LCLUC 2017 Webinar Series

The 2017 NASA LCLUC Webinar Series feature LCLUC projects focusing on detection and monitoring of land-cover and land-use changes. This research contributes towards providing critical scientific information about LCLUC and the consequences of land-cover and land-use change on environmental goods and services and the management of natural resources.

The Spring Series features LCLUC projects in mountainous areas.


Tuesday March 28, 2017 Time: 2:00 PM EST (1:00 PM CST, 11:00 AM PST)


Dr. Volker Radeloff
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Land Use Change in the Caucasus Mountains Due to Ethnic Differences, National Policies, and Armed Conflicts.

Mapping land use change in mountainous regions is challenging because steep topography alters the apparent surface reflectance in satellite images, resulting in classification errors. However, the launch of Landsat 8 offers new opportunities for topographic correction though, because OLI’s 16-bit data is more sensitive in areas affected by cast shadows. Here we compare Landsat images with and without topographic correction in the Caucasus Mountains and demonstrate the classification gains that result from topographic correction, especially in steep terrain. Our result demonstrate that topographic correction of Landsat imagery is possible and important when analyzing land use change in mountainous regions.


Jamon Van Den Hoek
Oregon State University

Twenty-Five Years of Community Forestry: Mapping Forest Dynamics in the Middle Hills of Nepal

We will present initial results of our LCLUC-funded research on mapping annual forest dynamics in the Middle Hills of Nepal from 1990-2015. Nepal is a challenging region for forest cover change mapping in part due to the regularity of cloud cover and the country's extreme topographic relief that result in variable solar illumination and shading. To mitigate these conditions, our mapping approach includes a rigorous evaluation of terrain correction approaches, a disturbance detection methodology that leverages the full Landsat time series, and a Google Earth Engine-based image analysis framework. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of our methods, illustrate the spatial distribution of hotspots of forest cover growth and loss across Nepal, and discuss potential socio-economic drivers of forest cover change such as the spread of Nepal's community forests and remittance income borne from foreign labor migration.


Andrew Hansen
Montana State University

Downscaling IPCC Land Use Scenarios for Global Change Adaptation Planning in Mountainous Environments

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses scenario development as its major vehicle for visualizing potential future conditions, their consequences, and adaptation options. Unfortunately, initial efforts to downscale IPCC socioeconomic scenarios to levels relevant for policy have not adequately represented land cover and land use change (LCLUC) in mountain landscapes. Exurban development, the fastest growing land use type in these landscapes, is either not resolved or projected accurately. Modeling of rural LCLUC can be improved through new remote-sensing techniques for detecting the fine-grained development typical in mountains and better understanding of the context-dependency of drivers of LCLUC. Our goal is to project LCLUC under IPCC scenarios across northwestern US mountain landscapes and to apply the results to enhance vulnerability assessments of biodiversity to future global change. This presentation will examine rates of spatial patterns and rates of change in exurban development and test hypotheses on the relative and context-dependent influence of proximity to cities and markets, natural resources, natural amenities, and climate change.



Dr. Garik Gutman
Manager LCLUC Landsat Program Scientist

Summary: Dr. Garik Gutman is Program Manager for the NASA Land-Cover/Land-Use Change (LCLUC) Program. His current research interests include the use of remote sensing for detecting changes in land cover and land use, and analyzing the impacts of these changes on climate, environment and society. His NASA research program helps to develop the underpinning science and promotes scientific international cooperation through supporting the development of regional science networks over the globe under the GOFC-GOLD international program.


Catherine Nakalembe
LCLUC Program Assistant

Ms. Catherine Nakalembe is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Maryland and is the LCLUC Program Assistant.


Sumalika Biswas
LCLUC Program Assistant

Ms. Sumalika Biswas is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Maryland and is the LCLUC Program Assistant.