NASA scientist demonstrates use of satellite data in lake water monitoring

How can remotely sensed data be used to interpret and monitor the level of pollution in Laguna de Bay?

This was one of the questions that Dr. Josefino Comiso, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) senior scientist, answered in his lecture on 13 February 2017 at the College of Arts and Sciences in UP Los Baños.

Dr. Comiso, who is also a UP visiting professor, talked about NASA’s various satellites that had been launched for different purposes, particularly for gathering images of the Earth and other planets.

NASA collects and processes a variety of satellite data and makes them available for public use.

The science that allows allows researchers to capture images of distant objects without direct or physical contact with them is called remote sensing. It relies on the detection and measurement of the radiation of different wavelengths reflected or emitted from faraway objects. 

Researcher from NASA and UP visiting professor Dr. Josefino Comiso gives a lecture titled “Application of Remote Sensing in Monitoring Water Quality and Lake Surface Water Uses, and Land Use Change of Laguna de Bay Basin” (Photo from the UPLB SESAM website)

Using the satellite images of Laguna de Bay, the Philippines’ largest lake, Comiso emphasized how important it is to first identify and establish the parameters of the study.

He also showed the importance of a time series analysis in observing or establishing a trend or describing a recurring activity in the study area.

With his lecture, Comiso aimed to demonstrate how NASA’s freely available data can be used by the academic community to establish a new monitoring methodology and to complement existing field monitoring protocols.

Comiso is also a collaborator in a project supported by the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR) grant of the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

(Based on an article that appeared on the UPLB SESAM website)