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Using Satellite Remote Sensing to Understand the Changing Land Surfaces of Central Asia

Date and Time

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


  • Kirkhof Center » RM 2204 Pere Marquette


Geography and Sustainable Planning Department presents:

Using Satellite Remote Sensing to Understand the Changing Land Surfaces of Central Asia

Date: Tuesday, March 19 3-5 PM

Location: Kirkhof Center 2204 Pere Marquette Room

Speaker: Geoffrey Henebry, Ph.D. Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences, MSU

LIB 100 approved

All are welcome, refreshments provided.

To RSVP, please visit:

Central Asia is more than half the size of the conterminous US, but less than a quarter of the population. The five countries of Central Asia include Kazakhstan (world’s 9th largest country), Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (both >90% mountainous with peaks higher than anything in North America), Turkmenistan (larger than California but mostly deserts), and Uzbekistan (home of the magnificent Registan Square). Climate change impacts in Central Asia remain largely unknown due to region’s history, sparse population, rugged terrain, and remoteness. The land surfaces of Central Asia has been changing in recent decades as a result of independence in 1991 from the Soviet Union and subsequent engagement with the global economy, and from changing climatic conditions. We have been using datastreams from the constellation of Earth-observing sensors to track changes in the region’s environment at multiple scales, including Landsat, MODIS, AVHRR, and AMSR-E/2. This talk provides a survey of our findings of change from mountains to deserts, including how the collapse of the Soviet Union accelerated the onset of spring, how the Pacific Ocean temperatures affect precipitation in montane Central Asia, and how changes in the seasonality of snow has been affecting vegetation growth in high mountain pastures: all well illustrated with photos from the field and colorful remote sensing imagery. Come and see a beautiful part of the planet you are not likely to visit!



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