Brown Bag Seminar: Ben Devries

University of Maryland

Tropical forests cover a significant portion of the earth's surface and provide a range of ecosystem services, but are under increasing threat due to human activities. Deforestation and forest degradation, particularly in the tropics, are responsible for a large share of global carbon emissions. As a result, there has been increased attention and effort invested in the reduction of emission from deforestation and degradation and the protection of remaining tropical forests in recent years.

Satellite remote sensing is recognized as a vital technology in supporting the monitoring of tropical forests, of which the Landsat family of satellite sensors has emerged as one of the most important. Additionally, in situ data sources, including community-based monitoring data and volunteered geo-information data, have recently been gaining attention as complementary data sources for monitoring forest change over time.

In this presentation, I discuss recent advances in methods utilizing temporally dense Landsat time series to describe forest change dynamics, and show novel approaches for integrating community-based observations with Landsat time series in a forest monitoring context. As an increasing number of earth observation satellites are launched, such integrative time series approaches will undoubtedly support future monitoring efforts in tropical forest systems and beyond.