Alaska Fire and Environmental Datasets from ABoVE

Remotely-sensed data is a newcomer to the fire management scene.  A few years ago the only satellites we were aware of were MODIS weather and Iridium communications ones.  But things have changed!  Check out this graphic NASA Program leader Hank Margolis showed at the recent ABoVE science workshop in Seattle: Capture-HankM-ABoVE

And that’s just for Earth Science.  The point is, NASA’s ABoVE project now has about 5 years under it’s belt and has produced a wealth of new data and imagery that is available FREE for agencies and the public at their clearinghouse website–the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (ORNL DAAC).  Yes, big acronym but this one’s worth learning about–it’s the designated one-stop shop for all the big data coming from the ABoVE work.  Some of these datasets could be really useful.  For example, LiDAR-measured elevation and canopy height measurements flown over Alaska last summer, the last day of spring snow over Alaska from 2000-2016, 20 years of surface water extent and location(open water) for Alaska/Canada: 1991-2011,  daily wildfire progression (using MODIS) of fires across Alaska from 2001-2015, plus maps of active layer thickness, growing season lengths, tree cover canopy,  . . . .  Get the idea?  Visit one of the links and use the search function at DAAC for more.  The data being made available should make it much easier to produce resource maps for planning and spatial analysis, without having to hit resource agency budgets for acquisition.

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