Team Location: Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
Authors: Maya Sankaran, University of Virginia; Chris Carson, University of California, Berkeley; Allison Lanclos, Southeastern Louisiana University; Jessie Larson, Hampton University; Merna Saad, Christopher Newport University; Cheryl Sevilla, California State University, Fullerton; Anthony Smith, Hanover High School.
Advisors/Mentors: Dr. Kenton Ross, SSAI; Dr. Stuart Pimm, The Pimm Group; Dr. Clinton Jenkins, North Carolina State University; Jason Jones, SSAI.
Abstract: Deforestation in Brazil primarily results from agricultural production and has many adverse impacts, including biodiversity loss and increased carbon dioxide emissions. Recent gas pipeline construction in Western Brazil also poses a threat to thousands of species and displaces indigenous communities. This project uses Landsat 5 TM data to create an NDVI map to monitor deforestation in a localized region of Western Brazil over time. A risk map identifying areas susceptible to future deforestation and an ecological importance map based on biodiversity and IUCN protected areas were created. The NDVI model was additionally replicated in Quantum GIS so that local communities and policymakers without access to expensive commercial software can benefit from NASA’s Earth Observations. The capabilities of a Chinese-Brazilian satellite, CBERS 2B CCD, and VIIRS also were investigated.