Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Laramie Junior High School Students learn about Remote Sensing Science and Career Opportunities

Infrared images acquired by Landsat
shows active fires "through-the-smoke".
Images acquired in human visible
region will be "covered with smoke".
One hundred and two students in Mr. Ron Whitman’s eighth (physical sciences) and seventh (biological sciences) grade classes (three class periods each on April 5th and 6th 2011) learned how remotely sensed data collected in different regions of the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) are used for looking at changes on the surface of the earth.

WyomingView coordinator Ramesh Sivanpillai showed satellite and aerial images collected in the visible region (for human beings) and beyond (infrared) and their utility for monitoring the surface of earth and the changes occurring in it.  Examples included monitoring water quality, deforestation, and wildfire damages (see Landsat images acquired during and after a wildfire event in Wyoming).

The post-fire infrared images acquired
by Landsat shows both the extent
and severity of the wildfire. US
Forest Service and other federal agencies
use Landsat and similar images for
assessing burn severity classes.
“Identifying the practical applications of remote sensing and how physical science concepts are used in remote sensing has been very beneficial to my class” commented Mr. Whitman.“Using different electromagnetic waves other than visible light to make observations is always intriguing to my class” he added.

Sivanpillai also discussed career opportunities in remote sensing and how students can academically prepare for them.  “Many students see the occupation opportunities involved with this field, especially the potential to travel and view many other geographic areas” said Mr. Whitman.  “Having professionals visit my classroom or going to their occupation site always motivates my students to try a little harder in my academically rigorous class”.

This educational outreach activity was conducted on April 5th and 6th (6 individual talks) as part of AmericaView’s Earth Observation Day activities aimed at introducing teachers and students to remote sensing science and applications.