The Department of the Interior, North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) at Colorado State University (CSU) is home to the central U.S. node of the NASA DEVELOP student program. The DEVELOP students working with the NC CSC are coupling remote sensing products with ecological response models to evaluate land cover characteristics important to land management in the region; including location of invasive species, pine beetle infestation, fire damage, and forest stand structure. Current projects have used Landsat TM and ETM+ as well as the suite of MODIS land products. Future work will consider Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) data as well as Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) land products
Tamarisk (or Salt Cedar) has naturalized and become a major invasive plant species in parts of the Southwestern United States. Remote sensing and habitat modeling techniques have been used to predict areas of Tamarisk invasion to help with control efforts. The image shows predicted tamarisk infestations overlain on a 30-m resolution Landsat image centered on Manzanola, Colorado (west of La Junta, CO, North up, image approximately 50 km x 50 km). The image shows the results of an ensemble for four models; red indicates areas where all four models predicted tamarisk presence.