Earth Observation User Case: Speaking a New Language of Landsat

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Detailed Description

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.

Details

Date Taken:

Length: 00:04:51

Location Taken: AZ, US

Video Credits

 Music: Tranquil Path by Peter McIsaac Music

Transcript

Frame 1 (0:00 - 0:04)

USGS Science for a changing world

Frame 2 (0:04 - 0:07)

The views and opinions expressed in this video are those of the authors and do not necessarily state or reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the U.S. Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

Reference in this video to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name, or otherwise, is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Government.

Frame 3 (0:07-0:33)

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 these standard scientific methods (interviews, archival research, participant observation, social network analysis, focus groups, surveys, systems thinking), they are better able to understand the variety of earth observation users, including how they use and value earth observation data.

The following earth observation user case study provides the in-depth user experience of Nikki Tulley - one example of an earth observation user.

Frame 4 (0:34 - 0:46)

Landsat is a USGS/NASA Satellite that records what’s happening on the Earth’s surface over time.

Title: Nikki Tulley: Speaking a New Language of Landsat

Frame 5 (0:47 - 1:08)

Text: This is Nikki Tulley. 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.

Frame 6 (1:09 - 1:31)

Text: Growing up in a rural community, without running water, Nikki’s early childhood was shaped by a connection to family, livestock, the environment, geology, and water. As a scarce resource, water was never taken for granted in her everyday life.

Frame 7 (1:32 - 1:47)

Text: As Nikki explored her landscape, she noticed the legacy of environmental change and degradation... from ancient seabeds to modern pollution such as non-Indigenous uranium mining. 

Frame 8 (1:48 - 2:02)

Text: At a young age, Nikki saw her father speak as an environmental justice advocate for the Navajo Nation. This inspired her to follow in his footsteps towards protecting her community and land.

Frame 9 (2:03 - 2:23)

Text: The Navajo Nation is a matrilineal society, where women have a role in helping lead the community.

In order to be fluent in many cultures and languages, Nikki’s grandmothers and mother encouraged her to pursue both Indigenous and western education, despite the United States’ dark history of Native American boarding schools. 

Frame 10 (2:24 - 2:45)

Text: Heading to university, Nikki knew she wanted to study environmental science. She chose a focus on water as the language to connect to her childhood. Connecting western science to her Indigneous culture continues to be a thread through her education.

Frame 11 (2:46 - 3:08)

Text: Nikki first learned about Landsat in her remote sensing classes and learned to speak another language, the language of Landsat. When homesick, Nikki would download Landsat imagery of the Navajo Nation to feel closer to her family.

Frame 12 (3:09 - 3:26)

Text: For her PhD, 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 processes.

Frame 13 (3:26 - 3:47)

Text: Nikki works to help others on the Navajo Nation to access DSET’s open source satellite and ground collected data. Co-development of these models with the Desert Research Institute, WWAO,  and driven by the Navajo Nation Department of Water Resources, created an accessible and user-friendly application.

Frame 14 (3:48 - 4:08)

Text:  

I protect and manage Navajo water.

I speak the Language of Landsat.

I assist people in finding programs to enhance their livelihood.

Once Nikki completes her PhD at the University of Arizona, she hopes to join forces with both her sisters to advance science and hydrological research and applications that benefit their community and future scientists.

Frame 15 (4:09 - 4:30)

Text: As her research proceeds, Nikki will continue to incorporate Indigenous knowledge in the field of remote sensing.

She will also train future generations of Indigenous earth observation users to empower their local communities with education and Landsat data.

Frame 16 (4:31 - 4:43)

To learn more about Nikki’s work and Landsat go to: Landsat.USGS.GOV and Twitter.com/LadiesofLandsat Twitter.com/NikkiTulley

This video was brought to you by USGS and Heartwood Visuals.

Frame 17 (4:44 - 4:50)

USGS Science for a changing world