Connecting the global to the local – agricultural landscapes from field to orbit
Jul29

Connecting the global to the local – agricultural landscapes from field to orbit

More Agro-ecology at ESA’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer   Big changes in agriculture are visible on the global scale – changes in crop yields, dietary choices, water use, fertilizer application, soil retention, and nutrient pollution. In some parts of the world, yield lags, revealing opportunities to get more out of land already in production. In others, crop production has...

Read More
Landsat Data Continuity Mission launches
Feb19

Landsat Data Continuity Mission launches

Great day for a launch: all indications positive for Landsat 8. By Liza Lester, ESA communications officer.   AT 10:02am local time on Monday, February 11, 2013, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, into a clear blue sky atop an  Atlas V rocket. The latest USGS earth observatory satellite is a $855 million investment in the future of a 40-year continuous land imaging...

Read More

Sandy reminds us science plays a role in safety too

This post contributed by Terence Houston, ESA Science Policy Analyst As noted in a previous EcoTone post, science plays an important role in hurricane monitoring efforts. The collaborative work of the US Geological Survey (USGS), the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) help to monitor water levels in our nation’s waterways, landscape changes and warn local communities...

Read More
Landsat 5 update: Thematic Mapper incommunicado
Jun05

Landsat 5 update: Thematic Mapper incommunicado

End of routine acquisitions for the Thematic Mapper, secondary sensor is still sending data. [update, March 2014: the Landsat 8 mission launched successfully last year and the new satellite is sending great data back home. USGS decommissioned Landsat 5 in 2013.] By Liza Lester, ESA communications officer. The US Geological Survey’s Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper has been a faithful friend to ecologists. Recoding image data in seven bands...

Read More
Goodbye, Landsat 5
Dec15

Goodbye, Landsat 5

This post contributed by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer Four hundred miles above the Earth’s surface, a satellite slides into lonely oblivion. After collecting and broadcasting earthly imagery for a remarkable quarter century past its expected 3-year lifespan, Landsat 5 is failing. Over the years, US Geological Survey engineers have contrived quite a few patches and work-arounds for malfunctions on board their distant charge,...

Read More

Waves mightier than sun, otter or urchin: storm disturbance shapes California kelp forests

This post contributed by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer. As winter storms pick up along the California coast, a harvest of giant kelp comes ashore with the tides, torn from seafloor anchorages by the rough action of waves. Waves are the most powerful force shaping the kelp forest, superseding the influence of temperature, nutrients, and hungry animals, say University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) researchers in the...

Read More