Remote sensing – the ability
for scientists to record information on objects they are not in physical
contact with – is a branch of geospatial science that can help solve some of
the world’s most challenging problems, said NGA image scientist Laura Santos
during a Geospatial 101 session at Saint Louis University Feb. 4.
This discussion was part of
the Geospatial 101 series, co-hosted by SLU and NGA, which aims to raise
awareness of geospatial science in the local community, said Mark Barnett,
outreach officer with NGA.
Santos partnered with Vasit
Sagan, associate professor in SLU’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric
Sciences, to give an overview of the science behind remote sensing. The two
discussed how remote sensing can be used to inform researchers and
decision makers on topics such as deforestation, food security and power grid
“We can leverage systems that allow us to
record and visualize information about our world from above, where our
viewpoint is larger,” said Santos. “But more importantly, remote sensing allows
us to see beyond what we can detect with our eyes, allowing us to take a
deceptively simple image and unpack it to reveal hidden information.”
About 60 people attended the
event, which included a question-and-answer session with Santos and Sagan.
Three additional Geospatial
101 sessions are planned for February and March. All sessions are from 5-6 p.m.
at SLU’s Salus Center, 3545 Lafayette Ave, St. Louis, MO 63104. The series is
free and open to the public.
Monday, March 4: Mapping
Health -- Where Disease Happens
Monday, March 18: How Humans
and Machines Work Together
The Geospatial 101 series
developed as a collaboration between SLU and NGA, said Ken Olliff, SLU’s vice
president for research. SLU is currently working to create a geospatial research,
training and innovation institute.
“Many in the community might not
know a whole lot about what geospatial science actually is,” said Olliff. “We thought
of this as a way of getting the word out, and offering the public a chance to
hear more about the research, activities and innovation going on at SLU, NGA
and the geospatial community, and to answer their questions.”
Barnett said NGA’s
participation in Geospatial 101 was inspired by former Director Robert
Cardillo’s call to be more transparent and work more clearly with the academic,
commercial and local communities. “NGA is in a unique position to help partner
with others and share our expertise," he said.
To RSVP and for more
information about the location and parking, visit Eventbrite.com and search for