Science Center Objects

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.

Click the "Multimedia" tab above to access each episode. Click here to subscribe though our RSS feed.

Episode 14 – Space Debris

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Color photo of Doug Daniels with the graphic for the USGS EROS podcast "Eyes on Earth"

Doug Daniels, Principal Systems Engineer with the Aerospace Corporation at USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

Summary: Sixty years of manned and unmanned space flight have left a cosmic junkyard circling the planet. In 2017, the U.S. government reported that it logged 308,984 close calls with space junk and issued 655 emergency-reportable alerts to satellite operators. In this episode, we learn about that debris, its potential dangers, and how Landsat flight operators keep their satellites out of harm’s way.

Guest: Doug Daniels, Principal Systems Engineer with the Aerospace Corporation

Host: Steve Young

Producer: Brian Hauge

Release date: Jan. 13, 2020

More on Space Junk

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Color photo of geographer Roger Auch with "Eyes on Earth" podcast graphic

Roger Auch

Episode 13 – Land Use

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Summary: Scientists at EROS use tools like Landsat to produce land cover maps, which tell us if landscapes are rural or urban, cropped or forested, wetland or shrubland. Those maps help scientists at EROS and around the U.S. study the impact of changes in land use on not just landscapes, but on ecosystems, patterns of resource use, wildlife habitat, and much more. In this episode, we learn about the basics of land use and land cover study research from Geographer Roger Auch.

Guest: Roger Auch, Research Geographer

Host: Steve Young

Producer: Brian Hauge

Release date: Dec. 30, 2019

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Color photo of Jesslyn Brown with USGS EROS Eyes on Earth graphic

USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center Research Physical Scientist Jesslyn Brown

Episode 12 – Plant Health via Satellite (NDVI)

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Summary: A farmer at the foot of a corn stalk can tell how well the plant is faring. That same farmer might survey his entire field for crop health. But assessing the health of crops or forests at regional, national, and international scales requires remote sensing, most often via satellite. In this episode of Eyes on Earth, we talk to Jesslyn Brown about the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a tool that uses the broader electromagnetic spectrum to estimate plant health.

Guests: Jesslyn Brown, Research Physical Scientist

Host: John Hult

Producers: John Hult

Release date: Dec. 16, 2019

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Color photo of EROS Fall Poster Session

USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center Fall Poster Session.

Episode 11 – EROS Fall Poster Session

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Summary: Each fall, EROS invites its staff scientists and area graduate students to visit for a noontime poster session. The poster sessions offer a change for those researchers to present their results to their peers and get feedback from their fellow scientists. For this episode, we’ll hear about research into biofuels, cloud-friendly Landsat data, shrubland mapping and satellite-based fire monitoring.

Guests: Dr. Sanath Kumar Sathyachandran, Matthew Rigge, Renee Pischke, contractors to USGS EROS; Logan Megard, South Dakota State University

Host: John Hult

Producers: Brian Hauge, John Hult

Release date: Dec. 5, 2019

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Nima Pahlevan - Eyes on Earth podcast

Nima Pahlevan

Episode 10 – Landsat and Water Quality

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Summary: We tend to associate Landsat satellites with what we see on solid Earth, but they can also tell us much about the health of our inland and coastal ecosystems. Landsat can be used to monitor harmful algal blooms, for example. Eyes on Earth guest Dr. Nima Pahlevan, a Landsat Science Team member, is part of a research team that tracks algal blooms worldwide using Landsat data.

Guest: Dr. Nima Pahlevan, Landsat Science Team

Host: Steve Young

Producer: Brian Hauge

Release date: Dec. 2, 2019

More on Landsat and Aquatic Health

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Chris Funk, Research Geographer, pictured with USGS EROS Eyes on Earth podcast graphic

Chris Funk

Episode 9 – Famine Early Warning

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Summary: Nearly 85 million people around the world are currently considered “food insecure,” and that figure continues to grow. Remote sensing technology enables scientists to feed data into the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), which in turn can issue alerts that guide the distribution of humanitarian aid. In this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear from an EROS climate scientist who works with the Network to predict drought and famine.

Guest: Chris Funk, USGS EROS Research Geographer

Host: Steve Young

Producer: Brian Hauge

Release date: Nov. 18, 2019

More on FEWS NET

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

USDA's Dave Johnson with USGS EROS "Eyes on Earth" graphic

Dave Johnson

Episode 8 – Assessing America’s Cropland

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Summary: Every year, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) uses data from satellites like Landsat to estimate crop types and crop yields in the United States. The result is the Cropland Data Layer (CDL), which offers an annual look at more than 100 crop categories across the country. In this episode, Dave Johnson with NASS discusses how Landsat can identify different crops, providing a valuable economic tool for agriculture.

Guest: Dave Johnson, USDA Senior Geographer with NASS

Host: Steve Young

Producer: Brian Hauge

Release date: Nov. 6, 2019

More on satellite-based cropland data

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Episode 7 – Training Iraqi Scientists

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Color photo of Saud Amer with Eyes on Earth podcast logo

Saud Amer

Summary: EROS scientists track water availability and crop health around the world to help governments and non-profits manage resources and stave off food shortages. But EROS also teaches international scientists to track those resources themselves. In this episode, we hear about a recent training session at EROS for Iraq’s Ministry of Water Resources.

GuestSaud Amer, USGS Water Resources Specialist

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: Nov. 4, 2019

More on International Training

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Color photo of Doug Daniels with the graphic for the USGS EROS podcast "Eyes on Earth"

Doug Daniels

Episode 6 - Satellites 101

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Summary: How much does an Earth observation satellite weigh? How are they launched? How fast does it travel? Does Landsat have a gas tank? In this episode of Eyes on Earth, we answer some of the basic questions surrounding the satellites that define the EROS mission.

Guest: Doug Daniels, Principal Systems Engineer with the Aerospace Corporation

Host: Steve Young

Producer: Brian Hauge

Release date: Oct. 21, 2019

More on Satellites

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Episode 5 - Declassified Data at EROS

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Volker Radeloff with USGS EROS "Eyes on Earth" graphic

Dr. Volker Radeloff

Summary: There’s a lot more than Landsat in the EROS Archive. In this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear from a professor who’s mined satellite data collected during once-classified military missions to peer into the history of land use in Eastern Europe during the height of the Cold War.

Guest: Volker Radeloff, professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison

Host: Steve Young

Producer: Brian Hauge

Release date: Oct. 7, 2019

More on EROS Declassified Data

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

Episode 4 - Cataloging Earth Observation Satellites

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Color photo of Jon Christopherson with USGS EROS "Eyes on Earth" graphic

Jon Christopherson

Summary: Earth observation used to be the province of a handful of countries with satellite technology. Today, hundreds of satellites are built all over the world and launched every year. This episode of Eyes on Earth talks about the explosive growth in the civilian and commercial remote sensing and EROS’ role in it.

Guest: Jon Christopherson, contractor to the USGS EROS Center

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: Sept. 23, 2019

More on the history of EROS

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Color photo of Collin Homer with Eyes on Earth podcast logo

Collin Homer, Program Director for the National Land Cover Database.

Episode 3 - National Land Cover Database

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Summary: Sorting Landsat data into an accurate and reliable record of land cover in the United States is one of the most important jobs at EROS. This episode explores the what, how, and why of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD).

Guest: Collin Homer, NLCD Program Director

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: Sept. 9, 2019

More on NLCD

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Color photo of John Dwyer with Eyes on Earth podcast logo

John Dwyer, former Science and Applications Branch Chief at USGS EROS.

Episode 2 - Chernobyl

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Summary: When an accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant's No. 4 reactor in Ukraine on April 26, 1986, Landsat satellites were among the first to capture visual evidence of its widespread impact. The disaster focused the world's attention on the value of remote sensing.

Guest: John Dwyer, EROS Science Branch Chief

Host: Steve Young

Producer: Brian Hauge

Release date: Sept. 9, 2019

More on Chernobyl and remote sensing

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Color photo of Tom Loveland with Eyes on Earth podcast logo

Tom Loveland

Episode 1 - Intro to EROS

 

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Summary: A rundown of the history of the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, the Landsat program, and the Center's role in the observation and study of landscape change worldwide.

Guest: Dr. Thomas Loveland, former Chief Scientist

Host: Steve Young

Producer: Brian Hauge

Release date: Sept. 9, 2019

More on the history of EROS