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Ucross initiative wins Google Earth award

UCROSS — The Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative research team, based at the Ucross Foundation’s Raymond Plank Creative Center, has received a Google Earth Engine Research Award.

The UHPSI is directed by Yale University’s Pinchot Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies Chadwick Oliver and is staffed by a team of graduate students and research scientists connected to Yale University who spent extended time at the Ucross ranch in the summer of 2013.

The award will provide the team the opportunity to make advanced methods for rapid land-cover detection and assessment available to the public through the use of freely available satellite data.

Specifically, the team will work to integrate various statistical methods into Google’s new Earth Engine platform as pre-set tools that will allow users to evaluate vegetation or land-cover types of interest for any portion of the globe.

The research will incorporate contemporary methods for remote sensing, coding, and multivariate statistic analysis, and the team plans on releasing their work at the end of the 2014 calendar year. These pre-set tools will be available to anyone in the world with an Internet connection and a Google account.

Another element of their work at the Ucross ranch included the set-up of acoustic monitoring stations to collect data on the distribution of bird life, an important indicator of landscape health.

The team will return to Wyoming in May 2014 to spend another summer at the Ucross Foundation’s ranch. Visitors are welcome to stop by the Center to meet the team and learn more about their work.

For further information on UHPSI, or to find contact information, visit www.highplainsstewardship.org.

 


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