Barry Rice

- doing science on a terrestrial planet -

Remote Sensing, Astronomy,
and Invasive Species
- A History, Glossary, and more! -

- Barry Rice -
- Global Invasive Species Team -

- First light: November 2004 -
- Most recent revision: October 2008 -

Note on this web source
This set of pages is an old resource I created when I was helping educate some staff of The Nature Conservancy about remote sensing. This is very much an out of date document, but I will keep it here for historical purposes only. Meanwhile, I suggest you find yourself something newer to read.

This page summarizes information regarding the science and art of remote sensing, especially as it is used in detecting invasive species in natural areas. Currently, this section includes all the basic elements that I think will get you started in your exploration of remote sensing.

I built this summary for The Nature Conservancy when I worked as a member of the Global Invasive Species Team. When our team was dissolved, instead of letting this site disappear I relocated its content here.

Links to each section will be installed when each section is complete.

Remote Sensing: a Primer
This set of pages is a guide to the theory of remote sensing technologies, especially as it is applied to natural area management. It starts with a definition of remote sensing and a review of its historical development. Then it describes the pros and cons of digital data vs. good old fashioned film emulsion. An in-depth description of data types is provided (i.e. panchromatic data, multispectral data, hyperspectral, etc.). Definitions of spatial/spectral "resolutions " and "coverage " are provided. Finally, commonly used remote sensing platforms are profiled. Very useful, this last part!

Glossary: Remote Sensing Terminology
Definitions for all the cool insider terminology used in remote sensing. Use them, and you will sound like a pro.

A Physics Review, with Love
A painless, and perhaps even pleasant, review of all the electromagnetism you will need to understand the essentials of remote sensing. If you decide to live without knowing this material, expect to brandish a blank, lost face while all the nerds around you talk about spectral signatures, atmospheric windows, and Wien's Law.

Related Technologies
Methodologies that are almost, but not quite, what we normally think of as remote sensing.

I would like to thank in particular the many sources of images used in these remote sensing web pages. The sources of all of the images shown on the remote sensing platform profiles are explicitly credited, a few images (such as the thumbnails above) are not credited. Those are credited on our acknowledgments page. I thank you!


4 February 2009