Category: Curtis Woodcock
Alan Strahler receives NSF grant for a Research Coordination Network to advance applications of terrestrial laser scanning for vegetation study
Prof. Alan Strahler has been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled “RCN-IDBR: Coordinating the Development of Terrestrial Lidar Scanning for Forest Carbon Inventory and Ecological Applications.” The award supports a Research Coordination Network to develop a simple, low-cost, tripod-mounted terrestrial laser scanner that can rapidly survey a forest stand and automatically provide an accurate measurement of the amount of aboveground biomass contained within the stand. Such information is essential for studies of the carbon cycle and measurement of mitigation of anthropogenic increases of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A second network activity identifies and develops other new applications of this and similar laser scanners in forest ecology and related fields.
The research network includes researchers from the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, and other nations who are presently working with commercial and research-built terrestrial lidar scanners to study vegetation and forest ecology. Network activities include workshops to bring lidar builders, users, and ecologists together; smaller technology developer’s meetings; exchanges of graduate students or researchers between laboratories; and laboratory and field standardization and intercomparison activities.
Co-investigators include EE Professors Curtis Woodcock and Lucy Hutyra; UMass Boston Professor Crystal Schaaf; and UMass Professor Supriya Chakrabarti. The project will run for five years, supported at about $100K/yr.
Former Grad Zhe Zhu, Curtis Woodcock, and Christopher Holden publish paper in Remote Sensing of Environment
The paper, “Generating synthetic Landsat images based on all available Landsat data: predicting Landsat surface reflectance at any given time,” was co-authored by Dr. Zhu’s PhD advisor and mentor Professor Curtis Woodcock and by current PhD candidate Chris Holden.
Dr. Zhu is currently a research scientist at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center which is a part of the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Former Geography Research Professor Xiaowen Li succumbed to illness in Beijing on January 10th at the age of 67. Working closely with Professors Alan Strahler, Curtis Woodcock, and Crystal Schaaf, Professor Li developed a succession of physical models of directional reflectance of forest land cover that saw wide use in land remote sensing. He was also the primary architect of the algorithms underlying the MODIS BRDF/Albedo product. Soon after the MODIS launch, Professor Li transitioned to Beijing Normal University (BNU), where he held the rank of Professor and Dean in the School of Geography, and most recently served there as the Director of the Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems Research Center. He also served as the Director of the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications of the Chinese Academy of Science from 2002-2008, and was the Principal Investigator for several important Key Projects in remote sensing supported by the Chinese Academy of Science under the five-year planning mechanism.
Professor Li’s contributions were recognized with his appointment as Academician of the Chinese Academy of Science in 2001. He also received several prestigious science prizes from that academy and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in China.
In contributions to Boston University, Professor Li served as the liaison for an academic exchange program in remote sensing between BU and Beijing Normal, which brought BNU doctoral students to BU. He also generously endowed a fund within the Department of Geography and Environment for assistance to the exchange students.
He is survived by his widow, Wu Chuanqi, and his two daughters, Li Jie and Li Zhung, who reside in the United States.
In recent years, Professor Li’s quiet and self-effacing demeanor, unusual for an Academician, was recognized through social media and earned him the title of the “Cloth Shoes Academician.” Here follows two translations of media reports on his death, kindly provided by Dr. David Jupp of CSIRO, Australia, also a friend and colleague of Professor Li. Text and photographs of Professor Li’s funeral are posted on the web site i.feng.com/news.
Translated From: http://www.wenxuecity.com/news/2015/01/10/3937484.html
The “Cloth Shoes” Academician, Li Xiaowen has passed away. From now on the “Humble Sage”1 is no longer with us
On the 10th [of January 2014], the reporter learned from the web that Academician Li Xiaowen of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Director of the Centre for Geographic Information at Beijing Normal University, also known popularly as the “Cloth Shoes Academician”, had passed away in Beijing.
Brief summary of academic achievements:
Academician Li Xiaowen graduated from the Chengdu Academy of Telecommunications Engineering in [Sichuan Province, China in] 1968. In 1985 he achieved Master and PhD degrees in Geographic Science, and Master in Computer and Electronic Engineering [in the US] at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has been Head of the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Dean and Teaching Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environment at Beijing Normal
University. [At the University] He was The Great River Meritorious Professor2, specializing in the fundamental theory of remote sensing science. He is originator of the Li-Strahler geometrical optics model which has been recognised by the International Society for Optical Engineering [SPIE] as a “Landmark achievement”, and he has achieved great fame at home and abroad in Remote Sensing Science.
In 2014, a report and photograph of Academician Li Xiaowen, with his plain and simple clothing and footwear, became popular on the Web, with some Netizens3 feeling that Li Xiaowen looked like a “Humble Sage”: [eg] “with humble demeanour but who from a seemingly inconspicuous role, displayed amazing gifts and brought about miraculous achievements.”
The Cloth Shoes Academician gives a lecture at University – the Weibo Netizens “Humble Sage”
Wearing plain and simple monastic dress, without socks, and wearing black cloth shoes, with thin features, grizzled hair and straggling beard, 67 year old Academician Li Xiaowen sits lecturing his works at the Chinese Academy of Sciences University. His humble presence is “like that of an immortal Sage”: Since the end of 1970, Li Xiaowen has been engaged in research into the area of Geography and Remote Sensing Information Science. He was originator of the Li-Strahler Geo-Optical Model, which was selected by the International Society for Optical Engineering [SPIE] as a “Landmark achievement”. The research achievements he and his team have made have advanced the development of quantitative remote sensing science, and made China one of the leaders in the field of quantitative Remote Sensing Science.
1 Literally, “the sweeping monk”. A monk sweeping the temple yard is in the position of a lowly person and emphasises virtuous unimportance. Apparent unimportance brings little fame and recognition but they are of little importance to a monk.
2 As Great River Professor, Li Xiaowen would have been used to the endless noise of the apes on the banks as he drifted from Baidi City through endless mountains of new ideas.
3 It is wonderful that people in the social media age, where your value is measured by number of friends multiplied the number of likes, can value unimportance, it is also wonderful they recognised the true nature of Li Xiaowen behind the picture.
Alumni Zhe Zhu, PhD candidate Shixiong Wang, Prof. Woodcock publish new paper in Remote Sensing of Environment
Geography program alumni Zhe Zhu along with current graduate student Geography PhD candidate Shixiong Wang and Professor and Chair Curtis Woodcock have published a new paper in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment.
The paper, “Improvement and expansion of the Fmask algorithm: cloud, cloud shadow, and snow detection for Landsats 4-7, 8, and Sentinel 2 images,” is available now online here. Zhu, now a research scientist at the Earth Resource Observation and Science (EROS) Center which is a part of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), is first author on the paper.
Zhu graduated from the Department’s Geography program in 2012 and served as a Postdoctoral Associate in the department from 2012 to 2014. To learn more about his work, visit his website.
Earth & Environment Professor Alan Strahler along with family, friends, and students celebrate the end of the semester and Strahler’s final class as an active Professor at Boston University.
Our department Administrative Coordinator Fred George was there to photograph the special occasion. Check out his pictures below.
The paper, “Automated cloud, cloud shadow, and snow detection in multitemporal Landsat data: An algorithm designed specifically for monitoring land cover change,” provides a new, better way to detect cloud, cloud shadow, and snow in Landsat data using the multitemporal information of the data.
The article was published in the 152th volume of the journal and can be accessed online here.
Additionally, Zhu and Woodcock have also provided a stand alone software for this algorithm (Tmask) for both windows and linux, and it can be accessed here.
Earth & Environment PhD Candidate Valerie Pasquarella’s dissertation research is featured in the Summer 2014 issue of Sanctuary Magazine, the journal of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. (http://www.massaudubon.org/content/download/12534/197327/file/mpa-sanctuary-summer2014-full.pdf, pages 22-23.)
Ann Prince’s article titled “Integrating Satellite Remote Sensing and On-the-Ground Observation” describes Pasquarella’s work using Landsat time series and ground-based ecological records to improve understanding of long-term ecological dynamics at Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, MA.
Pasquarella is jointly advised by Profs. Suchi Gopal and Curtis Woodcock in Earth & Environment and Prof. Les Kaufman in Biology.
Assistant Professor Lucy Hutyra‘s new grant has been awarded funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)‘s Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle, and Climate Program (AC4).
Hurtyra is Principle Investigator (PI) on the grant, titled “Quantifying Carbon Signatures Across Urban-to-Rural Gradients: Advancing the Capacity for Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification Through Observations, Models, and Remote Sensing,” which has been awarded for the period of August 2014 to July 2017.
You can review all of Hutyra’s active grants by visiting the grant section of our website.
Earth & Environment Professor and Chair Curtis Woodcock has just been awarded funding for a new NASA grant.
The new grant, “Near real-time monitoring of land cover disturbance by fusion of MODIS and Landsat data,” began on May 28, 2014 and will run until May 2017.
Professor Woodcock is listed as Principle Investigator on the new grant.
You can view this and other grants by Prof. Woodcock in the grants section of our website.
Earth & Environment Professor and Chair Curtis Woodcock, Research Assistant Professor Pontus Olofsson, and graduate student Chris Holden are at Woods Hole Research Center this week to participate in the first ever Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) Research and Development Expert Workshop on Sensor Interoperability (and sensor complemntarity).
The workshop will be held over a two day period from June 10-11 and will involve presentations, working group discussions, and the development of action plans to aid in future progress on the topics of sensor interoperability and complementarity.
During the workshop, Chris Holden will present research findings developed by the three E&E participants.
Holden is a Ph.D. candidate working with Prof. Woodcock on the topics of land cover change and carbon emissions.
To learn more about the work of Prof. Woodcock and his research group, check out his recent publications and grants; or you can read more departmental news stories on Prof. Woodcock in our News Categories section.