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Eyes on Earth Episode 30 – Remapping LANDFIRE

Eyes on Earth is a podcast on remote sensing, Earth observation, land change and science, brought to you by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. In this episode, we learn about LANDFIRE and a yearslong project to improve the critical nationwide data source.

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Color photo of ecologist Randy Swaty with USGS Eyes on Earth podcast logo
Randy Swaty

Summary: In the days before LANDFIRE, fire scientists often struggled to find the vegetation and fuels data they needed to map the path of fires, keep firefighters safe, and to model fire recovery. The dizzying array of data points found in the map layers of the LANDFIRE product suite—from hundreds of vegetation classes to tree canopy height and bulk to fuel potential and beyond—became indispensable upon its release in 2005. Since then, it’s also proven its worth to land managers, ecologists, biologists, carbon modelers and others, and has been cited in over 1,000 papers. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear from a non-profit LANDFIRE partner about the multi-agency federal program’s value, and about recent efforts to remap the United States to improve the product.

Guests: Randy Swaty, The Nature Conservancy

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: July 27, 2020