Biospheric Sciences - 618

Mission

Biospheric Sciences is a part of the Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Biospheric Sciences studies terrestrial ecosystems and their interactions with the atmosphere using multiscale remote sensing, modeling, and advanced analytical techniques.

Biospheric Sciences Laboratory studies terrestrial ecosystems and their interactions with the atmosphere using multiscale remote sensing, modeling, and advanced analytical techniques. Specifically:

  1. develops and utilizes satellite remote sensing, aircraft and ground instruments to measure variables that describe the temporal and spatial dynamics of natural ecosystems as well as human impacts on these systems, especially the vegetation condition (e.g., land cover, height, biomass, photosynthetic capacity), soils (e.g., soil condition and type), and links to atmospheric constituents (e.g., aerosols, CO2;
  2. develops mathematical models that use space-borne, airborne and ground observations to predict land surface conditions and processes related to rates of vegetation, soil, and atmosphere exchanges (e.g., radiation, heat, water, greenhouse gases, net primary productivity);
  3. acquires, produces, and distributes comprehensive, integrated land data sets incorporating ground, airborne, and/or satellite observations to facilitate model development and validation;
  4. ensures the scientific integrity of new Earth remote sensing systems to improve space-based Earth observation; and
  5. performs research which leads to the definition and development of new technologies, sensors, and missions. Through the above activities, assesses and predicts environmental changes due to natural and anthropogenic processes at local to global scales.

Research Highlights: July

Harmonizing Landsat and Sentinel-2 Reflectances for Better Land Monitoring

Jeffrey Masek1, Eric Vermote2, Belen Franch3, Jean-Claude Roger3, SergiiSkakun3, Junchang Ju4, Martin Claverie3, Jennifer Dungan5
(1Code 618, NASA/GSFC, 2Code 619, NASA/GSFC, 3U. Maryland, 4USRA/GSFC, 5NASA ARC)

Coverage frequency in Europe from combining Landsat-8 (LDCM) and Sentinel-2A,B overpasses (courtesy Brian Killough, LaRC)
Coverage frequency in Europe from combining Landsat-8 (LDCM) and Sentinel-2A,B overpasses (courtesy Brian Killough, LaRC)
NDVI time series from Argentina showing crop development (greening) from combining Landsat (LC8) and Sentinel-2 (S2A), with MODIS included for comparison.
NDVI time series from Argentina showing crop development (greening) from combining Landsat (LC8) and Sentinel-2 (S2A), with MODIS included for comparison.
 
When combined, Landsat and ESA Sentinel-2 observations can provide 2-4 day coverage for the global land area. A collaboration among NASA GSFC, University of Maryland, and NASA Ames has developed a processing chain to create seamless, “harmonized” reflectance products using standardized atmospheric correction, BRDF adjustment, spectral bandpass adjustment, and gridding algorithms. These products point the way to a “30-m MODIS” capability for agricultural and ecosystem monitoring by leveraging international sensors.

Click here to read the full research highlight.

News

Latest News: Dr. Assaf Anyamba (USRA/618) has used MODIS NDVI data to evaluate the increased risk of mosquito-borne illness in the Arabian Peninsula during 2016. Wetter than normal weather has led to increased vegetation, and potentially, more favorable habitat for mosquitos. Full story.


Click here for past news.

Weekly Highlights: July 25th

Published or Accepted Papers:

Ungar. Thompson, D.R., A.K. Thorpe, C. Frankenberg, R.O. Green, R. Duren, L. Guanter, A. Hollstein, E. Middleton (618), L. Ong, and S. Ungar (618) (2016). Space-based remote imaging spectroscopy of the Aliso Canyon CH4 super-emitter. Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1002/, accepted May 22, 2016.

Wooten. Carroll M.L. (618/SSAI), M.R. Wooten (618/SSAI), C. Dimiceli, R.A. Sohlberg, and J.R.G. Townshend. 2016. ABoVE: Surface Water Extent, Boreal and Tundra Regions, North America, 1991-2011. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. ABoVE Water Maps represent 3 epochs (1991, 2001, 2011) of surface water in the ABoVE study domain. The maps are now publicly available via the Oak Ridge National Laboratory DAAC (ORNL-DAAC).


Click here for more research highlights.

Brown Bag Seminars

Brown Bag Seminars are initiated as an informal forum to present your new work or updates to your 618 colleagues.

Seminars are typically held on Thursdays between 12:00 and 1:00 PM.

Next Seminar: Ian Paynter, Thursday, August 04th, 2016

Please check the calendar for a list of past and upcoming seminars.

Contact Us

For administrative or other support questions, click here.

Contact information for scientists can be found in the personnel list.