Podcast Overview

Data

Learn more about the data by hearing straight from the experts. Eyes on Earth is a podcast on remote sensing, Earth observation, land change and science, brought to you by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. Listen to episodes on how data distributed by the LP DAAC are being used.

ECOSTRESS

Listen to episodes on how International Space Station (ISS) ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) data are being used.

Eyes on Earth Episode 73 – Global Water Use

A female scientist stands on the right of the image with a large backpacking backpack, in the background is a view of a rocky area with sparse vegetation and part of a lake is seen to the left. On screen text: Eyes on Earth

Guests: Savannah Cooley, Applied Science Systems Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: May 2, 2022










Summary: Some plants are simply better at making use of their water supply than others. More efficient plants can capture more carbon with less water, which has implications for carbon sequestration and ultimately for climate change modeling. In other words, the more we understand about water use efficiency, the more reliable our climate change models can be. And the only way to measure efficiency at the global scale is from space. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear from a scientist who studied global water use using a sensor called ECOSTRESS, whose data are housed at the USGS EROS Center, in NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC).

More on ECOSTRESS and Global Water Use:

Eyes on Earth Episode 70 - ECOSTRESS and Aquatic Ecosystems

Three women headshots, the interviewees, to the left of an image of water with vegetation in the background. "Eyes on Earth" text is in front of the water.

Guests: Rebecca Gustine, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Cassandra Nickles, NASA JPL, Shruti Khanna, California Department of Water Resources

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: March 21, 2022








Summary: The Earth observation data archived here have plenty of value to the study of aquatic ecosystems. Landsat satellites can capture harmful algal blooms, for example. Spaceborne sensors can also record land surface temperatures, and that includes water surfaces. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear about how a sensor called ECOSTRESS can be used to measure water temperatures at different times of day, and how those measurements could be useful in the monitoring and management of the endangered Delta smelt. ECOSTRESS data are available through the NASA Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), located in the USGS EROS Center.

More on aquatic ecosystems and ECOSTRESS :

Eyes on Earth Episode 67 - ECOSTRESS and Water Use

Image of Dr. Kerry Cawse Nicholson, a woman standing in front of a bookshelf. To the right is an image of ECOSTRESS evapotranspiration data.

Guest: Dr. Kerry Cawse-Nicholson, deputy science lead for ECOSTRESS at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: February 7, 2022









Summary: If you want to know how much rain fell yesterday, you can catch it and measure it. Water vapor? That's not so easy. Which is a problem if you want to know how quickly that rate is returning to the atmosphere. Water vapor is the single largest part of the water budget, but without space-based observations, it would be all but impossible to measure at wide scale. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we learn how a sensor called ECOSTRESS helps improve the space-based measurement of evapotranspiration, or ET, which is the combined rate of evaporation from the Earth's surface and transpiration from plants.

More on ECOSTRESS and ET:

Eyes on Earth Episode 65 - Rapid Fire Mapping with Remote Sensing

Three profile pictures of males, Andrew, Lee, and Rick to the left of a remote sensing image of a burning fire. Text reads "Eyes on Earth" over the fire.

Guests: Andre Coleman, senior research scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Lee Miller, remote sensing specialist, PNNL, Rick Stratton, USDA Forest Service

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: January 10, 2022








Summary: Satellites like Landsat are valuable for mapping fire perimeters and for monitoring trends in burn severity or in post-fire recovery. Satellites can cover wide areas with a single pass, whereas helicopter, drone, or airplane fire line mapping can take hours. But civilian satellites with moderate resolution typically don't get imagery for the entire planet every day, and every day counts when large fires rage. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we talk through a tool called RADR-Fire built to pull data from a wide variety of sources to map disaster impacts on a day-by-day basis. ECOSTRESS, a sensor on the International Space Station whose data are archived at the NASA’s EROS-based Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), has been an especially useful source of information. 

More on ECOSTRESS and RADR-Fire:

Eyes on Earth Episode 63 - ECOSTRESS and Post-Fire Recovery

Women, Dr. Helen Poulos, sitting in next to a bare tree in a desert landscape with dry brush.

Guest: Dr. Helen Poulos, forest ecologist, Wesleyan University

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: December 13, 2021











Summary
: Fires can be destructive or healthy for a landscape—often both. Fires have grown larger and more destructive in recent years, though, thanks to human activity, climate change, and a host of other factors. Satellite data helps us to map and monitor fire activity, but the study of post-fire plant life using remote sensing data goes further than fire mapping. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear from Dr. Helen Poulos, who used data from the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station, (ECOSTRESS), to study Arizona Pine Oak forest 5-7 years after severe fire. Dr. Poulos and her collaborators at Northern Arizona University and the University of Maine at Farmington learned that post-fire shrublands had surprisingly high rates of water use. ECOSTRESS data are available through NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center or LP DAAC, which is located at EROS.

More on ECOSTRESS:


HLS

Listen to episodes on how Harmonized Landsat and Sentinel-2 (HLS) data are being used.

Eyes on Earth Episode 45 – Harmonized Landsat Sentinel Data

In the background is an HLS remote sensing image of Harkers Island. Two headshots of males are in the foreground. The headshot of Dr. Jeffery Masek is located in the bottom left. The headshot of Dr. Brian Freitag is in the top right.

Guest: Dr. Jeffrey Masek, NASA Landsat Project Scientist, Dr. Brian Freitag, NASA Research Physical Scientist

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: March 8, 2021










Summary: Landsat satellites have monitored the Earth’s surface for nearly 50 years, providing critical information for countless areas of study and real world applications. But with observations only collected every 8-16 days, there are limits to what can be tracked. On today’s episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear about a soon-to-be-released data product that merges Landsat with data from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellites, which will offer more opportunities to monitor rapid change. The harmonized Landsat-Sentinel data will be available through the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), located at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

More on the Harmonized Landsat Sentinel Data

Eyes on Earth Episode 66 – Exotic Annual Grasses

Three headshots of males are lined up to the left of an image of grassland. The text "Eyes on Earth" is on the screen.

Guests: Stephen Boyte, USGS EROS research physical scientist, Devendra Dahal, USGS EROS contractor, Matt Reeves, USDA Forest Service ecologist

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: January 24, 2022









Summary
: The rangelands of the western United States are changing more quickly than many other parts of the lower 48. Miles upon miles of the area or semi-arid landscapes in states like Idaho, Montana and Nevada are now carpeted by fire fueling invasive grasses. Cheatgrass is the most prevalent, which is troublesome for several reasons. First off, it greens up and browns down really quickly, leaving a layer of tinder-like vegetation. In many areas, it fills in the formerly barren spaces between thicker bunchgrasses and sagebrush, which in turn helps fires move rapidly from fuel source to fuel source. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear from the USGS EROS teams who use satellite data to map exotic annual grasses and a researcher who uses those maps to create monthly grass abundance estimates for firefighters and land managers.

More on Exotic Annual Grasses:


MODIS

Listen to episodes on how Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data are being used.

Eyes on Earth Episode 46 – Deforestation and Forest Degradation

Selfie photo of a man, Dr. Eric Bullock, sitting in a boat with water and trees in the background.

Guest: Dr. Eric Bullock, U.S. Forest Service

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: March 22, 2021






Summary: Deforestation is a significant concern for many parts of the globe, particularly in places like the rainforests of the Amazon or the Congo. Scientists, governments, and non-governmental organizations turn to satellite data to track deforestation, as well as to set targets for improvement. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear from a remote sensing specialist with the U.S. Forest Service who develops algorithms that sift through satellite data to capture not only deforestation events, but the more subtle degradation events that have an impact on forest health.

More on Deforestation and Forest Degradation