Activity takes one to two hours.
In this activity students use a series of Landsat images from 1975 to 2005 to examine changes in land cover and abundance of vegetation in the summer (peak abundance) and relate these changes to climate conditions.
Goals by the activity author:
- To introduce you to the basic concepts of interpretation of remote sensing data.
- To begin working with local remote sensing data to detect changes in land cover over time.
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
Explore >> Intro to Remote Sensing
TEACHING NOTES / CONTEXT FOR USE
Teaching Notes / Context For Use by CLEAN Reviewers:
- Use with younger students as classroom activity.
- Since related climate data is referenced (but not provided) in the activity, it would be a useful addition; and take the learning from observations of changes in vegetation in one locality to possible associations with regional changes in climate variables.
- Teachers should be sure to read the background provided in the links.
About the Science
- Solid introduction to the examination of Landsat images to study changes in vegetation with focus on one locality, Unity, Maine, over the 30-year period 1975-2005.
- Related climate data is referenced in the activity but does not appear in the available materials.
- Summer images were selected to acquire data near the time of maximum vegetation cover.
- Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.
About the Pedagogy
- Activity designed as a skill-builder introduction to remote sensing, i.e., the use of local remote sensing data to detect changes in land cover over time.
- Could be done as a classroom activity for younger students, with some teacher support.
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- Technically straightforward, but since there are no separate teacher's instructions, it may prove difficult for educators to present without some familiarity with remote sensing data.
Assessment by activity author:
Complete the following and turn in a typed sheet with responses the three points below:
- Interpret productivity (color palette) for the years of 1975, 1990, 2000, and 2005. (hint - you can open multiple windows and compare them side-by-side). Do not rearrange PPT slides.
- Describe any significant changes in productivity on the local landscape between 1975 and 2005. Keep in mind, changes could occur at the hands of climate or human activity. When referring to locations on the remote sensing images, please reference using the column-row coordinate system (e.g. cell B2, NOT 2B).
- Discuss the similarities between your interpretations made regarding vegetation patterns and plant health/biomass/cover in Part 1 and the interpretations you made above regarding productivity in Part 2.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
Downloads available via activity author on Encyclopedia Earth http://www.eoearth.org/resources/view/166825/:
Description adapted from activity author's objectives: This activity introduces you to the basic concepts of interpretation of remote sensing data. Students begin working with local remote sensing data to detect changes in land cover over time.