DSSS: Mapping Ecosystem Carbon, Biodiversity, and Disturbance Regimes: New Insights from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory
- Who: Greg Asner, Ph.D., Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA
- What: Download the file (pdf)
- Where: Building B50 Auditorium
- When: 10:30 am to 12:00 noon, May 11, 2012
- Why: About the Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series
More Information: Greg Asner is an ecologist with the Carnegie Institution for Science and Stanford University. He works at the interface of ecosystems, land use, and climate change, with ongoing research and capacity building efforts focused on tropical deforestation and forest degradation, functional diversity of tropical canopies, conservation of African savannas, invasive species and climate change, and the effects of land use on the global carbon cycle. Dr. Asner develops new technologies for science-based conservation assessments of tropical regions, including their carbon emissions, disturbance regimes, and biological diversity. He leads the CLASlite forest change mapping project, Spectranomics biodiversity project, and the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (http://asnerlab.stanford.edu).
Abstract: Mapping and monitoring of ecosystems has skyrocketed in value to the science, conservation, and resource policy communities. Large-scale assessment of forest carbon stocks is central to developing climate-change mitigation policies through the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Biodiversity mapping, particularly in terms of the functional and structural diversity of plants, has graduated from esoteric academic research to mainstream conservation and policy initiative. Underlying both carbon and biodiversity interests is a growing need for high-resolution, large-scale assessments of ecosystem disturbance regimes. The Carnegie Airborne Observatory, or CAO, was conceived to address the challenges of mapping and monitoring changes in ecosystem carbon, biodiversity, and disturbance in remote regions of our planet. In June 2011, CAO-2 was launched with campaigns to the Amazon basin, Mesoamerica, and Africa. Here I present new insights from the CAO program, shedding light on ways in which 3-D studies of ecosystems can improve scientific knowledge and accelerate natural resource and climate-change policy actions. The CAO technology is also the direct predecessor of the instrumentation currently under development by the NASA AVIRIS and NSF NEON programs.