Category: Spring 2013 VPS

Monitoring Air Quality Impacts from Coal Power Plants in Virginia

Map of Virginia showin impacts from coal burning plants. Image Credit: DEVELOP

Map of Virginia showin impacts from coal burning plants. Image Credit: DEVELOPIn the heart of Southwest Virginia lie two technologically distinct power plants. One uses traditional coal-burning technology, and the other uses innovative “clean coal”-fired technology. With two plants within miles of one another, this project aims to use NASA Earth observations to monitor and compare the environmental impacts of each.

Providing the Perfect Pit Stop for Birds in Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, Kansas

Satellite imagery of Kansas. Credit Develop

Satellite imagery of Kansas. Credit DevelopThe Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area is the largest wetland in the interior United States, and is a stopover for 45 percent of the birds who migrate north through the area. A land cover classification map and an estimate of suspended sediment changes will help managers to track the effectiveness of policies aimed at maintaining this critical habitat.

Using NASA EOS to Enhance Ground-Level Ozone Monitoring in the Appalachian Region

Map of the United States showing ground level ozone. Credit Image: DEVELOP

Map of the United States showing ground level ozone. Credit Image: DEVELOPTropospheric ozone is harmful to humans, trees, crops, and other vegetation. This project focused on providing the U.S. Forest Service with a sustainable tool to enhance its current ozone monitoring practices using NASA remote-sensing data. Data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument and the Microwave Limb Sounder aboard the Aura mission were used for this project.

Beyond the Beetle: Modeling Change in a Post-Attack Subalpine Forest Ecosystem

Satellite imagery of bark beetle infestation. Credit: DEVELOP

Satellite imagery of bark beetle infestation. Credit: DEVELOPUsing pre- and post-attack Landsat imagery, 7.2-meter validation plot data, and various modeling strategies, forest stand changes were measured in a subalpine ecosystem at Fraser Experimental Forest in Fraser, Colorado, which resulted from the mountain pine beetle epidemic from 1996 to 2002. This new information will aid local forest management stakeholders and decision-makers, spur ongoing restoration efforts, and assist future research projects.

Modeling Yosemite’s Water Budget: It’s HYDRA-Logical!

Map of Yosemite National PArk. Image Credit: DEVELOP

Map of Yosemite National PArk. Image Credit: DEVELOPHydrological modeling has the potential to drastically improve water resource management in Yosemite National Park. By combining satellite-derived data, such as precipitation, temperature, land cover and elevation values, it is possible to ascertain and quantify surface water availability at any given time.

Disaster in Duluth, Onslaught in Ontario: Rainfall and Flooding in the Summer of 2012

TRMM Mission rainfall measurements for June 20, 2012 in the Duluth, Minnesota, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, study areas. Image Credit: DEVELOP

TRMM Mission rainfall measurements for June 20, 2012 in the Duluth, Minnesota, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, study areas. Image Credit: DEVELOPA team of NASA DEVELOP interns at Langley Research Center used satellite data along with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s HAZUS flood model to examine the destruction caused by extreme rainfall events in Duluth, Minnesota, and Thunder Bay, Ontario.

VIIRS Detection of Nightlights and Greenhouse Gases from Natural-Gas Flaring

Map of the United States showing VIIRS detection of nightlights. Image Credit: DEVELOP

Map of the United States showing VIIRS detection of nightlights. Image Credit: DEVELOPThis project was a feasibility study and technology demonstration project that maximized Suomi’s NPP Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The team tested its capability of detecting and estimating gas-flaring events and associated atmospheric pollutants over North Dakota and Texas.

Characterization and Modeling of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon Mangrove Extent

Satellite imagery of Florida. Image Credit: DEVELOP

Satellite imagery of Florida. Image Credit: DEVELOPAre Florida’s mangrove ecosystems on the move? Using a combination of hyperspectral and radar imagery combined with field work, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA’s DEVELOP team partnered to track this dynamic ecosystem as it encroaches upon salt marshes in the north.

Highway for Apes: Using NASA EOS for wildlife corridor planning in Rwanda

Map of Rwanda. Image Credit: DEVELOP

Map of Rwanda. Image Credit: DEVELOPDue to civil unrest and the agriculture-based economy, Rwanda’s native forest has been reduced to 5 percent of the nation’s territory. As a result, many species have experienced habitat loss, threatening their survival. A 30-mile corridor is being proposed to connect isolated populations to interbreed and conserve biodiversity.

Correlating Aquatic Vegetation Growth and Agriculture in Lake Guntersville

Map of the Lake Guntersville area. Credit: DEVELOP

Map of the Lake Guntersville area. Credit: DEVELOPNobody likes swimming in a lake in the summer around algae or having slimy aquatic plants brush up on their feet. The DEVELOP team at Marshall Space Flight Center worked to help improve methods for controlling aquatic vegetation in North Alabama. Using Landsat 7 ETM+ and vegetation indices, the team created a method to map aquatic vegetation and points of agricultural source pollution.