Climate-related impacts on food security and water availability continue to affect many parts of the globe. Several regions, including sub-Saharan Africa, are not only susceptible to these impacts, but also lack the ability to monitor climate-related risk. Earth observation (EO) satellites have been instrumental in offering large-scale monitoring capabilities for analysis of rainfall, evapotranspiration, vegetation
Non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV) includes the residual material left on a field after crop harvest, such as stalks, stubble, and seeds. Satellite-based detection and mapping of NPV supports better understanding of soil health, adoption of conservation tillage practices, and vegetation dynamics in cropland, pasture, and rangeland settings.
Mapping irrigated agricultural lands to reveal their spatial and temporal dynamics can improve management of and policy concerning the world’s food supply.
The USGS Water Availability and Use Science Program (WAUSP) systematically provides information that allows water resource managers to assess availability o
Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) can be used to collect monitoring data, including elevation information via Structure from Motion (SfM) and vegetation information from multispectral imagery, with a temporal resolution that is well-suited for dynamic barrier island environments. However, SfM data represent the elevation of the land surface including the vegetation canopy.
Fusing remote sensing products from different satellite sensors allows the development of enhanced maps of the current distribution of coastal wetland plants and more accurate models of coastal elevations. This critical information about vulnerability to sea-level rise and hurricane flooding is being used by DOI partners and State and local agencies to improve management in a changing climate.
Although extensive work has been devoted to understanding the role of fire in maintaining ecosystem functions in upland systems, little research has focused on understanding the impact of fire on coastal wetlands or the response of birds to fire in high marsh wetlands.
Phragmites australis is a tall, perennial reed that is the lynchpin of the Mississippi River Delta ecosystems. The sudden dieback of P. australis stands beginning around 2016 caused alarm and initiated multi-year satellite mapping of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to track the relative condition of remaining populations.
Microbial biofilm communities, which are comprised of bacteria, diatoms, protozoa, and fungi, inhabit the surface of intertidal mudflats. They play a major role in intertidal food webs and comprise a large proportion of shorebirds’ diets, so understanding biofilm distribution, quantity, and nutritional value is important for shorebird conservation and management.
Drought-related tree mortality events, in which large numbers of trees die suddenly and often unexpectedly, appear to be occurring more frequently worldwide. Such events can have substantial impacts on forests and increase the risk of catastrophic fires.