Earth Observation Case Studies

Science Center Objects

Social scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center – in collaboration with the USGS National Land Imaging Program – conduct Earth observation user case studies using qualitative research methods. This research enables them to investigate the value of Landsat data, and understand the wide variety of Landsat users. 

The following illustrated videos highlight USGS’s findings with specific users of Landsat data.

Watch below or click here to download each video!

Earth Observation User Case Study: Ladies of Landsat

This graphic illustration guides you through an Earth observation user case study and provides the in-depth user experience of Ladies of Landsat – one example of an Earth observation user. Ladies of Landsat is a Twitter-based organization that provides an inclusive, supportive network for women in remote sensing both virtually and in person. They share their platform by highlighting their members’ research, celebrating accomplishments, and connecting at professional meetings. Ladies of Landsat aims to continue to honor the Landsat program legacy by recognizing all who came before them and all those who will come next.

Landsat is a joint USGS/NASA Program that provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land surface. Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information to help land managers and policy makers make decisions about resources and the environment.

Crista Straub, USGS (Some content used with permission.)

Using Landsat and Machine Learning to Map Urban Change

This graphic illustration guides you through an Earth observation user case study and provides the in-depth user experience of Descartes Labs – one example of an Earth observation user. Descartes Labs is a New Mexico-based company that developed a geospatial data refinery for building and running machine learning models on Earth observation data. This case study shows how they used Landsat imagery to map urban growth and heating. Landsat is a joint USGS/NASA Program that provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land surface. Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information to help land managers and policy makers make decisions about resources and the environment. In the context of rapid urbanization, the Landsat program is well-suited to monitor urban growth and its impacts to social and ecological systems.
Crista Straub, USGS (Public domain.)

Earth Observation User Case: Using Landsat to Connect Space to Village

 

This graphic illustration guides you through an Earth observation user case study and provides the in-depth user experience of Africa Ixmucane Flores Anderson – one example of an Earth observation user. Africa is a remote sensing scientist at the University of Alabama Huntsville and a Research Scientist and the Amazonia lead at SERVIR, a joint venture between NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development providing satellite-based Earth monitoring, imaging and mapping data, geospatial information, predictive models and science applications to help improve environmental decision-making among developing nations.

Africa was born in Guatemala and while growing up, witnessed the environmental degradation of the natural landscape in her hometown and country. Africa now uses Landsat to monitor harmful algal blooms and advocate for environmental conservation around the world. Landsat is a joint USGS/NASA Program that provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land surface. Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information to help land managers and policy makers make decisions about resources and the environment.
Crista Straub, USGS (Some content used with permission)

Earth Observation Case Study: Landsat to Map Ag. Yields and Irrigation

This graphic illustration guides you through an Earth observation user case study and provides the in-depth user experience of Jill Deines – one example of an Earth observation user. Dr. Jill Deines is a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University working jointly with the NASA Harvest Consortium, a multidisciplinary effort that works to use satellite Earth observations to support food security, agriculture, and human and environmental resiliency in the US and worldwide. Jill pivoted during her Ph.D. from being only a user of satellite-generated landscape products to producing them using cloud-based remote sensing tools to better answer her research questions about effectively managing agricultural resources. Today, Jill uses Landsat satellite imagery to reconstruct crop yield over the past 20 years to understand ongoing trends in agricultural production and examine alternative management approaches.

Landsat is a joint USGS/NASA Program that provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land surface. Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information to help land managers and policy makers make decisions about resources and the environment.
Crista Straub, USGS (Music used with permission.)

Earth Observation User Case: Speaking a New Language of Landsat

 

Social scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center – in collaboration with the USGS National Land Imaging Program – conduct Earth observation user case studies using qualitative research methods. Using standard scientific methods, they are better able to understand the variety of Earth observation users, including how they use and value Earth observation data. This graphic illustration guides you through an Earth observation user case study and provides the in-depth user experience of Nikki Tulley – one example of an Earth observation user. Nikki is from the community of Blue Gap, Arizona within the Navajo Nation and grew up speaking Navajo, Spanish, and English. The Navajo Nation is located on 27,000 square miles within the Four Sacred Mountains. Nikki first learned about Landsat in her remote sensing classes and learned to speak another language, the Language of Landsat. For her Ph.D., Nikki began work with NASA’s Western Water Applications Office drought severity evaluation tool. In this project, she uses Landsat and other remote sensing technology to help the Navajo Nation in capacity development, training, and building trust of remote sensing data. This supports their drought water resources management decision making process. Landsat is a joint USGS/NASA Program that provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land surface. Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information to help land managers and policy makers make decisions about resources and the environment.

Crista Straub, USGS

(Music is used with permission.)