CCI Conservation Seminar: From tree tops to coastal depths – monitoring Blue Carbon Ecosystems in the 3rd and 4th dimension with Earth Observing data

10th March 2021 4:00pm

Event Details

Start Date: 10th March 2021 4:00pm

Venue: Online

Event Description

We are joined this week by Dr Lola Fatoyinbo from NASA. Dr Fatoyinbo is a Research Physical Scientist in the Biospheric Sciences Lab at NASA GSFC where she studies forest ecology and ecosystem structure using active and passive remote sensing instruments. Her research interests include forest structure; biomass and carbon storage; land cover land use change; and mangroves and coastal wetlands.

Coastal land and seascapes (seagrasses, mangroves, coral reefs, tidal flats) support livelihoods of over 3 billion people in 100+ countries, they offer protection from extreme weather events,  provide 25% of the oceanic carbon pool and support 25% of global biodiversity. Despite their economic and ecological importance, the extent of coastal ecosystems, and the activities that were driving the changes in these ecosystems were poorly quantified. Furthermore, understanding the spatial patterns of coastal ecosystem structure – both above and below water – are important in valuing the ecosystem services that these areas provide and predicting the vulnerability to human caused and natural threats. In this talk, we will show how Spaceborne and Airborne Earth Observing data, including multi-year satellite timeseries from the Landsat mission, and terrestrial and underwater elevation data from Spaceborne Sensors such as SRTM, GEDI and ICESat-2, we can now monitor these ecosystems in three dimensions and through time. We also highlight how Earth Observing data can be used to help protect and restore coastal ecosystems worldwide.

Image: The Gambia, NASA Earth Observatory

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