The National Park Service (NPS) has a substantial investment in and a long history of using aerial and spaceborne remote sensing and global positioning system (GPS) technologies. The NPS Inventory & Monitoring Program conducts baseline inventories for more than 270 parks across the Nation. Remote sensing data are a critical source of information regarding geology, soils, vegetation, and infrastructure. Aerial photography and satellite imagery have been utilized to compile vegetation maps; a monumental task given the agency has responsibility for over 30 million acres. These data are particularly critical for NPS activities in Alaska, because of its remote and vast expanses of public land and the fact that the Arctic is warming rapidly in response to climate change. The NPS takes advantage of the open and freely available Landsat archive to quantify decadal changes in glacier ice cover and document land cover change in national park units. The NPS has been the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) sponsoring agency to map all large wildland and prescribed fires as part of the DOI Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project, using the Landsat archive. GPS supports field data collection, navigation, and search and rescue operations conducted by the agency. 

Bureau Full Name
National Park Service

Monitoring the Snow and Growing Seasons

Submitted by atripp on Wed, 12/28/2022 - 09:59

The snow season has become shorter and the growing season longer over the past 20 years in Alaska's Arctic National Parks. The NPS Arctic Inventory and Monitoring Network (ARCN) uses MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite images and remote automated cameras to monitor the timing of the growing season and the snow cover in five large national parks in northern Alaska.

2021 DOI Remote Sensing Activities

Remotely sensed data and derived information contribute significantly to mission-critical work across the Department of the Interior (DOI). This report from the DOI Remote Sensing Working Group (DOIRSWG) highlights a sample of DOI remote sensing applications and illustrates the many types of technology, platforms, and specialized sensors employed.* DOI personnel use remote sensing technology to evaluate and monitor changing land-surface and natural resource conditions over the vast areas for which DOI has responsibility.

The Vegetation Mapping Project of Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve

Submitted by atripp on Fri, 05/21/2021 - 11:01

The Everglades National Park (EVER) and Big Cypress National Preserve (BICY) vegetation mapping project is part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, a cooperative effort between the South Florida Water Management District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the NPS Vegetation Mapping Inventory Program (VMI).

Monitoring of Permafrost Thaw Erosion Features

Submitted by atripp on Fri, 05/21/2021 - 09:23

The NPS Arctic Inventory and Monitoring Network (ARCN) is using high-resolution satellite images and historical color infrared aerial photographs to monitor the abundance of small landslides resulting from thaw of permafrost. Active-layer detachments (ALD) and retrogressive thaw slumps (RTS) are small landslides that occur as a result of thaw in permafrost regions.

Integrating Satellite and GPS Collar Data to Improve Our Understanding of Caribou Calving

Submitted by atripp on Fri, 05/21/2021 - 09:15

Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an iconic species of the north and an integral component of the natural ecosystem and socioeconomic wellbeing of local communities. Alaska is home to 32 different caribou herds which are identified by females returning to specific calving areas each spring to give birth.