Central Asia Regional Information Network Launched
The Central Asia Regional Information Network (CARIN) was launched at a recent joint NASA Land Cover Land Use Change (LCLUC) Science Team Meeting and Global Observations of Forest Cover – Global Observations of Land Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD)/ Northern Eurasia Regional Information Network (NERIN), Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEESPI), and Monsoon Asia Integrated Research Study (MAIRS) Workshop held in Almaty, Kazakhstan September 15-19, 2009.
Participants welcomed a decision to create CARIN in the framework of GOFC-GOLD. CARIN will facilitate the continued flow and exchange of data and methodologies as well as scientific findings throughout the region. Representatives from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Mongolia, China, and Russia, will comprise the network. The network coordinator will be Dr. Lev Spivak of the National Center for Space Research and Technology (NSRTC) of Kazakhstan’s National Space Agency (KNSA) - the leading national institution in Kazakhstan and one of the leading institutions in Central Asia focusing on development and operational implementation of land monitoring methodologies based on various remotely-sensed data sources.
CARIN will initially focus on five research areas:
- the quality and quantity of fresh water resources;
- crop yield estimation, crop monitoring, and agricultural use of fire in the context of ensuring regional food security;
- land and soil degradation leading to reduction in land productivity over time and increasing vulnerability of the natural and agricultural systems;
- climate change and variability in the context of concerns for adaptation of human systems’ different conditions, understanding processes, and informing policy makers; and
- augmenting fire monitoring capabilities with regional fire ecology research in support of long-term fire management strategies.
US-based Contact: Olga Krankina
USGS hosts Africa Pilot of the GOFC-GOLD Data Initiative
In April, the USGS National Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science hosted a training session for members of the four GOFC-GOLD Regional Networks in Africa. The session involved technical training on Landsat data access, processing, and analysis from USGS personnel. Participants were able to collect images from the EROS archive holdings for distribution in their region. Side visits were arranged to the Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence at South Dakota State University, START headquarters, University of Maryland, and Michigan State University.
The goals of the Data Initiative are to: disseminate US earth observation data in regions where available distribution methods are not effective, compile regional and in country data sets relevant to land cover and fire observations and make them freely available to the international community, and engage regional expertise in global data set development, evaluation and validation.
The USGS is acknowledged for providing free and unrestricted access to image products from the entire USGS-managed national archive.
Contact: Thomas Loveland or Olga Krankina
START supports GOFC-GOLD Regional Networks in Africa to distribute free satellite images and derived products throughout their region
USGS National Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science hosted a training session for members of the four GOFC-GOLD Regional Networks in Africa in May 2009. Participants were able to collect images from the EROS archive holdings (mainly Landsat archive) for distribution in their region. Following the session the participants submitted follow up proposals for archive maintenance and regional data dissemination activities to START.
Follow-up activities include:
- West African Regional Network (WARN) - LANDSAT data dissemination within West Africa
- Observatoire Satellital des Forêts d'Afrique Centrale (OSFAC) - Enhance the regional network and capability for data dissemination by creating sub-regional data nodes in central Africa
- East Africa (Sudan, Ethiopia, Eretria, Chad) - Seminar to teach participants how to use the web sites of USGS to download the satellite images they need
- MIOMBO (Southern Africa) - Ensure that traditional and potential new users of remote sensing data in the region are aware of the newly available regional Landsat archive and other data resources
Contact: Kathleen Landauer
Land Cover Implementation Team member named a 2009 Fellow for the American Society for Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry
The American Society for Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry named GOFC-GOLD Land Cover Implementation Team member Tom Loveland a 2009 Fellow. Tom Loveland is based at the USGS National Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science, where his research is focused on methods for mapping and monitoring land cover and land use via satellite. Tom Loveland is co-director of the USGS-South Dakota State University Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence.
Contact: Thomas Loveland
GOFC-GOLD launches Working Group on Biomass
During the 3rd GOFC-GOLD Land Cover Symposium (October 2008, Jena) initial discussions began on the development of a Biomass working group within GOFC-GOLD.
The Working Group will respond to the need for international coordination to: enhance biomass monitoring and estimation, specify suitable products, support projects and programmes that improve the global monitoring of biomass as an Essential Climate Variable, investigate and communicate opportunities for the harmonization of the different methodologies for data collection, analysis, and validation, and foster cooperation and exchange of data and information among different communities.
Contact: Martin Herold
Free and unrestricted access to the Landsat archive
The US Geological Survey is providing free and unrestricted access to image products from the entire USGS-managed national archive, including over 2 million images back to Landsat 1 (1972). Landsat was developed by the USGS and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The imagery enables the reconstruction of the history of the Earth’s surface for a variety of services including: Evaluating climate change impacts, monitoring ecosystems, urban planning, and responding to natural disasters.
Contact: Thomas Loveland