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Research Successes - Observation & Data Management

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Strategic Planning Document -
Environment and Natural Resources

Research Successes

$4M Saved in Data Processing

Interagency coordination and federal and university collaboration have led to the development of an interagency memorandum of understanding to formalize the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium. This effort establishes the basis for the joint acquisition and processing of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery for the coterminous U.S. and sets the stage for implementation of joint research activities and the development of a flexible and functional land characteristics data base. This joint effort has already saved the government $4 million in satellite imagery costs and is expected to result in a savings of some $26 million in indirect costs related to satellite data processing and data archiving.

Satellites Link Land Use, Productivity

Since the early 1970s, increasingly sophisticated satellites, beginning with Landsat, have provided an invaluable record of land-use changes. Around the globe, major forested areas are being cut to provide land for agricultural use (even in regions where soil fertility is low and water resources are meager) reducing water quality and fish habitat, losing buffer zones for floods, inducing erosion and loss of soil productivity, and reducing the diversity of plants and animals that form the base for agriculture and biotechnology. In addition to such direct effects are indirect effects that include altering global biogeochemical cycles, the local climate, and wildlife habitats. Such changes also allow the invasion of new, and often destructive, species.

Over the past decade researchers have documented destruction of tropical rain forests and the burning of grasslands, the shifting edge of the world's deserts, expansion of urban areas, and areas of flooding and drought. These observations allow researchers to inventory global ecosystems and natural resources and their changes over time, information vital to sustaining agricultural and water resource systems.

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Environment and Natural Resources - Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Executive Summary

Research Successes - Ecosystem Research

Research Successes - Observation & Data Management

Research Successes - Biodiversity

Research Successes - Environmental Technology

Research Successes - Global Change


Research Successes - Natural Disaster Reduction

Research Successes - Environmental Change

Research Successes - Forest Research

Research Successes - Air Quality

Research Successes - Lead Levels

Research Successes - Science Policy Tools

Research Successes - Water Resources