Evaluating Ecosystem Services with Remote Sensing

Healthy ecosystems provide essential pieces of daily life for humans such as clean water, food, medicines, carbon sequestration, protection against extreme weather, and much more. Natural capital accounting recognizes that these assets must be maintained, managed, and measured for critical decision-making activities. NASA data can be used to accurately map ecosystems to support effective planning and sustainable decision-making.

This training will outline the basics of ecosystem services and natural capital accounting. It will also provide an overview of how Earth Observations (EO) can be used to support global frameworks and initiatives such as standards set by the United Nation’s System of Environmental Economic Accounting (UN-SEEA). Participants will receive information on techniques and tools for using EO in natural capital accounting such as the use of land cover mapping, time series analysis, and modeling efforts conducted with the Natural Capital Project via the InVEST software, The Artificial Intelligence for Environment and Sustainability (ARIES) Project, and more. Case-study examples will be provided to highlight locally specific efforts such as valuation of native pollinators, urban ecosystem accounts, valuation of coastal resilience and coral reef habitats, and forest conservation and carbon sequestration.

Relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals:
• Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
• Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Course Dates: August 23, 25, & 30, 2022

Time: 11:00-12:30 EDT (UTC-4)