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Highlights Archive
Earth Science Division Highlights for week ending November 7, 2007

NASA Ames SIERRA UAS featured in TV episode of Wired Science on PBS .
As part of a segment on unmanned aircraft, the SIERRA UAV was featured as an example of a low cost, multi-mission unmanned aircraft for science. Matt Fladeland (SGA), the Principle Investigator and Deputy Project Manager, and Lesli Monforton (NRL), the designer and pilot, were interviewed for the piece. The episode can be viewed at:

Matt's interview can be viewed at:

(POC: Matt Fladeland, , 4-3325)


Paper accepted for publication .
The journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics has accepted for publication, “Spectral Absorption Properties of Atmospheric Aerosols,” authored by R. Bergstrom, P. Pilewskie, P. Russell, J. Redemann, T. Bond, P. Quinn, and B. Sierau. (POC: Bob Bergstrom, , 4-6261)


SENTRI-LD test flights conducted in Oklahoma .
Steve Dunagan (SGE) and Lee Johnson (CSUMB) supported a flight test near Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the week ending Nov. 2. The test was performed under the SENTRI-LD project in cooperation with British Petroleum Pipelines. A total of 19 missions were flown by light aircraft over petroleum pipeline right-of-way, resulting in collection of approximately 500GB of image data. Four imaging systems were successfully exercised, including multispectral, hyperspectral, and thermal infrared. Example products were provided for presentation to BP top management. Ames personnel Peter Zell (Code PX) and Xavier Bouyssounouse (TI) also participated in the campaign. (POC: Lee Johnson, , 4-3331)


Ecologist Robert Crabtree gives seminar on invasive spread models .
Dr. Robert Crabtree delivered a seminar to the Biospheric Science Branch (SGE), Nov. 5. His talk, “Developing Invasive Spread Models using Airborne and Satellite Remote Sensing Data” details his work in validating the use of hyperspectral imagery for stream and riparian analysis, as well as mapping horizontal and vertical distribution of fuel by blending hyperspectral and polarimetric SAR data. Crabtree, a quantitative ecologist, is the founder and Chief Scientist of the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center (YERC) in Bozeman, Montana. YERC is non-profit scientific organization that specializes in long-term, large-scale, collaborative ecological study in the Greater Yellowstone Area. (Chris Potter, , 4-6164)


MASTER used in assessing aftermath of Southern California Fires .
The MASTER airborne simulator, an instrument for studying geologic and other Earth surface properties, has been flying on board the B-200 over the extensive burn areas left in the wake of recent Southern California fires. The State of California, USGS and U.S. Forest Service have requested the MASTER data through FEMA, for fire ecology research purposes, to determine areas susceptible to landslides, and to help develop new burn severity algorithms. The data will reside at the EDC DAAC, and be accessible via ftp downloads. Weather conditions have presented some obstacles, although good data sets were obtained of the areas scorched by the Branch and Buckwheat fires. The B-200 belongs to DoE, and is flying out of Las Vegas. ASTL/UARC staff members Rose Dominguez, Bob Billing and Dennis Gearhart are on site during the deployment. . (POC: Jeff Myers, , 4-3598)


Dave Bubenheim attends GBRMP and CEAP meetings .
Dr. David Bubenheim (SGE) participated in the Executive Committee Meeting of the Great Basin Research and Management Partnership (GBRMP) held in Boise, Idaho, Oct. 29-30. The purpose of GBRMP executive committee is to provide coordination, leadership, and guidance to research and development of management practices in one of the most endangered ecoregions in the United States. Ames' Biospheric Science Branch is involved in collaborative research in the Great Basin.

Bubenheim then traveled to Reno , Nevada , Oct. 31-Nov. 2, to participate in an ecosystem modeling meeting for the USDA/NASA collaboration entitled the Western Region Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). USDA participants included Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The project goal is an assessment of western region ecosystems with a focus on response to climate change and conservation practice. (POC: David Bubenheim, , 4-3209)

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