Land Cover/Land Use

Tobacco Field
Tobacco Field
Tobacco field in southwestern Kentucky—Mississippi Valley Loess Plains ecoregion.

EROS has long been at the forefront of land cover research. Land cover includes forests, crops, and other types of vegetation as well as human-made structures that cover the land’s surface. At EROS, teams of researchers use satellite images and aerial photography in conjunction with data collected on the ground to produce land cover maps and other datasets. They assess national and global land cover characteristics and monitor how—and how rapidly—land cover changes. They also study the economic impacts of land cover change together with its effects on water quality, the spread of invasive species, habitats, biodiversity, and climate variability.

Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
Forest in North Carolina—Blue Ridge Mountain ecoregion.