we are driving our climate to a place that we haven’t seen before, scientifically.”

— Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division
February 8, 2022 •

“We can really say that we have achieved a level of remote sensing and Earth observation that we have never had before. We’re in the golden age right now with these satellites.”

— Tim Newman, USGS National Land Imaging Program coordinator, talking about the Landsat 8 & 9 constellation along with ESA’s Sentinel-2A and 2B
February 8, 2022 •

“That the Landsat data have been so useful, that the program has continued for 50 years, and that people from so many different fields of study continue to be so excited about the data: All that is amazing.”

— Virginia Norwood
February 8, 2022 •

“[T]he pivotal aspect of the Landsat mission is the acquisition and curation of the most comprehensive and longest uninterrupted cross-calibrated EO data record ever gathered, with ensured continuity, and with ongoing efforts to consistently reprocess the entire image archive to incorporate cutting-edge advances in data preprocessing, which are then distributed as ‘collections’.”

— Frantz et al., 2022
January 26, 2022 •

“Landsat 9 is really a land imaging cornerstone in guaranteeing that we’ll continue to have the types of surface measurements that we’ve had for nearly 50 years, and I think that’s significant. The user community that has developed science and application advancements around Landsat 8 will now get two observatories that are nearly identical, and we can expect to have a high-quality and reliable data stream for the next 10-plus years while Landsat continues to evolve into the future.”

— Chris Crawford, Landsat Project Scientist (USGS)
December 16, 2021 •

Landsat 9 to Provide a Wealth of Data to Landsat Archive

“Landsat’s free and open data policy allows our coastline mapping methods to be easily scaled up and applied to other coastal regions, lowering barriers to understanding recent patterns and processes of coastal change globally.”

— Robbi Bishop-Taylor, Geoscience Australia coastal Earth observation scientist
December 14, 2021 •

Shifting Shores of the Australian Continent Mapped with Landsat

“The Landsat program provides an unparalleled historical record of coastal observations that captures how the world’s coastlines have changed over time in incredible detail. “Being able to access decades of regularly acquired and consistently calibrated Landsat data for even the most remote and inaccessible regions of Australia has been critical for our shoreline mapping method.”

— Robbi Bishop-Taylor, Geoscience Australia coastal Earth observation scientist
December 14, 2021 •

Shifting Shores of the Australian Continent Mapped with Landsat

“The analysis enabled by Landsat heat data provides a foundation for planning and problem solving. Without the data, we’re just guessing about what interventions work best to mitigate hot spots… unraveling the complexity of urban heat will ultimately help us build better cities and improve residents’ quality of life.”

— Jamie Ponce, executive director of Civic Infrastructure Collaborative
December 1, 2021 •

“We need to drive towards building sustainable cities and human settlements, and this depends on how well we measure these areas and how well we can predict the growth in all these cities in the future. I believe Earth observation and geospatial technologies give us the tools needed in order for us to grow in this direction.”

— Robert Ndugwa, Chief of Data & Analytics, UN-Habitat
November 11, 2021 •
“The [Landsat-informed] World Settlement Footprint is a great example on how we can mobilize the data revolution for the benefits of all countries and cities, leaving no one behind, which is one of the leitmotifs of the 2030 agenda on sustainable development.”
— Marc Paganini, ESA
November 11, 2021 •

“The availability of continuous data streams of high quality and free of charge satellite observations such as the Sentinels of the European Copernicus program and the Landsat missions, in combination with the emergence of automated methods for large data processing and data analytics, and the democratization of computing costs, offer unprecedented opportunities to efficiently monitor the changes and trends in urban development globally.”

— Marc Paganini, ESA
November 11, 2021 •

“Having a carefully calibrated multi-satellite record allows us to ensure that we are recording changes to the Earth, and not simply changes in the instrument response. The more detailed observations from Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 allow these subtle changes to be teased out of the long-term record unambiguously.”

— Jeff Masek, Landsat 9 Project Scientist (NASA)
November 4, 2021 •

“The key role of Landsat in the context of climate change is to document the impact of climate change on global ecosystems, which is highly relevant for the future availability of food, water, and fiber resources, as well as the provision of ecosystem services including biodiversity.”

— Jeff Masek, Landsat 9 Project Scientist (NASA)
November 4, 2021 •

“Landsat 9 replaces the older Landsat 7 and represents a step up in terms of image quality and data volume. Having two state-of-the-art platforms in orbit means more frequent data with excellent image quality.”

— Jeff Masek, Landsat 9 Project Scientist (NASA)
November 4, 2021 •

“A growing archive of Landsat images allow us to see how quickly icesheets are changing.”

— Ted Scambos, Senior Research Scientist, University of Colorado Earth Science Observation Center
September 16, 2021 •

“The more Landsat the better.”

— Matt Schauer, USGS-affiliated scientist who monitors water usage
September 16, 2021 •

“As the global population surpasses eight billion people, it will be important to effectively manage land to sustain life on Earth. Landsat 9 will pair with Landsat 8 to greatly improve our understanding of what is driving changes to our lands, surface waters, and coasts, and how we can sustainably manage it.”

— David Applegate, Associate Director for Natural Hazards Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Geological Survey
September 16, 2021 •

“Our research would not have been possible if it weren’t for decades of reliable Landsat data to help us look back in time. We hope these findings will encourage people to not only mitigate the effects of increased wildfire activity, but also to limit emissions and curb global warming.”

— Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, lead author, McGill University
September 2, 2021 •

Climate Change Pushes Wildfires to New Heights

“We like to think about Landsat as being, for this particular problem, sort of the sweet spot—the perfect asset. We found Landsat was really good at mapping the bulk of biomass for this particular test area we were looking at.”

— Michael Sayers, Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), on mapping submerged aquatic vegetation in the Great Lakes
July 9, 2021 •

“I’d go to meetings and people were just jumping up and down because they had discovered another use for the data.”

— Virginia T. Norwood, talking about early Landsat data
June 30, 2021 •

“We are in this unique position where we have ice core records from these mountaintops, and Landsat has these detailed images of the glaciers, and if we combine those two data sets, we see clearly what is happening.”

— Lonnie Thompson, professor of Earth Sciences and senior research scientist at Ohio State’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center
June 21, 2021 •

Landsat satellite imagery is ideal for gauging vegetation cover shifts because it supplies spectral data for surface areas of about 90 square meters – fine enough to track changing spectral signal patterns across large study areas.

— Stijn Hantson, Project Scientist, UCI Department of Earth System Science
June 21, 2021 •

“Landsat has allowed managers to observe regional trends in kelp canopy area and biomass across more than 30 years. This is very valuable.”

— Meredith McPherson, University of California, Santa Cruz
June 4, 2021 •

“The tracking of over-irrigated areas for targeting irrigation advisory texts was completely dependent on Landsat TIR data.”

— Indira Bose, Wolf Water Resources
April 20, 2021 •

“If you really want to have a long history of understanding any process in the Earth, Landsat is where you should go.”

— Tasso Azevedo, MapBiomas Initiative
April 19, 2021 •

“Without Landsat we would not have the record we have today about deforestation and changing agriculture across a vast and important biome.”

— Doug Morton, Chief of the Biospheric Sciences Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
April 19, 2021 •

“The value of the Landsat archive is that we have a long-term memory of the changes that have occurred across the Amazon frontier.”

— Doug Morton, Chief of the Biospheric Sciences Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
April 19, 2021 •

“Landsat satellite data are the most important source we have about how much deforestation happens each year across the Amazon.”

— Doug Morton, Chief of the Biospheric Sciences Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
April 19, 2021 •

“Landsat is indispensable for Timelapse in Google Earth—and so much more. Thank you @USGSLandsat @NASA_Landsat program, the world’s only long-term, continuous, data record of the entire Earth’s land surfaces dating back to 1972.”

— @googleearth
April 15, 2021 •

“Landsat provides an unparalleled record of how terrestrial Earth has changed since the early 1970s, closely coinciding with the beginning of rapid environmental change. It provides important historical context for the current state of land cover and land use and provides a reference for identifying abnormal types and rates of change.”

— Justin Braaten, Google Earth Engine technical writer/coder
March 25, 2021 •

“I’m grateful that NASA, USGS, and scientists like William Pecora had the foresight to begin collecting Earth observations a half century ago.”

— Justin Braaten, Google Earth Engine technical writer/coder
March 25, 2021 •

Justin Braaten has the Code

“I do sleep, but I dream of Landsat!”

— Justin Braaten, data scientist and prolific Google Earth Engine coder
February 25, 2021 •

“The Landsat Program continues to be one of the most valuable, respected, and referenced Earth observation programs in the world.”

— Ellie Leydsman McGinty, UtahView State Coordinator
January 27, 2021 •

Mapping Landsat's Long History

“That is one cool thing about Landsat… people are always finding new applications.”

— Jeff Masek, Landsat 9 Project Scientist
December 17, 2020 •

“This global census can help identify other lakes in need of monitoring or remediation, Dr. Shugar said. ‘We hope that it allows governments to see where the hot spots might be for glacial lakes growing in the future.'”

— Dan Shugar, glaciologist at the University of Calgary, speaking of his Landsat-based glacial lake inventory
October 2, 2020 •

“Whether it’s since 1985 or 2000, we see this greening of the Arctic evident in the Landsat record.”

— Logan Berner, a global change ecologist, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
September 23, 2020 •

Warming Temperatures are Driving Arctic Greening; NASA

“The success of a mission, and the societal benefits it creates, relies on many factors, including design, manufacture, launch, and operation of the sensor. However, it also includes data acquisition, accessibility, availability, and continuity, all of which are embodied by the Landsat program.”

— Yuan et al.
August 1, 2020 •

“The really unique part about the Landsat record is the fact that it goes back to the ’70s. I can’t imagine what it would be like to describe what this volcano did without having a timeseries of Landsat. There is no other asset in the sky that can show us what Landsat does in terms of the effect of this eruption and also the effect of recovery following the eruption.”

— Sean Healey, research ecologist, Rocky Mountain Research Service, U.S. Forest Service
May 18, 2020 •

40 Years After Mount St. Helens’ Eruption, 40 Years of Forest Recovery

“There is no other asset in the sky that can show us what Landsat does in terms of the effect of this eruption and also the effect of recovery following the eruption.”

— Dr. Sean Healy, U.S. Forest Service
May 18, 2020 •

“Land cover is fundamental for a plethora of applications. Approaches using #Landsat time series have been transformative.”

— Dr. Joanne C. White, Research Scientist, Canadian Forest Service
May 6, 2020 •

“Thanks to satellites and to science, we now know much more about Earth than we did on the first Earth Day fifty years ago.”

— Dr. Michael Freilich, former director of NASA’s Earth Science division
April 30, 2020 •

“I don’t think there’s any question about how important and how valuable MSS is.”

— Dr. Warren Cohen, U.S. Forest Service, Landsat Science Team former member
April 28, 2020 •

Making Use of MSS: The Effort to Fold the Earliest Data into the Landsat Record, USGS EROS

“Because Landsat’s been operating for so long—thermal imaging has been enabled since the 1980s—we can study how patterns in water use have changed over the landscape over long periods of time as the climate has changed and as land use patterns have changed. So Landsat has been really a critical sensor for our work.”

— Dr. Martha Anderson, USDA Researchers and Landsat Science Team Member
April 22, 2020 •

“You can launch a new satellite, but you can’t put something up in the past. Landsat will always be that historic record that new satellites can tie themselves to.”

— Dr. Michael Wulder, Canadian Forest Service and Landsat Science Team member
March 13, 2020 •

“@USGSLandsat @NASA_Landsat wrote the book on open data, how to do it right, how it creates businesses and benefits economy, and — of course — gifts the world with a 4+ decade *scientific* record of our planet’s changing dynamics.”

— Chris Herwig, Google GeoData Engineer, on 100 millionth Landsat download from USGS
March 11, 2020 •

“A 35-year dataset in marine biology is really hard to find… But we need long-term data to understand climate change and how it impacts populations. This was an exponential increase in the amount of information available about kelp forests in Oregon.”

— Sara Hamilton, OSU marine biologist , on the importance of Landsat data for her work
March 5, 2020 •
— Kevin Conole, Senior Program Specialist, NASA Office of International and Interagency Relations to 59th Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
February 14, 2022 •