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Eyes on Earth Episode 56 – Modeling the Past to Plan for the Future

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 how scientists built a map of pre-Colonial land cover in the U.S.

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Color photo of Kori Blankenship with the logo for the USGS EROS podcast "Eyes on Earth"
Kori Blankenship

Summary: Mapping land cover in the United States in the present isn’t a simple job, but satellites like Landsat make it possible. Mapping conditions in the pre-satellite era, which the LANDFIRE program does through its Biophysical Settings (BpS) GIS data products, is a far trickier proposition. BpS essentially offer a spatially-explicit map of pre-Colonial land cover in the U.S., alongside models that help scientists understand how landscapes re-grow and recover after disturbances. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we learn how LANDFIRE went about creating its BpS datasets and the value they hold for land managers and fire scientists.

Guests: Kori Blankenship, Fire Ecologist and Spatial Analyst, The Nature Conservancy

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: August 9, 2021

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