2017 News and Updates

August 8, 2017
Water resources icon
On June 11, 2017, the Los Angeles Times ran a front-page story on NASA's SnowEx campaign titled "Measuring the snowpack goes high-tech with airborne lasers and radar".

 

August 8, 2017
Water resources icon
ASCE has honored Soroosh Sorooshian, Ph.D., M.ASCE, with the 2017 Ven Te Chow Award for his pioneering work in hydrologic science and water resources systems engineering, including hydrometeorology, hydroclimate studies, and application of remote sensing with special focus on the hydrologic cycle and water resources issues. Established in 1995, the Ven Te Chow Award recognizes individuals whose lifetime achievements in the field of hydrologic engineering have been distinguished by exceptional achievement and significant contributions in research, education, or practice.

 

May 24, 2017
Capacity building icon
The SERVIR global network recently convened a four-day Service Planning Exchange hosted at the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) -- SERVIR’s Eastern & Southern Africa Hub. Representatives from SERVIR-West Africa, SERVIR-Hindu Kush-Himalaya, and SERVIR-Mekong made the trip to Nairobi on April 24-27 along with USAID, NASA, and SERVIR Support Team personnel.

 

May 5, 2017
Capacity building icon
Like many rivers across the world, the Nzoia River in western Kenya pushes over its banks each year. For example, in November 2008, the river burst through the dikes, flooding the low-lying land around it. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, at least 5,000 people were marooned or evacuated from the banks of the swollen river. The SERVIR Flood Map Tool, which was co-developed by the SERVIR Applied Sciences Team and the SERVIR-E&SA hub, has been used to identify sections of the dikes that needed repair. Based on this information, the World Bank’s Water Security and Resilience Project provided financial assistance to design and implement the repairs.

 

May 5, 2017
Capacity building icon
The SERVIR Science Coordination Office recently convened a week-long Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) exchange hosted at the University of San Francisco for members of the SERVIR global network. Representatives from SERVIR-West Africa, SERVIR-Eastern & Southern Africa (E&SA), SERVIR-Himalaya, and SERVIR-Mekong made the trip to spend 13-17 March 2017 in the “City by the Bay” with USAID, NASA, and SERVIR Support Team personnel. Experts from leading technology companies in the geospatial information arena also participated during the first two days of the event. The annual exchange is primarily a venue for sharing information and knowledge among the SERVIR network on Geospatial Information Technologies, and to promote collaboration in GIT matters across the network.

 

May 5, 2017
Capacity building icon
Satellites Reveal Shrinking Water, Bare Shorelines in Lower Grand Canyon NASA satellite imagery shows a more detailed picture of how drought has shrunk water levels and exposed the bottom of the Colorado River in the lower Grand Canyon.

 

May 5, 2017
Capacity building icon
DEVELOP's Chesapeake Bay Agriculture project was featured by NASA's Earth Observatory. The primary goals of this project were to automate key steps in acquiring yearly satellite imagery and compute vegetation metrics to assess winter cover crop performance in the Chesapeake Bay. As a test case, four Maryland counties were used to calculate NDVI derived biomass, nitrogen content, and percent nitrogen by field from 2006-2016. In addition, software was developed to calculate the same metrics in future years. Monitoring cover crop performance in the Chesapeake Bay using Earth observations (EO) allows the MD Department of Agriculture (MDA) to confirm cover crop implementation and to inform adaptive management. 

 

December 14, 2017
Damage Proxy Map for Southern California Fire.
Graphic produced December 13, 2017 with imagery acquired 11/28/17 & 12/10/17 The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas in Southern California, including Ventura, that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of wildfires. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (Nov. 28, 2017 6AM) and after (Dec. 10, 2017 6AM, both Pacific Standard Time) the onset of the fires. The map covers an area of 107 by 107 miles (172 by 172 kilometers), shown by the large red polygon. Each pixel measures about 33 yards (30 meters) across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing to optical satellite imagery by the DigitalGlobe. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. For example, the colored pixels over mountainous areas may seem a little scattered even though the reality could be that the contiguous areas were burned. Patches of farm land can appear as signals due to plowing or irrigation.  

 

December 11, 2017
Acquired December 5-7th, 2017
Acquired December 5-7th, 2017 This data was acquired by the ”Classic” Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-C) instrument on December 5-7th. This is an instrument that flies on NASA Armstrong Flight Center’s high altitude ER-2 aircraft. It observes light in visible and infrared wavelengths, measuring the full spectrum of radiated energy. Unlike regular cameras with three colors, AVIRIS-C has 224 channels from the visible through the shortwave infrared, which provides a chemical signature or fingerprint. Applications: Imaging Spectroscopy data permits mapping of fire temperature and fractional coverage, and surface properties including fuel type and condition (alive vs. dead, moist vs. dry). Spectroscopy is also valuable for characterizing forest drought conditions and health to assess fire risk. AVIRIS-C has been observing fire-prone areas in Southern California over the span of many years, forming a growing time series of before/after imagery. This is helping to improve scientific understanding of fire risk and ecosystem response to the California drought.

 

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