Monday, June 12

Earth Engine - Welcoming Remarks

About the speaker: Rebecca Moore is a computer scientist and longtime software professional. At Google, she conceived and leads the Google Earth Outreach program, which supports nonprofits, communities and indigenous peoples around the world in applying Google's mapping tools to the world's pressing problems in areas such as environmental conservation, human rights and cultural preservation. Rebecca also initiated and leads the development of Google Earth Engine, a new technology platform which supports global-scale monitoring and protection of the earth’s environment. Rebecca received a bachelor’s degree with honors from Brown University in Artificial Intelligence and a master’s degree from Stanford University. Her personal work using Google Earth was instrumental in stopping the logging of more than a thousand acres of redwoods in her Santa Cruz Mountain community.

Video - Slides 

Rebecca Moore

Rebecca Moore 

Google, Geo for Good

MapBiomas - Tracking the Land Use Changes in Brazil in the 21st Century

Brazil has the second largest area of forests and the largest amount of fresh water on the planet. Brazil is also the one of the largest producers of meat, grains and minerals. To conciliate this two realities is a big challenge. Land cover and land use are in constant change in the tropics. Millions of hectares of forests and natural vegetation are lost every year to become agriculture, pasture, mining or urban areas and produce billions of tons of GHG emissions every year. To contribute to the understand of this dynamic and to allow for actions to combat deforestation, guarantee conservation of habitats and indigenous lands and promote sustainable businesses MapBiomas was created in 2015, a multi-institutional initiative to produce annual high resolution land cover and land use maps of Brazil from 1985 to present. A work that could take decades to produce under conventional methods is possible to generate in few years. We will present how Google Earth Engine help us generate 17 years of Land Cover and Land Use Maps of the entire country (8,5 million km2) and produce land use change maps and data for all of this period and how this maps are helping to revolutionize the land use studies and policies in Brazil.

About the speaker: Tasso is the coordinator of SEEG - System to estimate GHG Emissions (Brazil, India and Peru), as well as MAPBIOMAS, a platform to produce maps of entire countries’ annual land cover and land use through a multi-institutional collaboration and cloud computing on Google Earth Engine. He’s a Forestry Engineer graduate from University of São Paulo. He served as the Secretary of the National Forest Commission in Brazil and was the first Chief & Director General of the Brazilian Forest Service where he was deeply involved in the design and implementation of the National Plan to Combat Deforestation and the Amazon Fund (one of the world's largest forest protection funds). Tasso serves as a Board member for several organizations including the Business Forum on Climate Change, Rainforest Alliance, Imazon and Imaflora, and is a columnist at O Globo newspaper and Epoca Negociosmagazine. In 2013 Tasso receive the Bright Award from Stanford University for his contribution to global sustainability and environmental preservation.


Tasso Azevedo

Tasso Azevedo 

MapBiomas / Climate Observatory

Tuesday, June 13

Using Google Earth Engine for the collaborative development of the Lower Mekong Regional Land Cover Monitoring System 

Agencies in the Lower Mekong countries of Southeast Asia are dependent on land cover and land use mapping for many purposes; however, updates to national maps are infrequent, classification systems often fail to meet end users’ needs, and accuracy assessments are seldom available. In response to a geospatial needs assessment, SERVIR-Mekong, partnering with regional government agencies, the US Forest Service, SilvaCarbon and others, supported the collaborative development of a Regional Land Cover Monitoring System (RLCMS) to provide high quality annual land cover maps with consistent yet flexible cover classes. The RLCMS initiative builds on the most recent remote sensing science and technology, such as Google Earth Engine and a custom built image viewing and interpretation system, to increase the efficiency and reduce the costs of regularly producing high quality maps that meet subnational, national, and regional needs. In this presentation, I will share how we used Earth Engine to collaboratively develop the monitoring system through a series of workshops with regional stakeholders in order to build institutional resilience, meet transboundary and transdisciplinary needs, and improve regional land cover and land use mapping capacity across the Lower Mekong countries. 

About the speaker: Karis Tenneson is a senior scientist at Redcastle Resources, working as a contractor with the US Forest Service at the Geospatial Technology and Applications Center (GTAC).  Her research characterizes the relationship between landscape patterns, ecosystem functions, and human health. Her over-arching goal is to support decision making through the effective translation of best available science to address society’s most challenging problems and build more sustainable communities. Some of her other projects include lidar-based forest inventories and habitat models, scenario planning to support critical decisions for maintaining ecosystem functions, modeling urban land cover change and characterizing its ecological signatures, and assessing the consequences of land management actions on ecosystem functions in residential urban forests. She received her PhD in Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington.


Karis Tenneson

Dr. Karis Tenneson

US Forest Service Geospatial Technology and Applications Center