In the final session of the 2015 Conservation Science course, Ed Mitchard introduced the topic of using satellite observations to inform conservation. Ed introduced the main data types of satellite data and how they are used. Then the session became hands on: Ed taught the students how to download and display spatial data including layers giving regional borders, roads, river and national park boundaries using the Open Source package QGIS.
Then Ed explained how to download and display satellite data from the Landsat satellite series, which has been collected from the 1970’s until now. In the final part of the session, the class explored the Hansen et al. (2013) global data on forest change (2000-2014), learning how to explore recent forest cover change in an area of conservation interest for any where on our planet!
If you want to know a bit more about the work that Ed does on deforestation, habitat degradation and woody encroachment in tropical forests, woodlands and savanna’s then check out his blog! And in particular a recent post of his on the Hansen et al. (2013) dataset and a map of deforestation intensity.