USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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Researchers set-up a digital camera with a robotic panning mount to monitor phenology of the invasive buffelgrass, Tucson, AZ.

Image credit:
Benjie Sanders, Arizona Daily Star

Land Surface Phenology and Remote Sensing (LSP/RS)

Land surface phenology (LSP) may be defined as the seasonal pattern of variation in vegetated land surfaces observed from remote sensing. LSP dynamics reflect the response of vegetated surfaces of the earth to seasonal and annual changes in the climate and hydrologic cycle. It is distinguished from the monitoring of specific plant phenophases in-situ, such as flowering or budburst, due to the fact that LSP is based upon regional and global-scale observations of phenology, which can be directly compared to regional climate information. For this reason, LSP remote sensing data serve as key biological indicators for detecting the response of terrestrial ecosystems to climate variation.

The remote sensing (RS) component of the USA National Phenology Network is critical for providing a means of scaling from on-the-ground observations of phenology to the ecosystem level and, ultimately, to wall-to-wall estimates of phenology covering the entire country. If this scaling is successful, it also provides a means to go back in time, using satellite observations dating back to 1989 (at 1km ground resolution), thus providing a longer time-series of phenology measures from which to establish short- and medium-term trends.

Remote sensing for phenology
History and current trends in remote sensing of phenology

Linking land surface phenology (LSP) and remote sensing (RS)
The importance of collaborative networks for accurate phenological modeling

USA-NPN strategy and activities for LSP/RS
Goals and potential products of the NPN LSP/RS program

LSP/RS information clearinghouse
A clearinghouse of information and links focused on land surface phenology, remote sensing products, and related material

USGS Remote Sensing Phenology homepage
Basic information about generating phenological indicators from satellite data, some sections on vegetation indices and methodology and provides links to nine phenological metrics for a 19 year history for the conterminous U.S.

Live webcam at USGS Headquarters
A landscape-scale camera tracking leaf phenology in Reston, VA. Imagery from cameras such as these is used in the development of satellite-based vegetation monitoring methods.

Phenocam network based at University of New Hampshire
A network of landscape-scale cameras used to track leaf phenology, based at the University of New Hampshire.

Geo-referenced Field Photo Library
The Earth Observation and Modeling group at the University of Oklahoma is developing a library of geo-referenced landscape photos to support a variety of applications.

Web-Enabled Landsat Data
A tool for ordering free Landsat images. Users may now extract WELD Landsat product pixel values for any 30m pixel location, selected either interactively or by entering the pixel latitude and longitude coordinates.  

MODIS Phenology Image Service ArcMap Toolbox
The USGS, in conjunction with work funded by the GN LCC and folks at folks at the NPS, has developed a "MODIS Phenology Image Service ArcMap Toolbox". The tools can be found here.