Center for Geographic Analysis: Mapping Vegetation with Synthetic Aperture Radar: Applications in Kenya and Southeast Asia


Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Room K450, CGIS Knafel building, 1737 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA.


Abstract: Accurate information on the extent and condition of agricultural crops is critical to the formulation and monitoring of food security policies. Remote sensing offers decision makers the ability to look "wide and often", yet in many areas, persistent cloud cover during the growing season reduces the utility of traditional optical remote sensing techniques. This talk presents recent work on the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to map changes in floodplain vegetation in the Tana River Basin in Kenya as well as rice paddy cultivation in Southeast Asia. The increased availability of free and/or low cost images and processing software is finally putting SAR technology "on the radar" of researchers and decision makers around the world.

Speaker bio: Thomas is the director of the Lake Basin Action Network and a faculty aide at the Center for Geographic Analysis. He has an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in Urban Engineering from the University of Tokyo. His work focuses on spatial analysis and remote sensing for environmental management in developing countries.