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Next Landsat Science Team Will Pivot to Future of Landsat Program

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has selected the next Landsat Science Team, which will be tasked with helping to evaluate the quality of data when Landsat 9 is launched (currently December 2020), as well as planning for future Landsat missions.

color photograph of Tom Loveland
Dr. Thomas Loveland, chief scientist at the USGS EROS Center and co-chair of the Landsat Science Team.

Nineteen teams of scientists and engineers have been chosen to serve a five-year term, from 2018 to 2023, providing technical and scientific input to USGS and NASA on issues critical to the success of the Landsat program.

While previous Landsat Science Teams helped pave the way for no-cost data, expand the Landsat archive by repatriating data from International Cooperators, and advance the applications of the 45-year Landsat record, the next team will be inheriting a stable program that is looking to the future, said Thomas Loveland, the Chief Scientist at the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center in South Dakota and Landsat Science Team co-chair.

“They’re really in a pivot-to-the-future mode, whereas previous teams looked more at issues associated with making use of the full Landsat archive better and more efficient,” Loveland said.

This next team will help ensure that Landsat 9 data can be successfully integrated into the overall Landsat record. It will also be on the ground floor of discussions of the various options that may become part of Landsat 10, Landsat 11, and beyond.

“After four decades, Landsat remains a core resource for land science, and now we have a chance to think strategically about how the program should evolve over the next decades,” said Jeff Masek, Landsat 9 Project Scientist (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center).

In addition, the new team may be called on to assess the viability of Landsat 7 data for scientific or operational purposes as the satellite nears its 19th year in orbit. This team will also be responsible for looking at opportunities to develop new Landsat applications.

The 2018-2023 USGS-NASA Landsat Science Team members and their areas of study are:

Characterizing crop water use, phenology, and yield at field scales using multi-sensor data fusion

  • Dr. Martha Anderson and Dr. Feng Gao, USDA Agricultural Research Service

Driving cloud-based usage of Landsat with Google Earth Engine

  • Mr. Noel Gorelick, Google

Generating time-series maps that accurately reflect land change area: a strategy for global land monitoring

  • Dr. Matthew Hansen, University of Maryland:

Landsat science and applications in the US Forest Service

  • Dr. Sean Healey, US Forest Service

Synergies between future Landsat and European satellite missions, from land cover to land use

  • Dr. Patrick Hostert, Humboldt University of Berlin

Towards the development and integration of Landsat evapotranspiration ensembles and climate data for enhanced water and land management decision support

  • Dr. Justin Huntington, Desert Research Institute

Leveraging analysis ready Landsat products for use in crop production estimation

  • Mr. David Johnson, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Digital Earth Australia

  • Dr. Leo Lymburner, Geoscience Australia

Advanced atmospheric correction of Landsat 8/Sentinel 2 data using algorithm MAIAC

  • Dr. Alexei Lyapustin, NASA GSFC

Landsat-Sentinel-2 constellation for monitoring aquatic systems across the United States

  • Dr. Nima Pahlevan, Science Systems and Applications, Inc.

Copernicus Landsat convergence, architecture and applications

  • Dr. Jean-Francois Pekel and Dr. Peter Strobl, European Commission Joint Research Centre

Landsat data for biodiversity science and conservation

  • Dr. Volker Radeloff, University of Wisconsin

Pathfinding near real time moderate resolution land surface monitoring, looking forward to an operational Landsat 9/10 Sentinel 2A/2B era

  • Dr. David Roy, South Dakota State University

Landsat and the cryosphere: tracking interactions between ice, snow, and the Earth system

  • Dr. Ted Scambos, University of Colorado

Global 30m snow and snow-free land surface albedo from Landsat and MODIS/VIIRS

  • Dr. Crystal Schaaf, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Maintenance and refinement of the Land Surface Reflectance Code (LaSRC) for Landsat and Sentinel 2

  • Dr. Eric Vermote, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

New opportunities using the Landsat temporal domain: monitoring ecosystem health, condition and use

  • Dr. Curtis Woodcock, Boston University

Integrating time and space with Landsat to learn from the past, monitor the present, and prepare for the future

  • Dr. Michael Wulder, Canadian Forest Service

Toward Near Real-time Monitoring and Characterization of Land Surface Change for the Conterminous US

  • Dr. Zhe Zhu, Texas Tech University

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