Category: Curtis Woodcock

Sergio Fagherazzi participating in workshops in Vietnam

February 18th, 2014 in 2014, Curtis Woodcock, Faculty, February-14, Sergio Fagherazzi, Talks, Trips

Department of Earth and Environment Professor Sergio Fagherazzi is in Vietnam this week as part of the Vietnam-United States cooperation program on the Mekong River Delta dynamics.

Over the course of this week, Fagherazzi will participate in in three workshops across the country. Fagherazzi will visit the Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology in Hanoi; the College of Environmental and Natural Resources at Can Tho University in Can Tho; and the Meteorology and Hydrology Department at Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City.

At each scheduled workshop, Fagherazzi will be giving a talk titled “Feedbacks between vegetation cover, hydrodynamics, and sediment transport in tidally dominated tropical deltas: a remote sensing approach.” The talk focuses on work done by Fagherazzi in collaboration with Department of Earth and Environment Professor and Chair Curtis Woodcock.

To learn more about the work of Prof. Sergio Fagherazzi, visit his profile page or visit the publications or grants sections of our website. Or check out his personal website.

Mark Friedl awarded new grant from NASA

January 22nd, 2014 in 2014, Curtis Woodcock, Faculty, Graduate students, Grants, January-14, Mark Friedl

Department of Earth and Environment Professor Mark Friedl was recently awarded funding from NASA for his new project, “Using Three Decades of Landsat Data to Characterize Changes and Vulnerability of Temperature and Boreal Forest Phenology to Climate Change.”

Friedl and his team will use Landsat data collected over the past 30 years to analyze the growing season of temperate and boreal forests in North America. Their goal is to use the data to better understand how these forests have responded to climate change. Working with Friedl as Co-investigators on the project will be Department of Earth and Environment Professor and Chair Curtis Woodcock and current Ph.D. student Eli Melaas.

The project will begin this spring and take place over the next three years.

For more information on Professor Friedl’s work check out his publications and grants, or visit his website.


A detailed abstract of the project is as follows:

“Climate change is creating well-documented impacts on terrestrial ecosystems. Among the best known of these impacts are changes to the growing season of temperate and boreal forests. Changes in phenology provide useful diagnostics of climate change impacts in these biomes, influence coupled biosphere-atmosphere interactions, and also affect regional-to-global carbon budgets. Extreme events and climate variability complicate the response of ecosystems and increase vulnerability by inducing large phenological responses that affect ecosystem function at seasonal (and longer) time scales. Studies using in-situ measurements have suggested that the growing season of temperate and boreal ecosystems is changing, and remote sensing-based research using time series imagery from coarse resolution sensors appear to confirm this trend. Specifically, studies using AVHRR NDVI data have documented changes in growing season NDVI that indicate widespread perturbations to boreal and temperate forests in response to climate change.  However, the coarse spatial resolution and other limitations of AVHRR data constrain the types of inferences that can be drawn from these data.  Sub-pixel contamination of AVHRR time series by snow and disturbance events introduce sources of variation unrelated to phenology, and challenges associated with instrument calibration, atmospheric correction, and geo-location uncertainty further reduce the utility of these data for long-term phenology studies. In this proposal we describe research to address these challenges using Landsat data. Specifically, we propose to use a new methodology that exploits dense time series of Landsat images to quantify spatio-temporal patterns in North American temperate and boreal forest growing season dynamics. Our proposed methodology uses a sampling strategy designed to capture geographic variation in temperate and boreal forest properties, and focuses on regions of overlap between adjacent Landsat scenes, thereby significantly increasing the temporal sampling of Landsat images. Because temperate and boreal ecosystems are characterized by frequent disturbance and have snow on the ground at times of the year that are especially important for detecting changes in phenology, our methodology will exploit datasets related to fire disturbance such as the Canadian and Alaskan Large Fire databases, and will include strategies to screen and remove snow-contaminated pixels. Results from this research will yield methods and datasets for retrospective characterization of changes to temperate and boreal forest growing seasons spanning 30+ years at 30-meter spatial resolution. In doing so, this research will (1) dramatically improve information about how temperate and boreal forests have changed in response to climate change, and (2) improve understanding regarding the sensitivity and vulnerability of these forests to climate change.”

Professor Woodcock chairs meeting on future of Landsat

January 13th, 2014 in 2014, Curtis Woodcock, Faculty, January-14, Meeting, Trips

Department of Earth and Environment Chair and Professor Curtis Woodcock was in Washington this past week where he attended and chaired a meeting on the future of the Landsat program.

Charged by the President to develop a plan for sustainable Landsat observations over the next twenty to twenty-five years, NASA and the USGS convened the ”Landsat Science Team Workshop on Sustained Land Imaging Requirements” on January 7th and 8th at the North Penthouse of the Stewart Udall Department of the Interior Building.

As part of the meeting, Professor Woodcock, along with his fellow USGS/NASA Landsat Science Team, provided guidance on a host of issues that involve defining “continuity” for future Landsat observations.

To learn more about Professor Woodcock’s research and use of Landsat, review his recent publications.

Curtis Woodcock participates in panel at Sustainable Land Imaging Users Forum

December 10th, 2013 in 2013, Curtis Woodcock, December-13, Faculty, Meeting, Talks, Trips

USGS and NASA want to build better satellites; specifically, they want to improve the designs of future remote sensing satellites, like the Landsat satellites, as part of the Sustainable Land Imaging Program. With this in mind, last week USGS and NASA held the Sustainable Land Imaging Users Forum at the NASA Goddard Visitors Center Auditorium in Maryland.

Designed to inform Landsat users how USGS and NASA will be assessing the future needs of users, the Forum demonstrated how user input will impact the design and the implementation of future spaceborne systems.

Department of Earth and Environment Chair and Professor Curtis Woodcock was invited to the event to participate in a panel on the “Operational Uses of Landsat Data.” Prof. Woodcock and four other participants fielded questions on Landsat uses and listened as audience members articulated their future requirements for the Sustainable Land Imaging Program.

The event comes as USGS and NASA are attempting to weigh different options of how to proceed with the future collection of remote sensing data. To learn more about the Sustainable Land Imaging Users Forum and the future of Landsat data collection, check out this article by Debra Werner at


Sergio Fagherazzi and Curtis Woodcock awarded grant

November 18th, 2013 in 2013, Curtis Woodcock, Faculty, Grants, November-13, Sergio Fagherazzi

Department of Earth and Environment Professors Sergio Fagherazzi and Curtis Woodcock announced today that they have been awarded a new grant by the Office of Naval Research.

With this new grant, Dr. Fagherazzi and Dr. Woodcock will focus their attentions on the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The Mekong Delta is well known for the size of fish, particular catfish, that grow in its waters; however, Dr. Fagherazzi and Dr. Woodcock will be studying the delta’s vegetation. Fagherazzi explains that “the goal of the project is ‘to determine the feedbacks between mangrove vegetation and tidal hydrodynamics in tropical deltas with remote sensing data.’”

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is an executive branch within the Department of Defense. To learn more about ONR visit their website.

To learn more about grants awarded to E&E faculty, click here.


Curtis Woodcock and Robert Kennedy participate in USGS & NASA Landsat Science Team Meeting

October 31st, 2013 in 2013, Curtis Woodcock, Faculty, Meeting, October-13, Robert Kennedy, Trips

Chair of the Department Dr. Curtis Woodcock and Assistant Professor Dr. Robert Kennedy attended the USGS & NASA Landsat Science Team meeting this week. From Tuesday Oct 29th to Thursday Oct 31st, Dr. Woodcock and Dr. Kennedy  met with fellow scientists and experts at the USGS Earth Resource Observation System Data Center in Sioux Falls, SD to discuss recent research and the future direction of Landsat and other remote sensing programs.

For over forty years the Landsat program has been collecting space-based images of the planet in an effort to provide data on the changing environment and landscape of the Earth. These images provide useful data to experts in agriculture, forestry, regional planning, geology, cartography, education, and other fields.

The 24 member team led by Dr. Woodcock and Dr. David Roy of South Dakota State University will serve from 2012 to 2017. Along with his responsibilities as team co-leader, Dr. Woodcock contributes his expertise in monitoring land cover condition, change, and type. Dr. Kennedy contributes his expertise in the use of time series approaches to improve Landsat’s characterization of land surface dynamics.

To learn more information about Landsat, visit the USGS Landsat website or click here for more information about the current Landsat Science Team.

Prof. Woodcock Named Chair of E&E

August 24th, 2012 in 2012, Curtis Woodcock, Faculty

woodcockDr. Gina Sapiro, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, has named Professor Curtis Woodcock the inaugural chair of the Department of Earth & Environment. Professor Woodcock’s research interests include the use of remote sensing to study forest change and its impact on terrestrial carbon budgets. He previously served as chair of the Department of Geography & Environment.