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December 14, 2000
Remote Sensing and Environmental Treaties

The director of the GOFC-GOLD Project Office took part in a recent 2-day workshop on "Remote Sensing and Environmental Treaties: Building More Effective Linkages" which was held at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC. The meeting, organized by CIESIN, included a keynote speech by David Sandalow, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State. For further details see

November 6, 2000
Miombo and OSFAC reports

GOFC-GOLD meeting reports for both the Miombo (Southern Africa) and OSFAC (Central African) regions can now be found under the Documents section of the web site.

November 1, 2000

The CEOS Working Group on Calibration and Validation (WGCV) formally accepted the inclusion of a new subgroup on Land Parameter Validation (LPV) at their 17th Plenary Meeting In Gaithersburg, MD. An organizing/planning meting for this subgroup was held at JRC/SAI in May this year, at which time they agreed to make the validation of moderate resolution GOFC-GOLD products their initial focus. For more information see

October 18, 2000
New Organization section

We have now included an Organization section to the web site which lists the individuals involved in the GOFC-GOLD hierarchy.

September 26, 2000
GOFC-GOLD-WGISS Test Facility successfully introduced

One of GOFC-GOLD's objectives is to promote international networking for data access, data sharing, and international collaboration. The CEOS Working Group on Information Systems and Services (WGISS) is working closely with GOFC-GOLD scientists to realize this objective. As part of this endeavour, a Test Facility (WTF) has been established to demonstrate the use of interoperable data and services.

At the recent EO Satellites workshop/WGISS subgroups meetings in Bangkok Thailand, GOFC-GOLD previewed a prototype of the WTF to the attendees. Overall, the response to the WTF was very enthusiastic.

Note: a description of the meeting and the prototype demonstrations can be found at: (see article on p. 31)

September 11, 2000
GOFC-GOLDBoreal Workshop held in Russia

Approximately 70 participants from seven countries attended a weeklong workshop in Novosibirsk, Russia, to discuss the implementation of GOFC-GOLD in boreal forest regions. The goals of the workshop included identifying information products derived from satellite data in boreal forest regions for use by a variety of groups, and establishing networks to develop and produce such products on an ongoing basis. Many thanks to the Program and Local Organizing Committees for arranging this very useful and informative meeting.

Note: a synopsis of this meeting can be found at: (see article on p. 29)

August 22, 2000
IUFRO session

A presentation on GOFC-GOLD was given at the group session on 'Remote Sensing and Forest Monitoring' at the 21st IUFRO World Congress in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month. Papers from the session, including one describing how IUFRO can play a role in GOFC-GOLD, are being published by the Institute of Geodesy and Cartography in Warsaw.

July 27, 2000
Executive Committee minutes

Minutes from the July Executive Committee telecon have been posted in the Documents section of the Web site. Future telecon minutes will also be posted there on a regular basis.

July 20, 2000
CEOS WGCV Land Product Validation (LPV) Meeting

The inaugural meeting of the LPV was held May 23-25, 2000 at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. There were 29 attendees at the meeting, including representation from 11 CEOS Member / Associates, SPOT Image and a number of US and European research organisations. The goal of the new subgroup will be to promote the quantification and characterization of satellite-based land surface parameter products, including better definition of the errors and uncertainties associated with these products. The meeting provided a forum to share experiences, develop basic standards for comparisons, and promote and coordinate international validation activities. The report on the meeting is available on the WGCV Web site.

July 14, 2000
Highlights from the first GOFC-GOLD Scientific and Technical Board meeting

The GOFC-GOLD Scientific and Technical Board (STB) held its first meeting in Ottawa from June 21-23, 2000. Thirty-four participants attended, representing a mix of key space agencies, international organizations, and national governments. Through this inaugural meeting, GOFC-GOLD has made a successful transition from a start-up endeavour to an established international activity, with a formal organizational structure. GOFC-GOLD has now become a panel of the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) and there is a strong desire by both GTOS and GOFC-GOLD to work closely together.

July 10, 2000
Frank Ahern, GOFC-GOLD's first Executive Director, has just retired

Frank initially planned to retire from CCRS in 1997, but was asked to stay on in order to oversee the development of GOFC-GOLD. He set up and single-handedly ran the GOFC-GOLD Project Office at CCRS, handling all of the internal and external communications until the office was expanded late last year. It is fair to say that without Frank's dedication and vision, GOFC-GOLD would not exist today in its present form. Frank retired as Executive Director of the GOFC-GOLD Project Office at the end of June 2000, and his knowledge, good sense, and enthusiasm will be sorely missed. On behalf of the entire GOFC-GOLD family, we wish Frank and his wife Doyne a happy, healthy and productive retirement.

July 5, 2000
GOFC launches its first Newsletter

The first issue of the "GOFC-GOLD News" is now available. Our current plan is to produce a new issue every six months. We expect to be mailing out copies to everyone on our contact list by mid-July. We are very interested in hearing whether you think that this newsletter is useful, as well as any suggestions you have as to how it could be improved. If you don't receive one, or would like to have additional copies to share with your colleagues, please let us know. Requests for the newsletter should be sent to Leander Campbell at the GOFC-GOLD Project Office (

June 19, 2000
Miombo Coordination Meeting

A GOFC-GOLD Miombo (Southern Africa) Coordination Meeting is to be held in Maputo, Mozambique on July 20-22, 2000. Check the Calendar section for more complete information.

June 14, 2000
GOFC-GOLD Boreal Forest Workshop

There will be a GOFC-GOLD Workshop on Boreal Forests held in Academgorodok, Novosibirsk, Russia on August 28 - September 1, 2000. Check the Calendar section for more complete information.

May 19, 2000

The First Annual Meeting of The GOFC-GOLD Scientific and Technical Board (STB) will be held on June 21-23, 2000 in Ottawa, Canada. Check the Calendar section for more complete information.

April 20, 2000
Transition to operational organizational structure

GOFC-GOLD is in the process of making the transition from its initial phase to a more formal, international organization. It will report to the Global Terrestrial Observing System, which is sponsored by FAO, ICSU, UNEP, UNESCO, and WMO. GOFC-GOLD will be managed by a Scientific and Technical Board, which will function like a board of directors, to give guidance and direction to the Implementation Teams. It will be served by a permanent Project Office, supported by the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing and the Canadian Space Agency. NASA will provide a project liaison officer who will communicate with the Project Office to ensure coordination of NASA's contribution to GOFC-GOLD.

April 10, 2000
New faces at the GOFC-GOLD Project Office

Tim Perrott, an environmental scientist with CCRS' Applications Division, is now working on GOFC-GOLD on a near full-time basis, and is taking over responsibility for project communications and coordination. Leander Campbell, a contract Research Associate, is the newest member of the team, and will be providing technical support. A number of other CCRS scientists are contributing to the Project Office on a part-time basis as required, in particular Christine Hutton, who is overseeing development of the GOFC-GOLD Data Site.

April 10, 2000
IGOS Terrestrial Carbon Theme

As reported previously, the IGOS Partnership has adopted a "themes" approach which includes a Terrestrial Carbon theme. Within this theme, GOFC-GOLD is expected to play an important role in helping to identify, and eventually supply, the observational requirements of a terrestrial carbon monitoring system. Technical leadership for developing the terrestrial carbon theme is being provided by TOPC, the Terrestrial Observation Panel for Climate. A workshop was held in Ottawa, Canada, February 8 - 11, 2000, organized and led by TOPC, GTOS, and IGBP. The report resulting from this workshop is intended to further engage the scientific community to complete the design of a comprehensive approach to terrestrial carbon observations.

April 5, 2000
Tropical Networks

The report of the workshop on Regional Networks for Implementation of GOFC in the Tropics, hosted by the International START Secretariat, March 15- 17, 1999 was distributed in late 1999, and can now be viewed on the GOFC-GOLD web site under the Documents section.

The purpose of the workshop was to bring together data users from tropical regions to help design the implementation of GOFC-GOLD in the tropics.

March 28, 2000
New CEOS WGCV subgroup on biophysical product validation

In support of GOFC-GOLD objectives, the CEOS Working Group on Calibration and Validation has recently established a new subgroup on biophysical product validation. The co-chairs of this group are Dr. Jeffrey Privette of the EOS MODIS Land Validation Program, NASA/Goddard, and Dr. Stefan Dech, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen. The initial meeting is currently scheduled to be held May 23-25, 2000 hosted by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, in Ispra, Italy.

March 26, 2000
Boreal Forests workshop

A GOFC-GOLD Workshop on Boreal Forests is scheduled to be held on August 28 - September 1, 2000 in Novosibirsk, Russia, hosted by the Russian Academy of Sciences. The goal of this workshop is to promote a coordinated observational network which will result in operational monitoring of boreal forest cover on a continental scale, and make data and information on forests more usable and accessible. The workshop will focus on the three themes that have been identified by GOFC-GOLD: forest cover characteristics and change, forest fire monitoring and mapping, and forest biophysical processes.

For more information visit the Calendar section of this web site.

March 15, 2000

The CEOS Working Group on Information Systems and Services (WGISS) has identified GOFC-GOLD as one of the focus activities for its technical subgroups. These subgroups (Access, Data and Networks) are hosting a meeting at the University College, London, April 11-14, 2000. One goal of the meeting is to coordinate international participation related to the access and exchange of scientific data products related to GOFC-GOLD. The meeting will also be used to plan a series of demonstrations of GOFC-GOLD data exchange using CEOS tools and partner networks.

March 7, 2000
Central Africa workshop

A GOFC-GOLD Central Africa regional workshop was held February 22-24, 2000 in Libreville, Gabon. The workshop was cosponsored by EEC-TREES, NASA-START, and USAID-CARPE (Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment), with the technical support of START in Washington DC, and ADIE (Agence pour le Développement de l'Information Environnementale).

Initial reports are that the meeting was very successful, in terms of logistics, content and spirit of cooperation. A workshop report will be written and distributed, and will outline several proposed projects as well as some recommendations.

View the Documents section of the GOFC-GOLD web site for a copy of this report.

February 23, 2000
South East Asia regional meeting

A meeting of the GOFC-GOLD South East Asia regional network was held January 31 - February 2, 2000 in Bogor, Indonesia. The meeting was hosted by the Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology of Indonesia, a total of 58 participants attended, from 9 countries. Some of the key objectives were to identify existing activities in the region, critical information needs, individuals and organizations able to contribute to future activities, and regional pilot projects which would generate a large degree of interest and participation within the individual countries.

Check the Documents section for more post-meeting information.

February 18, 2000
Fire workshop

A major milestone for GOFC-GOLD implementation was achieved with the GOFC Forest Fire Monitoring and Mapping workshop, held November 3 - 5, 1999, and hosted by the Space Applications Institute of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. 64 participants attended from 23 countries, including 17 participants from 11 developing countries. The participants were approximately evenly divided between producers and users of information products from earth-observation data.

An implementation strategy was developed by the participants. The GOFC-GOLD Forest Fire Monitoring and Mapping component will be implemented through the creation of an Implementation Team which will manage a portfolio of projects. Project areas which were given high priority were to provide global active fire products within 24 hours of acquisition, and annual burn scar products.

Contact the GOFC-GOLD Project Office for a copy of the Workshop report.

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