What is Remote Sensing?

Remote sensing involves imaging of the Earth from aircraft or spacecraft at scales ranging from a few square kilometers to the entire globe. Images are formed from visible light as well as near-infrared light, thermal radiation, and microwave radiation, and thus extend well beyond the range of the human eye. The science of remote sensing involves extracting information from these images—for example, mapping vegetation properties over large areas. Geographic information systems (GIS) assist in the display and manipulation of spatial data—points, lines, or areas with associated labels or data values. GIS is widely used by public agencies and private firms that have large land holdings or spatially distributed operations.

Faculty Research

Terrestrial Ecosystems, Land Cover, and Land Use

  • Mark Friedlland surface climatology, global land cover dynamics, remote sensing
  • Alessandro Baccini – remote sensing, forests, and large-scale carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems
  • Yuri Knyazikhin – passive and active remote sensing of vegetation
  • Ranga Myneni – vegetation remote sensing with satellite data and climate-vegetation interactions
  • Pontus Olofssonremote sensing of land change and terrestrial carbon dynamics
  • Valerie Pasquarellaintersection of remote sensing and ecology, mapping and monitoring of landscape dynamics
  • Curtis Woodcockremote sensing, particularly monitoring of environmental change, terrestrial carbon dynamics

Marine Systems and Atmospheric Remote Sensing

  • Cédric Fichotmarine optics, remote sensing, coastal and estuarine biogeochemistry, photochemistry, water quality
  • Jeffrey Geddesatmospheric chemistry, air quality, remote sensing
  • Magaly Koch coastal systems, groundwater resources and arid land change

For more information, please follow links to pages describing research and academic programs in the center.