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Introduction to Remote Sensing for Scenario-Based Ecoforecasting

12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT (UTC-4)

As climates shift and change, ecosystems respond in a variety of ways. Assessing the ecological impacts of a changing climate is crucial for natural resource management decision-making. NASA Earth observations can be used to help make these decisions. This four-week webinar series, in collaboration with the USGS North Central Climate Center, will include an overview of the satellites, sensors, and tools relevant to ecological forecasting; available climate products and data for ecological modeling; scenario planning; and the application of modeling for species distribution and state-and-transition simulations.

Learning Objectives: 

By the end of this training, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand what ecoforecasting is and its applications
  • Understand how climate data supports future projections of management targets
  • Articulate how scenario planning can be utilized for decision-making with multiple sources of uncertainty
  • Integrate qualitative and quantitative tools to support resource management decision-making in situations with high uncertainty
Course Format: 
  • Four, one-hour sessions 
  • Sessions will be held on Thursdays in September, at 12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT (UTC-4)
  • A certificate of completion will be provided to participants that attend all live webinars and complete all homework assignments. Note: Certificates of completion only indicate the attendee participated in all aspects of the training. They do not imply proficiency on the subject matter, nor should they be seen as a professional certification.

Complete Fundamentals of Remote Sensing webinars Sessions 1 and 2A, or equivalent experience. Attendees that do not complete prerequisites may not be properly prepared for the pace during the training.


Local, regional, state, federal, and international organizations charged with maintaining healthy ecosystems, and interested in ecological forecasting using satellite imagery and climate data. Governmental and non-governmental organizations in the public and private sectors engaged in environmental management and monitoring will be given preference over organizations focused primarily on research.

Registration Information: 

This webinar series is now at capacity and registration is closed. There is no cost for the webinar, but you must register to view the recordings.

Course Agenda: 
Session One: Overview of Ecological Forecasting

September 7, 2017

An introduction ot the use of remotely-sensed data for predictors in ecological forecasting; an overview of example sensors and tools relevant to ecological forecasting (MODIS NDVI, VIIRS Land products, AppEARS); and case study examples.



Session Two: Overview of Climate Science and Data

September 14, 2017

An introduction to gridded historic and projected climate data; and considerations of appropriate use of climate data in ecological impact assessments, including downscaling (statistical vs. dynamical) and bias correction methods.



Session Three: Overview of Scenario Planning

September 21, 2017

Scenario planning as a tool for grappling with the uncertainty of climate change and other factors, and how those affect management objectives; selecting a small set of climate futures; considering additional, non-climate factors; developing scenarios of climate impacts and potential management responses; and case study examples.



Session Four: Overview of Species Distribution and State-And-Transition Simulation Modeling

September 28, 2017

An introduction to combining ecological response models; an overview of species distribution modeling, including ecological response modeling technique examples, an explanation of correlative species distribution models, and an introduction to VisTrails; limitations of correlative approaches; and ecological simulation modeling, including an overview of simulation modeling approaches and examples, state-and-transition conceptual models and simulations, and an introduction to ST-Sim software.



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