Landsat in Action - The Importance of Landsat with Curtis Woodcock

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Detailed Description

Boston University Professor Curtis Woodcock talks about the significance Landsat was had in science and what he hopes to see as the mission continues.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:37

Location Taken: Sioux Falls, SD, US

Video Credits

Producer: Steve Young


My name's Curtis Woodcock.
I'm a professor in the department

of earth and environment at
Boston University.

You know, the beauty of the
Landsat program is its

history, in that there's now
a record of the surface of

the earth with enough spacial
detail that you can actually

track human activity, over
now a pretty extensive

period of time. It goes back
to 1972 so that's getting

to be a lot of years.

Pretty much everybody who
works in fields like ecology,

and forestry and geography
and that sort of things has

some fundamental understanding
of what's going on with

remote sensing, and more and
more of them are making use

within their work all the time.
Landsat's sort of the main

tool for all of that, it provides
enough detail to be useful

for people who are managing
a national park or a national

forest or a national grassland,
some particular place.

I think we'll be continuing to
collect similar observations

but at much higher frequency
and better observations as well

as we go forward. But this
notion of repeated continuous

observations is here to stay
and will do nothing but

be accentuated as time
goes on.

It's much more apparent to
people how big the world is

because you can see it and you
can look at it and you can

explore the detail of it and that
sort of thing. We understand

better how it's changing than
any time ever in the past.

And so being able to look
at the whole world and

understand how it's changing
is a pretty new perspective

and just wouldn't
exist without Landsat.

It's been right at the heart of
most everything I've done

my whole career. It's fun
because the challenges keep

emerging. you work in a
field a long time you think

you aught to solve some
problems along the way.

The truth is you make progress
and you do solve some of them

but as soon as you start
providing one kind of

information that people need
they start realizing what else

they would like and it keeps
rolling. And so it's been a

very enjoyable process
that way.