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Land Surface Phenology and Remote Sensing
Land surface phenology is a field of study that examines the phenological response of vegetation across broad geographical scales. Researchers use satellites in space, cameras, and other remote sensing instruments that can be mounted on towers, airplanes or other structures that provide heightened perspective of the earth’s surface.
USA-NPN researchers and partners are developing land surface phenology data sources, products, models and metrics for understanding large scale patterns of phenology and climate feedbacks. Methods are being developed and tested to link ground observations of phenology with those collected by remote sensing instruments. In this way, researchers can improve the ability of computer models to forecast landscape to regional scale changes in phenology.
Global Change Biology
Global change biology is an emerging field of research that investigates broad trends in the environment that affect the earth’s biological systems. These trends—detected in the past, present, or projected into the future—include changes in the climate, atmosphere, ocean, land use, biodiversity, and the ecological responses to these changes across the globe.
The USA-NPN facilitates research focused on improving our understanding of the climate drivers of phenology, in addition to the phenological response of organisms to climate change. Ultimately, the Network aims to make this information useful to natural resource managers and other decision makers.
Researchers in health-related fields are increasingly incorporating phenology information into their work as it relates to the air we breathe, the insects we encounter, and the water and food we consume. The USA-NPN is contributing to a NASA-led effort to understand the relationship between juniper pollen phenology and human allergies.
In the interests of standardizing the definitions of terms in several relevant fields we have developed a glossary, as a resource for researchers and practitioners.