Scientists from around the world gathered on campus in January when Virginia Tech hosted a meeting of the Landsat Science Team. Made up of national and international leaders in Earth resource remote sensing, the team analyzes data collected by the succession of Landsat satellites that have orbited the Earth since 1972. The team also provides input on future missions and equipment.

Close to 70 people attended, including representatives from the European Space Agency, European Union, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Department of the Interior, NASA, Google, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. “I think they really came away with a feeling of the richness of the depth and breadth of our remote sensing science here at Virginia Tech in terms of faculty, students, the library infrastructure, and the advanced research computing infrastructure,” said Professor Randolph Wynne, a member of the team.

Select faculty and graduate students presented their research to the distinguished audience of international scientists. “The graduate students benefitted greatly from the experience and opportunity the meeting offered. They made an impression on people in the geospatial community who can make a difference — those who are filling positions or reviewing papers and proposals,” Wynne explained.

As a joint initiative between the USGS and NASA, the Landsat Project and the data it collects support government, commercial, industrial, civilian, military, and educational communities throughout the U.S. and worldwide. “The goal of our research group at Virginia Tech is to improve our collective ability to monitor, model, and manage the Earth system — and, in particular, forest ecosystems — through improvements in both the preprocessing and analysis of Landsat data,” Wynne concluded.