Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Caitlin Kontgis's paper published in Remote Sensing of Environment

PhD student Caitlin Kontgis has just published her work Mapping rice paddy extent and intensification in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta with dense time stacks of Landsat data in the top journal in the field of remote sensing, Remote Sensing of Environment.  This work focuses on the development of a new change detection method involving dense time stacks of Landsat (30-m) satellite data to monitor changes in rice paddy area as well as shifts in the number of annual harvests for two time points (circa 2000, circa 2010) in the Mekong Delta.  The results suggest that  rice has intensified in the region from 2000 to 2010, with triple-cropped fields expanding from approximately 34% to 62% of rice paddy agriculture.

Make sure to take a look at this paper (available here) -- recent comments on the paper via the Elsevier website have highlighted that the novel use of Landsat data to monitor crop systems is a 'game-changer' for policy makers.  Exciting stuff!

In Kontgis et al. (2015), the location and extent of rice paddy in the Mekong River Delta were delineated using the confluence of NDWI standard deviation, EVI standard deviation, and EVI mean.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Remote Sensing of Environment publication available online

Our research Detecting change in urban areas at continental scales with MODIS data is now available in the January 2015 issue of of Remote Sensing of Environment (click here for more information).  This work demonstrates a new methodology for monitoring urban land expansion at continental to global scales using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data.  We tested the method in 15 countries in East-Southeast Asia experiencing different rates and manifestations of urban expansion, finding accuracies ranging from 70-95% at the country level.  A companion article describing the spatial and temporal trends in urban growth across the 15 countries, A new urban landscape in East-Southeast Asia, 2000-2010, has been accepted at Environmental Research Letters.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New research at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting

Caitlin Kontgis presented her work, Understanding transitions in rice paddy extent and management in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta using Landsat data, at the 2014 AGU meeting in San Francisco, California.  This work demonstrates how to map rice agriculture using fine-scale Landsat data by generating dense time stacks over multiple growing seasons.  Second, the new approach differentiates between single-, double-, and triple-cropped rice paddies in the region, again by exploiting temporally dense EVI trajectories.  The results show that this new approach can map rice paddy agriculture with over 90% accuracy at a much finer spatial resolution than has ever been produced.  In addition, this research demonstrates that triple-cropped rice fields have nearly doubled in area from 2000 to 2010, from one-third of total rice area to nearly two-thirds of paddy area.  

Caitlin will submit this work for publication in Remote Sensing of Environment.

New article released in Landscape & Urban Planning

Our new research assessing the urban transformation in Western China has been published in this month's issue of Landscape & Urban Planning.  The work, funded by a NASA Land Cover-Land Use Change grant, focuses on the post-reform period (1988–2009) in four major metropolitan areas: Chengdu, Xi’an, Kunming, and Urumqi (shown below). The analysis exploits recent land change maps, satellite images, socioeconomic data, and master planning documents, and draws on a variety of spatial and statistical measures to estimate urban patterns through space and time.  Check out the full article here for more information.

Graduate student Caitlin Kontgis wins travel award!

Caitlin Kontgis was selected to receive the prestigious Twin Cities Women's Philanthropy Council student travel grant.  Caitlin is the very first recipient of this grant, and was selected based on the high ratings from peer reviewers she received on her Vilas Travel Award application.  This spring, Caitlin will use the grant to spend 10 weeks in Vietnam working with collaborators at the Can Tho University Research Institute for Climate Change.  This grant will enable her to collect data necessary to parameterize and validate an agricultural model that will help her understand how future climate fluctuations could impact rice paddy yields in the Mekong River Delta.