Exposing land functions and vulnerability using multiscale, satellite and UAS data

Authors: Forrest R. Stevens*, University of Louisville, Andrea E. Gaughan, University of Louisville, Narcisa Pricope, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Ariel Weaver, University of Louisville, Steele Olsen, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Nicholas Kolarik, University of Louisville, Michael Drake, University of Colorado Boulder, Amelia Bradshaw, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Topics: Remote Sensing, Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: UAS, UAV, multispectral, multitemporal, remote sensing, RapidEye, MODIS, data fusion, savanna, drylands, Southern Africa
Session Type: Interactive Short Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Balcony M, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Variability and change in land functions represent a significant source of exposure for households that are heavily dependent on agriculture, grazing, and natural resources. Land uses interact with land cover in multifaceted ways, yielding a diverse array of approaches to use remotely sensed data to quantify spatial and temporal aspects of that intersection. Our research describes the use of multispectral and multitemporal analyses of data, spanning spatial scales from centimeters to kilometers. We integrate unmanned-aerial-system-derived (UAS) data derived from a multispectral sensor with RapidEye (~5 m) and trend and variability analyses from Landsat (~30 m) and MODIS data (~250 m). Using scaled relationships we show how estimates of vegetation structure, composition, and dynamics in productivity proxies might relate to land functions relevant to household land uses in a rural, southern African savanna context. By focusing on aspects of land functions, which are at the heart of land systems and their changing dynamics, we address an important component of household vulnerability in these rural contexts. We discuss the implications of this conceptual framing as it relates to remotely-sensed and other biophysical data across various scales, for measuring and monitoring land functions, and their incorporation into coupled human-environment research.

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