Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Studying Earth Vegetation using Remote Sensing

Compton J. Tucker (Jim) has been involved in the remote sensing of vegetation properties since the 1970s, and has been an important figure in making the field what it is today. He gave an interesting and illuminating talk about the course of his career, starting with his background in biology and early field experiments, and later involvement with satellite data through the AVHRRs and onwards. He was able to offer his historical perspective on developments in vegetation remote sensing, including the importance of field experiments as a `ground truth' for determining relationships between physical and remotely-sensed quantities, and the opportunities his career has offered. Jim provided some highlights of work done by himself and others, including important results concerning the increase in green biomass of the Arctic Circle as observed by multi-decadal satellite data. He also answered questions concerning climate change and the Arctic, and hopes and challenges ahead for vegetation remote sensing. (summary by Andy)