Your browser does not support scripts. Please view this site at this location
USGS - science for a changing world

Land Remote Sensing Program


The USGS is fostering the use of land remote sensing technology to meet local, national, and global challenges.

Southern California Wildfires, December 2017New Rift on Greenland\Isle de Jean Charles, LouisianaThe Belo Monte Dam Complex, BrazilWildfires Devastate California Wine CountryPine Island Glacier\Puerto Rico after Hurricane MariaIrma Churns Up Sediment in the Florida KeysHurricane Irma Slams BarbudaHurricane Harvey Flooding
Southern California Wildfires, December 2017
Santa Ana winds rapidly spread wildfires through chaparral shrubland, tall grasses, and brush in southern California in December 2017.
New Rift on Greenland's Petermann Glacier
A new rift has been forming on Petermann Glacier, Greenland, throughout 2017.
Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana
Is Louisiana falling into the sea, or is the sea inundating Louisiana? It's actually a bit of both.
The Belo Monte Dam Complex, Brazil
In northern Brazil, the Belo Monte Dam complex on the Xingu River, a major tributary of the Amazon, has changed the course of the river and surrounding landscape.
Wildfires Devastate California Wine Country
Residents had little warning when wildfires that ignited late Sunday night, October 8, 2017, were fanned by wind gusts of 50 miles per hour and blasted across California's wine country.
Pine Island Glacier's Newest Iceberg
Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica has snapped off its share of icebergs in recent years. The frequency of noteworthy breaks is evidence that the ice shelf is becoming increasingly fragile.
Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria
Hurricane Maria swept across Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, as a Category 4 hurricane and the fifth strongest storm ever to hit the United States.
Irma Churns Up Sediment in the Florida Keys
Hurricane Irma crossed the Florida Keys the morning of September 10, 2017, as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 miles per hour.
Hurricane Irma Slams Barbuda
Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 superstorm when it lashed the Caribbean island of Barbuda on September 6, 2017.
Hurricane Harvey Flooding
Extensive flooding inundated the Gulf Coast of Texas after Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on August 25, 2017.
Print Page      Text Size: + | -

Remote Sensing Highlights

Dr. Darrel Williams and International Charter for Space and Major Disasters Team receive 2017 Pecora Awards

Dr. Darrel Williams, individual award, and International Charter for Space and Major Disasters Team, group award, were announced as the recipients of the award.

Pecora 20 Call for Abstracts and Pecora Award Nominations Deadlines Extended

The 20th William T. Pecora Memorial Remote Sensing Symposium will be held November 14-16, 2017, in Sioux Falls, SD. The theme of Pecora 20 is 'Observing a Changing Earth: Science for Decisions...Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection.' With an emphasis on recent developments in remote sensing, the symposium program will focus on applications of satellite and other Earth observations to monitor, assess, and perform projections of future land and water resources, as well as big data and other analytical technologies to improve decision making using satellite data. The deadline to submit abstracts has been extended to July 1, 2017. The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals or groups toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. Any individual or group (domestic or international) working in the field of remote sensing of the Earth is eligible to receive the William T. Pecora Award. This year's awards will be presented at the 20th William T. Pecora Memorial Remote Sensing Symposium mentioned above. The 2017 Pecora Award nominations submission date has been extended to June 15, 2017.

Pecora 20: Call for Abstracts and Award Nominations

20th William T. Pecora Memorial Remote Sensing Symposium will be held November 14-16, 2017, in Sioux Falls, SD. With an emphasis on recent developments in remote sensing, the theme of Pecora 20 is "Observing a Changing Earth: Science for Decisions...Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection." The symposium will offer a program focused on applications of satellite and other Earth observations to monitor, assess, and perform projections of future land and water resources, as well as big data and other analytical technologies to improve decision making using satellite data. Submit abstracts and Pecora Award nominations through June 1, 2017.

2017 William T. Pecora Award: Nominations being accepted through June 1, 2017

The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. The Department of the Interior (DOI) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) jointly sponsor the award. The award was established in 1974 to honor the memory of Dr. William T. Pecora, former Director of the U.S. Geological Survey and Under Secretary, Department of the Interior. Dr. Pecora was a motivating force behind the establishment of a program for civil remote sensing of the Earth from space. His early vision and support helped establish what we know today as the Landsat satellite program. The Award Committee must receive nominations for the 2017 award by June 1, 2017. Instructions for preparing a nomination and other information about the award can be found on the Pecora Award web site.

2016 William T. Pecora Award Recognizes Excellence in Earth Observation

Dr. Curtis E. Woodcock, individual award, and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), group award, were announced as the recipients of the award.

Visit the Highlights Archive for information highlighted here in the past.

Featured Science

Multiple Satellite Eyes to Track Algal Threat to U.S. Freshwater
Algal Blooms

Landsat 8 is demonstrating promising new capabilities for water quality assessment. Satellite-based instruments allow for more frequent observations over broader areas than physical water sampling. Four federal agencies—NASA, NOAA, EPA, and USGS—are joining forces to develop an early warning system for toxic and nuisance algal blooms. Through this project, satellite data on harmful algal blooms will be converted to a format that stakeholders can use through mobile devices and web portals. This will improve detection of these blooms and help researchers better understand the conditions under which they occur.

Landsat Data aids in Study: U.S. Eastern Ecosystems Helps Counter Greenhouse Gas Emissions Contributing to Climate Change
Eastern Ecosystems Helps Counter Greenhouse Gas Emissions

USGS scientists used Landsat data to determine that forests, wetlands and farms in the eastern U.S. naturally store 300 million tons of carbon a year, which is nearly 15 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions EPA estimates the country emits each year or an amount that exceeds and offsets yearly U.S. car emissions. In conjunction with the national assessment, USGS has a LandCarbon site which allows users to see the land and water carbon storage and change in their ecosystems between 2005 and 2050 in the lower 48 states. Biological carbon storage - also known as carbon sequestration - is the process by which carbon dioxide (CO2) is removed from the atmosphere and stored as carbon in vegetation, soils and sediment. The USGS estimates the ability of different ecosystems to store carbon now and in the future, providing vital information for land-use and land-management decisions. Management of carbon stored in our ecosystems and agricultural areas is relevant both for mitigation of climate change and for adaptation to such changes.


Visit the Featured Science Archive for information highlighted here in the past.


* This page contains links to non-government websites and applications that may have different privacy policies from the USGS. The services used from these sites are not endorsed by the U.S. Geological Survey or any other Federal Government agency. All logos used on this page are the property of the respective companies.
*DOI and USGS link and privacy policies apply.
*To view and print a PDF you must obtain and install the Acrobat ® Reader, available at no charge from Adobe Systems.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://remotesensing.usgs.gov/index.php
Sitemap: Land Remote Sensing Program Sitemap
Page Contact Information: Contact Land Remote Sensing
Page Last Modified: November 16, 2017