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.