Western Geographic Science Center - News, Highlights
(Archive: 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010)
August 1-5, 2016
The USGS Land Use and Climate Change Team selected as an external partner for California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment: After months of demonstrating their land change modeling capabilities to state officials and funded partners, the Western Geographic Science Center’s Land Use and Climate Change Team has been officially selected as an external collaborator in California’s 4th Climate Change Assessment. The team is tasked with developing a suite of land use and land cover scenarios based on historical land change and population data. Modeling output will be provided to various assessment projects for examining scenarios of future land change and their associated impacts on California’s natural resources, carbon dynamics, and wildfire occurrence. For more information on the research team, see http://geography.wr.usgs.gov/LUCC/index.php
The Land Use and Climate Change Team presenting their research to representatives from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s office: On Thursday, August 4, Tamara Wilson will be presenting her recent research on potential land use related water demand in California to staffers from the 18th Congressional District. She will be sharing the team’s current and future research direction and discussing the developing partnerships with state agencies for assisting in California’s 4th Climate Change Assessment. Land change science is gaining increasing attention as the combined influence human land use and climate change pose serious threats to biodiversity, disturbance regimes, ecosystem health, and natural resource availability. Contact: Tamara Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org
USGS Lidar Science Innovation Workshop: Starting on Tuesday, August 2nd, WGSC researchers Miguel Villarreal, Zhuoting Wu, Kristin Byrd, and Jason Kreitler will present applications of lidar data in their research at the USGS Lidar Science Innovation Workshop in Fort Collins, CO. The three day workshop will include presentations from over 30 USGS scientists, along with a series of troubleshooting and poster sessions. (Christopher Soulard, email@example.com, 650-329-4317
July 25-29, 2016
Pedestrian-evacuation modeling for examining implications of multiple tsunami-evacuation zones in California: USGS geographers Jeff Peters and Nathan Wood, along with representatives of the California Geological Survey and California Office of Emergency Services, recently published an article in Natural Hazards that models pedestrian evacuation potential for multiple tsunami-evacuation zones. Using four evacuation zones from the California Tsunami Evacuation Playbook for Alameda (California), the authors estimated the numbers of residents, employees and businesses as a function of travel time out of each zone to help emergency mangers understand evacuation challenges associated with each zone. For more information, contact Jeff Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-329-4221. The article can be accessed at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11069-016-2469-8?wt_mc=Internal.Event.1.SEM.ArticleAuthorOnlineFirst - aboutarticle
June 27-July 1, 2016
Mapping When and Where Invasive Buffelgrass is Green: Buffelgrass is an invasive perennial grass that threatens Sonoran desert ecosystems in the southwestern USA by out-competing native plants and altering fire regimes. Fires fueled by buffelgrass can ultimately transform the Sonoran Desert ecosystem from a diverse assemblage of plants that supports a rich diversity of fauna to a desert grassland monoculture that burns regularly, threatening lives and property. USGS scientists, Cynthia Wallace, Jessica Walker and Jake Weltzin, conducted research with colleagues to map the presence and phenological status of the invasive by integrating ground observations of buffelgrass phenology collected by citizen scientists and professionals, a map of buffelgrass distribution in Saguaro National Park (SNP), climate information, and Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery. Knowing WHERE buffelgrass is located and WHEN it is green enables the strategic application of herbicide, which is only effective when the plants are photosynthetically active and are at least 50% green. The results expose buffelgrass due to its more rapid response to precipitation events than native vegetation (i.e., areas with buffelgrass display strong correlations between MODIS greenness and lagged precipitation), and reveal that precipitation data can predict green-up, whereas MODIS data can confirm green-up. The research was conducted to assist buffelgrass control activities of the National Park Service at SNP and was supported by USGS funds from CLU, WGSC and NPMP, as well as the USA National Phenology Network. The results, which can be used to identify and treat buffelgrass during optimal time periods, are published in the peer reviewed journal article, “Mapping Presence and Predicting Phenological Status of Invasive Buffelgrass in Southern Arizona Using MODIS, Climate and Citizen Science Observation Data” in Remote Sensing, 2016, 8(7), 524; doi:10.3390/rs8070524. Contact: Cynthia SA Wallace, email@example.com
NASA ROSES2016 A.37 Water Resources Step-1 Proposal Results: Prasad S. Thenkabail (PI), Trent Biggs (co-I), Isabella Mariotto (co-I), Terry Slonecker (co-I), Pardhasaradhi Teluguntla (co-I), and Murali Gumma (ICRISAT) have successfully competed in the NASA ROSES 2016 A.37 Water Resources STEP I process in their proposal entitled: “Predicting and Preventing Crisis in Water and Food Security in a Changing Climate: Water Productivity (“crop per drop”): models and maps of five leading World Crops in the Central and South Asian (CASA) Countries using Multi-sensor Remote Sensing”. They have been invited to write STEP II proposal. For further information, please contact Dr. Prasad Thenkabail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 928-556-7221.
USGS Scientist on NASA Panel for Satellite Calibration Interconsistency Studies: Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail has been invited to Serve on a NASA Panel to Review proposals submitted to in response to the ROSES15 A.34 solicitation entitled “SATELLITE CALIBRATION INTERCONSISTENCY STUDIES”. Proposal evaluations and panel meetings will take place during July 12-14, 2016 @ Washington DC Area. For further information, please contact Dr. Prasad Thenkabail (email@example.com) or 928-556-7221.
June 20-24, 2016
USGS research evaluates community exposure to extreme tsunami hazards in Hawaii: A new report by USGS geographers Jamie Jones, Nathan Wood, and Matthew Jamieson summarizes variations in community exposure to extreme tsunami hazards in Hawai’i associated with Mw 9.3 and 9.6 great Aleutian earthquake scenarios. Results show that community exposure to tsunamis varies considerably, with some communities potentially experiencing great losses that reflect only a small part of their community whereas others experiencing relatively small losses that devastate them. The report provides a foundation for future preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery planning needs within coastal communities and economic sectors of the State of Hawaii. For more information, contact Jamie Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-329-4125.
Pedestrian-evacuation travel speed and basin maps developed for coastal communities with Cascadia tsunami hazards: USGS geographers Nathan Wood and Jeanne Jones and colleagues recently published an article in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction that summarizes new advances in tsunami evacuation modeling and mapping. Using the threat of Cascadia-related tsunami hazards in Aberdeen (Washington), the new modeling methods include maps of minimum travel speeds, the effect of departure delays, optimal routes to safety, population demand at assembly areas, and the potential for routes to be compromised by earthquake-related landslides. For more information, contact Nathan Wood at email@example.com or 503-251-3291. The article can be accessed at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212420916300140
June 13-17, 2016
Aftershock Readiness and Post-earthquake Messaging in Mexico: Nicholas van der Elst, Morgan Page, Andy Michael, Jeanne Hardebeck, and Anne Wein met in Pasadena with representatives from the Civil Protection Office of Baja California to discuss aftershock forecasting. The meeting kicked off an OFDA-funded initiative to improve aftershock readiness and post-earthquake messaging in Mexico and other countries. In attendance were Director of Civil Protection Antonio Rosquillas, Antonio Alfaro, and seismologist Raul Castro of
New publication on remote sensing of drought and fire effects on desert grasslands: Western Geographic Science Center researchers published a study in Remote Sensing of Environment that describes new methods for monitoring changes in grassland condition after fire and drought using a 27-year Landsat time series and field monitoring data. The aim of the study was to provide information to guide habitat restoration in the southwestern United States, where land managers are using prescribed fire as a tool to combat encroachment of woody plants and non-native grasses. Image processing techniques were used to identify post-fire shifts in native, non-native, and annual plant cover, and statistically significant differences in plant cover were found between unburned reference areas and burned areas, especially when fires occurred during drought. This research was done in collaboration with the National Park Service’s Southwest Exotic Plant Management Team, the University of Arizona, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information contact Miguel Villarreal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
June 6-10, 2016
USGS Scientist Invited to Present Aridland Water Harvesting Research by State Representative: AZ State Representative Legislative District 2, Rosanna Gabaldón, has invited Dr. Laura Norman, Research Physical Scientist, to present her study of the Babocomari Ranch restoration impacts at the University of Arizona South (Sierra Vista) for the Southeast Arizona Citizens’ Forum (SACF) on June 16th, 2016. Dr. Norman's presentation will include an explanation of how watershed models were used to delineate and screen recharge sites for installation of rock detention structures in the Babocomari River and how her group is monitoring the potential downstream impacts on the San Pedro River. For more information, visit http://www.ibwc.state.gov/Citizens_forums/CF_SE_AZ.html or contact email@example.com.
Google Earth Engine User Summit: Jessica Walker will represent the USGS at the Google Earth Engine User Summit in Mountain View, CA from June 14 – 16. The hands-on technical workshop brings together researchers and educators who are using Google Earth Engine to perform cloud-based GIS and remote sensing analyses. For more information, contact Jessica Walker, Western Geographic Science Center, firstname.lastname@example.org.
USGS to speak with Borderlands Earth Care Youth Institute: On June 15, USGS scientist Natalie R. Wilson will speak with the Borderland Earth Care Youth (BECY) Institute students at the American Museum of Natural History’s Southwest Research Station in the Chiricahua Mountains. The group will discuss the arid land water harvesting and hydrologic restoration projects in the area and how those restoration techniques impact the vegetation community. The BECY Institute provides paid summer internships for local high school students to learn habitat restoration skills and conservation land management practices. For more information contact Natalie R. Wilson, email@example.com.
May 15-20, 2016
USGS scientist to present research on California’s projected land use related water demand: On Monday, May 23, Research Geographer Tamara Wilson will present her work modeling potential future land use in California and the associated water demand at the Society for Freshwater Science meeting in Sacramento, CA. Using the Land Use and Carbon Scenario Simulator (LUCAS) model, her team projected spatially explicit (1 km) future changes in urbanization, agricultural expansion and contraction, and agricultural change from 2012 to 2062 and estimated the associated water use for California’s Central Valley and Oak Woodlands ecoregions. Under current water use efficiency rates, total water demand was projected to increase 4.1% (1.4 million acre feet) by 2062, driven primarily by increases in urbanization and shifts to more water intensive perennial cropland (i.e. orchards and vineyards). Growing demand for water may present a challenge as the state’s future supplies are in question, given current water use demand, the ongoing current drought, and projected future climate warming. Contact: Tamara Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org
USGS Scientist Invited to Present Research on Aridland Water Harvesting Structures for Land Managers: Dr. Laura Norman, USGS research physical scientist, has been invited to present a broad overview of her research at the Bureau of Reclamation, "Erosion Control Structures" Seminar in Phoenix, AZ, on May 24th. The talk will include aspects of imagery being collected and processed to monitor changes in vegetation and geomorphology at restoration sites, a discussion of field studies initiated to calibrate models and provide direct measurements; and results from hydrological geospatial models. Attendees include colleagues from The Hopi Tribe, BIA - Navajo Region, Tucson Audubon, BLM, Waterock LLC, Reclamation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Cuencas los Ojos, Desert LCC, SRP, Sky Island Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, ADWR, Borderlands Restoration L3C, Arizona State Forestry, USFS, and MCPRD. For more information, contact email@example.com.
USGS Scientist to Discuss Restoration Impacts at Hassayampa River Stakeholder Meeting: USGS research physical scientist, Dr. Laura Norman, has been asked to provide a presentation at the Hassayampa River Study meeting on May 25, 2016. Stakeholders in the 3,700km² watershed are interested in the benefits of hydrologic modeling to assess if stormwater management practices would impact stormflows, sedimentation, and groundwater recharge. The Hassayampa River is an intermittent river, the headwaters of which are just south of Prescott, Arizona, and enters the Gila River near Hassayampa, Arizona. Although the river has only subsurface flow for much of the year, it has significant perennial flows above ground within the Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness and the Nature Conservancy's Hassayampa River Preserve. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 9-13, 2016
Downscaling MODIS Evapotranspiration via Cokriging: Jesus Rodriguez is a PhD candidate in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Arizona who is working on aspects of the WaterSMART project with Cynthia Wallace and Prasad Thenkabail. On Monday May 23, 2016, Jesus will present his research at the USGS in Tucson, Arizona. He has developed an operational method for downscaling Evapotranspiration (ET) at a scale appropriate for farm-level applications using remote sensing and geospatial techniques. ET is a key climate parameter and a fundamental input for irrigation planning and management. It is also a critical factor for water conservation programs in agriculture and understanding the hydrology of an ecosystem. For more information contact Cynthia Wallace (email@example.com).
Coastal Fog Season Returns Bringing Attention on USGS Research: Two upcoming stories with links to popular media will feature USGS fog research. BayGeo, the journal for the San Francisco Bay Area geospatial community will feature the article “@KarlTheFog Has Been Mapped!” The title refers to the handle of the Twitter feed from San Francisco fog (personified). The article describes the recently published fog and low cloud maps and their applications (see http://journal.baygeo.org/). On May 15 the NBC Bay Area OpenRoad series will feature the fog water harvesting research partnership between USGS and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. The OpenRoad television program hosted by Doug McConnell is archived onhttp://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/OpenRoad-With-Doug-McConnell-300867891.html. (Alicia Torregrosa, Menlo Park, CA firstname.lastname@example.org, 650-329-4091)
May 2-6, 2016
USGS to Provide Training to San Carlos Apache Tribe on Remote Sensing for Land Management: On May 10-13, a research team from the USGS Western Geographic Science Center will give technical training on land remote sensing to staff of the San Carlos Apache Tribe’s Forest Resources Program in San Carlos, Arizona. The San Carlos Apache Reservation in east-central Arizona encompasses more than 1.8 million acres of diverse topography, climate, vegetation and habitats that have profound economic and cultural value for the Tribe. The training supports the Tribe’s objectives for using ground-based imaging systems (science-quality “phenocams”) and airborne laser scanning (lidar) to support improved monitoring, analysis and management of their natural resources. The training is sponsored by the USGS Technical Training in Support of Native American Relations (TESNAR) Program. For more information, contact Dennis Dye (email@example.com, 928-556-7029) and Zhuoting Wu (firstname.lastname@example.org, 928-556-7102).
High resolution remote sensing to map and monitor biological soil crusts in southeastern Utah: Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) researchers are leading an effort to map and monitor biological soil crusts (biocrusts) using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and high-resolution multispectral satellite imagery. Biocrusts (communities of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria) are important for nutrient cycling and stabilizing desert soils but their condition and extent are difficult to determine in remote and rugged areas like Utah’s Canyonlands. During the week of May 8, the team will use UAVs to collect high-resolution (<1 cm) near-infrared and color images over a number of biocrust monitoring plots established by USGS in 2006. Worldview-3 satellite data (31 cm panchromatic resolution, 1.24 m Multispectral, and 3.7 m Short-Wave Infrared) covering Canyonlands National Park and adjacent BLM management units will be acquired at the same time. Hand-held field spectroradiometer measurements will be collected to characterize spectral reflectance profiles of biocrusts, soils, and vegetation, which along with field cover and UAV data will be used to scale-up biocrust information over the larger landscape. This work is a collaborative effort between researchers from WGSC, Southwest Biological Science Center, Canyonlands Research Center (http://canyonlandsresearchcenter.org/) and University of Colorado. For more information contact Miguel Villarreal (email@example.com) or John Vogel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Future land-use related water demand in California: The USGS will be publishing an article in the forthcoming Environmental Research Letters presenting new state-and-transition simulation modeling results of projected land use and land cover change in California and associated shifts in water-use demand. The study shows anthropogenic land use increasing over 8% or by nearly 4,500 km2 by the year 2062, mostly at the expense of rangelands, while total cropland area declined 8.6%. The modeled continuation of current trends in developed (municipal and industrial) land use along with continued shifts from annual to perennial cropland could lead to a 4.6% (~ 1.6 million acre feet) increase in water demand over current use estimates by 2062. This a cause for concern, given projections of future climate warming, declining snowpack, and increasing drought frequency, duration, and intensity, which already threaten the state’s limited, over-allocated, and highly variable inter-annual water supplies. Results indicate that only if currently mandated 25% reductions in municipal water use are continuously implemented would water demand in 2062 balance to water use levels in 2012. This is the first modeling effort of its kind to examine regional land-use related water demand incorporating historical trends in both developed and agricultural land uses. Publication date is unknown at this time.
Continuous 1985–2012 Landsat Monitoring to Assess Fire Effects on Meadows in Yosemite National Park, California: Researchers from the USGS Western Geographic Science Center and UC Davis have recently published an open access article in the journal Remote Sensing (MDPI) describing the use of Google Earth Engine cloud computing to assess how montane meadow vegetation recovered after a wildfire that occurred in Yosemite National Park, CA in 1996. This application, which was funded by the Southwest Climate Science Center (SWCSC), illustrates how Google Earth Engine may be employed to conduct near-continuous vegetation monitoring with Landsat TM imagery, ultimately allowing the long-term effects of disturbances to be studied more effectively. The article can be found at http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/8/5/371/html (Christopher Soulard, email@example.com, 650-329-4317).
USGS Scientist Reports on Amazon Research at DOE Meeting.
April 25-29, 2016
USGS developing external collaboration with California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment: On May 13, USGS Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) scientists will attend a meeting to discuss external collaborations for California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment. The meeting will bring together a wide range of externally funded scientists already working to understand climate change impacts on California and will provide an overview of state-funded research projects for the Fourth Assessment. The ultimate goal will be to create alignment between state-funded research projects with existing, externally funded projects to supplement and potentially integrate into the Fourth Assessment. The WGSC Land Use Scenarios modeling group will present the Land Use and Carbon Scenario Simulator (LUCAS) platform capable of modeling future land change scenarios and associated ecosystem carbon dynamics. Future land use projections have already been identified as a necessary component of several state-funded projects.
USGS Scientist Invited to Speak at Stakeholder Meeting in Nogales about Binational Storm Water Infrastructure: On April 28, 2016, the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission and the State Department are convening a stakeholder meeting in Nogales, Arizona, to discuss the deterioration of storm water infrastructure that affects both the road infrastructure and the Nogales DeConcini port of entry. Dr. Laura Norman, USGS, has been asked to interpret hydrologic models of the binational watershed. Drainage features, flood magnitudes, and tunnels crossing the US-Mexico border will be presented. Representatives from the following agencies and/or entities were invited to attend: Senator McCain and Senator Flake's Office, Congressman Grijalva's Office, State Representative Rosanna Gabaldon, the City of Nogales and Santa Cruz County, Union Pacific Railroad, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, General Services Administration, the National Weather Service, and USDA-ARS Southwest Watershed Research Center. For more information, contact the Border Affairs Unit in the Office of Mexican Affairs at the U.S. Department of State or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 4-8, 2016
USGS present award to the San Carlos Apache Tribe at Intertribal Symposium:
March 28 - April 1, 2016
Broader-scale Monitoring Workshop: Jessica Walker will represent the USGS at the Broader-scale Monitoring Workshop in Phoenix, AZ on April 5 and 6th. The workshop is one of four organized by the Southwest Ecological Restoration Institute (SWERI) to support the development of analytical tools, datasets, indicator metrics, and strategies for effective management of forests across the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain and Southwestern Regions. For more information, contact Jessica Walker, Western Geographic Science Center,email@example.com.
March 21-24, 2016
AAG Session on USGS climate and land change research:
March 14-18, 2016
Plenary Keynote Address @ the Canadian Remote Sensing Society (CRSS) and its 37th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing by USGS Scientist:
March 7-11, 2016
Innovation in USGS: Western Geographic Science Center Research Ecologist Zhuoting Wu joined USGS Director Suzette Kimball on Stage during the State of the USGS address at the USGS National Center in Reston on March 3rd, 2016. Zhuoting is one of the 5 innovation panelists selected across USGS, representing "advancing remote sensing and mapping tools" innovation topic that Suzette laid out during the State of the USGS address. Zhuoting's innovation video can be found at the USGS gallery: http://gallery.usgs.gov/videos/1008#.Vt9cdPkrLVZ. (Contact: Zhuoting Wu, firstname.lastname@example.org, 928-556-7102).
February 29 - March 4, 2016
Project Solves Scientific Puzzle on Seasonality of Evergreen Tropical Forests:
February 22-26, 2016
Climate Change Adaptation Lecture:
Friends of Sonoita Creek to host USGS watershed expert at Annual Meeting
February 8-12, 2016
USGS geographer Alicia Torregrosa was interviewed last week by Amy McDermott, who is working on a feature story about fog and maritime chaparral for Science Notes, the annual publication of the UC Santa Cruz Science Journalism Program. McDermott inquired about the Pacific Coastal Fog team and is focusing her article on the debate over maritime chaparral and fog as a driver of biological diversification. Torregrosa provided photos. Contact: Alicia Torregrosa, email@example.com, 650-329-4091
February 1-5, 2016
New Coastal Low Cloud Maps Chart Fog Belt Zones with Unprecedented Detail:
January 25-29, 2016
USGS Scientists working with US Forest Service in Sky Island Restoration Collaborative (SIRC)
January 18-22, 2016
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of check dam infrastructure on soil and water conservation at the catchment scale using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). This paired watershed study includes a watershed treated with over 2000 check dams and a Control watershed which has none, in the West Turkey Creek watershed, Southeast Arizona, USA. Laura Norman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
January 4-9, 2016
USGS scientist briefs California Tsunami Steering Committee on evacuation modeling research: On January 14, USGS geographer Jeff Peters will give an invited presentation at a statewide tsunami meeting being held at Huntington Beach Lifeguard Headquarters. The committee includes representatives from various local and county emergency management agencies, California Geological Survey, California Office of Emergency Services, FEMA, NOAA, and the National Weather Service. He was asked to brief the committee on pedestrian evacuation modeling efforts currently underway in California, give feedback from the recent training for the GIS-based Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst Tool and gather interest for holding a training in southern California. For more information, contact Jeff at email@example.com or Nathan Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USGS Field Photo Catalog Presented at Community for Data Integration Monthly Meeting: On Wednesday, January 13 at 11:00 am ET, WGSC research geographer Chris Soulard will discuss how 10 years of field work performed by the USGS Land Cover Trends Project is being made public thanks to funding from the Community for Data Integration. Chris will discuss the original field photo collection effort, and describe how a small team has converted film negatives into a digital, geo-tagged format now available to the public online via the Land Cover Trends Field Photo Map and Earth Explorer (Christopher Soulard, email@example.com, 650-329-4317)
December 7-11, 2015
California’s land-use related water demand projected to grow: On December 14th, USGS geographer Tamara Wilson will be presenting new state-and-transition simulation modeling results of projected land use and land cover change in California and associated shifts in water-use demand at the upcoming AGU meeting in San Francisco. Model findings show water use increasing 4.6% over current use estimates by the year 2062, representing a continuation of current trends in developed (municipal and industrial) land consumption along with continued shifts from annual to perennial cropland. As a result, future land-use related water demand in California may exceed current use levels if historical trends in land use persist. This is cause for great concern given projections of future climate warming, declining snowpack, and increasing drought frequency, duration, and intensity, which could threaten the state’s already limited, overly allocated, and highly variable water supplies. For more information, contact Tamara S. Wilson, Western Geographic Science Center, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA firstname.lastname@example.org
Presentation on Forest Loss Mapping in the United States: On December 14th, USGS research geographer Christopher Soulard will be presenting a poster at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco on efforts to produce wall-to-wall forest loss maps for the United States. The presentation will address how the USGS Land Change Research team is identifying agreement between existing forest disturbance products to improve forest harvest and fire classifications. This process, termed harmonization, has proven to be a cost efficient way to create high quality forest loss maps spanning 1986 to 2011 (Christopher Soulard, 650-329-4317).
Global Food Security Support Analysis Data @ 30 m (GFSAD30) Workshop @ USGS, Menlo Park, January 19-21, 2016: Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be conducting the global food security support analysis data @ 30 m (GFSAD30) workshop @ the USGS Menlo Park from January 19-21, 2016. The GFSAD30 workshops are held every 6 months in different part of USA. The GFSAD30 workshop goals will be to take stock of the progress made so far, and to discuss on data-methods-approaches used, algorithms developed, team coordination, deliverables, time-lines, milestones, which should lead to strategizing the way forward. The workshop is attended by project team members from USGS, NASA, some US Universities, UN FAO, ICRISAT, Google Inc., and some private organizations. For further information please contact Dr. Prasad Thenkabail (email@example.com) or 928-556-7221.
USGS Scientist to Attend the NASA LCLUC Meeting in Myanmar. January 12-18, 2016: Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is one of the invited members of the NASA International Land Cover/Land Use Changes (LCLUC) Regional Science Team Meeting in South and Southeast Asia, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma), 01/12/2016 to 01/18/2016. The meeting is planned around four themes: 1). agriculture and water resources, 2). forest cover mapping and monitoring; 3). urbanization and 4). land-atmosphere interactions including fires. The meeting will serve as a forum to interact with international/regional remote sensing and GIS experts working on South/Southeast Asia. For further information go to Meeting website: http://lcluc.umd.edu/meetings.php?mid=69 or please contact Dr. Prasad Thenkabail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 928-556-7221.
USGS scientist is one of the core team member of the NASA South\Southeast Asia Regional Initiative: Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is one of the core Team members of the NASA Land Cover Land Use Change (LCLUC) program for South and SouthEast Asia (SARI): http://www.sari.umd.edu/ As mentioned, in the SARI website, “The goal of SARI is to develop an innovative regional research, education, and capacity building program involving state-of-the-art remote sensing, natural sciences, engineering and social sciences to enrich Land Cover/Land Use Change (LCLUC) science in South/Southeast Asia”. For further information, please contact Dr. Prasad Thenkabail (email@example.com) or 928-556-7221.
A three volume Remote Sensing Handbook Edited by USGS scientist is published: Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) edited a three-volume “Remote Sensing Handbook” consisting of 82 Chapters and ~2250 pages. The book chapters have 300+ contributing authors. The three volumes are entitled: 1. Remotely Sensed Data Characterization, Classification, and Accuracies; 2. Land Resources Monitoring, Modeling, and Mapping with Remote Sensing; and 3. Remote Sensing of Water Resources, Disasters, and Urban Studies. Books are published by the Publisher Taylor and Francis\CRC press.
Mapping belowground biomass in restored Delta wetlands: USGS and U.C. Berkeley scientists have developed methods to model and map plant belowground biomass and root:shoot ratios in restored wetlands managed to reverse land subsidence and increase carbon sequestration in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, California. The peat soils of the Delta represent a significant carbon pool, and the roots and rhizomes of wetland vegetation are the primary source of organic carbon for peat formation. However tracking belowground productivity in the field is time consuming, expensive and difficult. A recent study, published in Remote Sensing, describes a hybrid modeling approach for quantifying relative differences in belowground biomass and root:shoot ratios that applies estimates of leaf nitrogen concentration and plant aboveground biomass derived from Landsat satellite data. These methods can be applied over large scales to monitor the success of restored wetlands, assess wetland resilience to sea level rise, and quantify Blue Carbon, the carbon stored in coastal vegetated ecosystems. For more information, contact Dr. Kristin Byrd, USGS Western Geographic Science Center, firstname.lastname@example.org, 650-329-4279.
November 30 - December 4, 2015
On December 2, USGS research geographer Nathan Wood briefed a district representative for Representative Suzanne Bonamici (1st District, Oregon) on current USGS research related to community vulnerability to tsunamis, as well as the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program. For more information, contact Nathan Wood at email@example.com or 503-251-3291.
USGS scientist briefs forest products professionals on earthquake and tsunami hazards: On December 3, USGS research geographer Nathan Wood gave an invited presentation at the 25th Annual Western Pulp, Paper, & Forest Products Safety & Health Conference, held in Portland Oregon. The session provided an overview of the earthquake and tsunami threat in the region, on-going research to better understand community vulnerability to these threats, and current efforts to increase resilience. For more information, contact Nathan Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-251-3291.
USGS Scientist Addresses Advancing Landowner Watershed Restoration in the Southwest:
November 16-20, 2015
USGS Geographer serves as invited panelist at Careers in Geography Symposium at San Jose State University: On November 16, Tamara Wilson from the Western Geographic Science Center served as an invited panel member for the Careers in Geography Symposium at San Jose State University, along with representatives from Apple Maps, the City of San Jose Planning Department and other Geography professionals. The event was hosted by the Geography Club of San Jose State University as part of their Geography Awareness Week celebration. For more information, contact Tamara S. Wilson, Menlo Park, CA email@example.com
November 9-13, 2015
USGS helps host conference of resource specialists restoring desert and other arid ecosystems: On November 20-22, the Society for Ecological Restoration Southwest Chapter (SER-SW) is hosting its first annual conference in Tucson, Arizona. This new SER chapter was formed to facilitate communication and encourage coordination among land managers, researchers, and restorationists working in the southwestern United States, where minimal and variable precipitation presents unique challenges for the restoration of degraded ecosystems. The region covers all of Arizona and New Mexico, as well as the desert portions of southern California, Nevada, and Utah. For more information, contact SER-SW President, Laura Norman firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the conference website: http://sersw2015.wix.com/conference.
USGS Scientists Present at Annual Conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration – Southwest Chapter: USGS scientists will be presenting their research at the Annual Conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration in Tucson, AZ November 20 – 21. USGS presentations will cover the effects of watershed restoration techniques on hydrologic and geomorphic processes, changes in vegetation communities associated with watershed restoration projects, and predicting treatment windows for the control of invasive buffelgrass. For more information, contact Natalie R. Wilson (email@example.com), Laura Norman (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Cindy Wallace (email@example.com).
Western Geographic Science Center roundtable with visiting undergraduates from the United Kingdom: On November 10, researchers from the Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) met with visiting Geography undergraduate students from the U.K. WGSC members discussed their individual projects, educational backgrounds, and the critical tools they utilize in their research such as geographic information systems and programming skills for automating tasks with large datasets. Other topics included the importance of visualizations in presenting your research work and marketing what you do. The group also discussed strategies for how to apply and get into graduate school, effective ways to meet and network with other professionals, and the importance of a web presence in presenting science information to the general public. For more information, contact Tamara S. Wilson, Western Geographic Science Center, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA firstname.lastname@example.org
Remote Sensing Handbook (Three Volume Set) edited by Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has just been published by Taylor and Francis Inc.\CRC press:
Considered magnum opus with rave reviews from the best of the experts on the subject, the handbook provides most comprehensive coverage of the evolution of remote sensing science, current state-of-the-art technology, and a future vision for the field. Overall, Remote Sensing Handbook (Three Volume Set) has 82 Chapters, about 2200 pages, contributions from 300+ Internationally acclaimed authors, every page printed in color, and bound in hard copy. It is a must reference material for all remote sensing students, professors, scientists, and expert practitioners. For further information, please contact Dr. Prasad Thenkabail (email@example.com) or 928-556-7221.
November 2-6, 2015
Newly Released Photo Catalog Puts US Landscapes On Exhibit: The USGS Western Geographic Science Team is set to announce that it has made part of a national repository of geographically referenced USGS field photographs publicly available. USGS geographers developed a simple, easy-to-use mapping portal called the Land Cover Trends Field Photo Map to release photos from the Land Cover Trends Project. Contact Chris Soulard (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jason Sherba (email@example.com) with questions.
Pedestrian-evacuation travel speed maps developed for coastal communities with tsunami hazards: USGS research geographer Nathan Wood and colleagues at the State of Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries recently published an article in the journal Natural Hazards that summarizes new advances in tsunami evacuation modeling and mapping. Using the threat of Cascadia-related tsunami hazards in Seaside (Oregon), the new modeling methods include maps of minimum travel speeds and optimal routes to safety given a tsunami scenario. For more information, contact Nathan Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-251-3291. The article can be accessed at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11069-015-2011-4.
USGS scientist briefs National Security Council working group: On October 30, USGS research geographer Nathan Wood gave an invited presentation to an interagency working group led by the National Security Council that focuses on helping communities prepare for post-fire flooding hazards. Wood discussed a prototype national map and related graphs to visualize variations in county exposure to post-fire flooding hazards, as determined by previous burn histories and precipitation forecasts. The map was developed Wood, Jamie Jones and Kevin Henry (all from the Western Geographic Science Center) based on guidance from the USGS Office of Water Information in the Water Mission Area. The prototype work was well received and discussions will continue at a subsequent meeting on November 5 in Washington, D.C. For more information, contact Nathan Wood at email@example.com or 503-251-3291.
USGS scientists helping USFS coastal refuge managers plan for sea level rise: USGS scientists, U.S. Fish Wildlife refuge managers, and university colleagues recently published a paper in the journal Ecology and Society that describes a framework for understanding potential landscape changes, system vulnerabilities, and adaptation alternatives for coastal USFW wildlife refuges that are changing due to sea level rise and other global change processes. The work lays the foundation for continued work under the guidance of the U.S. DOI SE Climate Science Center with several USFW coastal refuges on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. For more information, contact Nathan Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-251-3291. The article can be accessed at http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol20/iss4/art14/
Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is on the NASA Climate Indicators and Data Products for Future National Climate Assessments (INCA) peer review panel for proposals received in response to the solicitation entitled ROSES14 A.29. The panel will be held in the Washington DC area (specifically in Potomac MD) November 4 to 6, 2015. For further information, please contact Dr. Prasad Thenkabail (email@example.com) or 928-556-7221.
USGS scientists examine future land use related water demand in California: Water shortages in California are a growing concern amidst ongoing drought, earlier spring snowmelt, projected future climate warming, and currently mandated water use restrictions. As population and associated land consumption increase in coming decades, already limited water supplies will face additional pressure to meet growing demand. We used a state-and-transition simulation model to project future changes in developed (municipal and industrial) and agricultural land use to estimate associated water use demand by the year 2062. Overall, water use demand was projected to increase 4.6% or by 1.6 million acre feet. Developed land uses increased nearly 55% and contributed to the 5.5% decline in agriculture-related water demand by 2062. The results of this work were presented at the Southwest Climate Science Summit meeting on November 2 in Sacramento, CA. For more information, contact Tamara S. Wilson, Western Geographic Science Center, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA firstname.lastname@example.org
USGS Western Geographic Science Center Participates in NSF Graduate Research Intern Program: The USGS Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) is participating in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP) through a new USGS-NSF collaboration. On October 30, 2015 the USGS Office of Science Quality and Integrity announced that the proposed WGSC project entitled "Understanding Vegetation Response to Climate: Exploiting New Research Opportunities with USGS Near-Surface Remote Sensing" was among the USGS projects selected for participation in GRIP. A GRIP intern at USGS can benefit from a rewarding research experience and mentoring, while making significant contributions to USGS science priorities. For additional information, contact Dennis Dye (email@example.com, 928-556-7029).
October 26-30, 2015
USGS at 2015 Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference in Washington DC: Research Geographer Miguel Villarreal (WGSC) will participate in the 2015 Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference, held in Washington DC, October 29-31. The SACNAS conference brings together students and practitioners from STEM fields with a focus on professional development and mentoring of young scientists. Miguel will give a presentation on wildfire and drought effects on wildlife and ecosystems, as part of the USGS organized session “Life in the Fire and the Rumble - Earthquake, Volcano, Wildfire, Drought, and Landslide Hazards.” Miguel will also participate in a panel of current and past Mendenhall scientists, who will share their experiences as post-docs at the USGS. Contact: Miguel Villarreal (firstname.lastname@example.org).
USGS, BIA and San Carlos Apache Tribe Partner for Remote Sensing Project: The BIA San Carlos Agency and the San Carlos Apache Tribe are partnering with the USGS Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) to inform Tribal land managers about how drought and climate change are affecting forest resources and wildfire hazards on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. The project plan includes deployment of the USGS High Dynamic Range Land Imaging System (HDR-LVIS), an advanced, multispectral imaging system developed at WGSC, for field-based monitoring of vegetation health and seasonal growth. The observations will be analyzed to document and assess changes in the length of the growing season, the effects of prescribed forest treatments on understory vegetation, and fire danger associated with changes in live fuel moisture. The partnership is supported by grants from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and USGS program for TEchnical training in Support of Native American Relations (TESNAR). For additional information, contact Dennis Dye (email@example.com, 928-556-7029).
Conservation planning for offsetting renewable energy impacts in the Mojave Desert: A paper authored by WGSC scientist Jason Kreitler presents a new decision support tool for offsetting impacts of solar energy on biodiversity in the Mojave Desert. Balancing society’s competing needs of development and conservation requires careful consideration of tradeoffs. While renewable energy and biodiversity conservation are often considered beneficial environmental goals, the direct footprint and disturbance of renewable energy development can displace species’ habitat and negatively impact populations and natural communities. To address this need the authors designed an offset siting support tool for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) of California, and present a case study of offsetting a set of hypothetical impacts from proposed solar energy development sites. (Contact: Jason Kreitler, (208) 426-5217, firstname.lastname@example.org, Boise, ID)
October 12-16, 2015
Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be one of the plenary speakers of the forthcoming "2015 International Conference on Intelligent Earth Observing and Applications" to be held in Guilin, China, 23-24 October 2015. Dr. Thenkabail will deliver a lecture entitled: “Global Food Security Support-Analysis Data using Spaceborne Remote Sensing”. For further information, please contact Dr. Prasad Thenkabail (email@example.com) or 928-556-7221.
USGS scientist invited to speak at the Willcox-San Simon NRCD Meeting October 22, 2015: On Thursday (10/22/15), the chairman of the Willcox-San Simon Natural Resource Conservation District (NRCD) has invited Dr. Laura Norman (USGS) to present her research describing the hydrological response of streams restored with check dams in the West Turkey Creek, Chiricahua Mountains, southeast Arizona. The Willcox-San Simon NRCD is a district that promotes conservation of natural resources on private lands in cooperation with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. For more information, read the publication (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rra.2895/full) or contact Laura Norman (firstname.lastname@example.org).