Though other stories might have dominated the headlines, 2020 was a year of tremendous change in land use and land cover. Massive fires burned across Australia, the Amazon, and the Western U.S. Worldwide, as government oversight shifted to the pandemic, deforestation increased dramatically. And as these changes unfolded, scientists had an unprecedented front seat, no matter where in the world they were located — all thanks to satellites and other remote-sensing technologies. Kim Carlson and Jean Jardeleza know this sort of change better than most. Carlson, an assistant professor of environmental science at New York University, and Jardeleza, a lecturer at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines and project staff of the Ateneo Institute of Sustainability, both use remote sensing and computer modeling to study the ways humans shift and reshape the lands we use. Mongabay recently brought Jardeleza and Carlson together for a three-way conversation about this fascinating field, where the two scientists found frequent common ground in the potentials and pitfalls of these technologies. This included their ability to allow scientists to study any place in the world without ever setting foot there, a practice that has become increasingly controversial. “There is a legacy of Americans coming in and saying, this is how we think conservation should happen,” Carlson said. “There’s also a benefit of being there. Imagine a student that’s trying to do work in Indonesia from the United States. They’ve never set foot in a rubber garden, or in an oil palm plantation. They don’t…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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