Professor Kennedy Researches a Disturbance in the Forest

in 2013, 2013, Faculty, January-13, News, Publications, Robert Kennedy
January 14th, 2013

Kennedy's imagery covers lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service in Washington state, Oregon and northern California.A new way of studying and visualizing Earth science data from a NASA and U.S. Geological Survey satellite program is resulting in, for the first time, the ability to tease out the small events that can cause big changes in an ecosystem.

Called LandTrendr, this computer program is able to find patterns previously buried within vast amounts of scientific data. Still in development, it’s already led to seeing for the first time in satellite imagery an obscured, slow-moving decline and recovery of trees in Pacific Northwest forests.

Comparing satellite data to ground data, scientists uncovered the cause. “It was, as it turns out, bugs,” says Robert Kennedy, a remote sensing specialist at Boston University, who consulted with U.S. Forest Service experts to confirm his observations. Click for entire article…