A Free Webinar Promoted by the Space Agency Tracks Land Degradation and Urban Development

Photo: NASA

What if we could see from space the damages our human race has done to Earth? The dream to be an astronaut that many of us who have grown during the space race have had might be impossible, but the one to have a privileged view of our changing planet is not. Committed to raising awareness of the SDGs 11 and 15 and bridging the gap between science and society, NASA Earth Observations organizes a webinar that helps to track land degradation and urban development to meet SDG targets.

Both SDGs 11 and 15 relate to sustainable urbanization and land use and cover change. SDG 11 aims to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.” SDG 15 aims to “combat desertification, drought, and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation neutral world.” To assess progress towards these goals, participants in the webinar learn to produce maps and figures to support monitoring and reporting on land degradation and urbanization.

Horyou Blog interviewed Brock Blevins, the training coordinator for the NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET).

Brock Blevins

When and why did you decide to launch the training program?

NASA’s Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET) was established in 2008 within NASA’s Applied Sciences Program (ASP) to help bridge the gap between NASA earth science and decision-makers through targeted training activities. It is also a component of the capacity-building program within ASP. ARSET’s main goal is to provide online and in-person training on NASA data access and its application to air quality, disasters, health, land, water, and wildfire management. In 2017, the program added training on monitoring requirements for the United Nations sustainable development goals. In 2018, the program provided 17 trainings for 6362 participants representing 141 countries, 2570 organizations, and 52 US states/territories.

What is your target public?

This training will be appropriate for local, regional, state, federal, and international organizations interested in generating data used for SDG reporting with satellite imagery.

What are the expected results of the training in terms of awareness?

This training, developed in partnership with Conservation International, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and UN Habitat is designed to increase awareness within the global community of the open, spatial data resources and tools available to help reach the SDG Goals of Agenda 2030. In particular, we wish to make policy and decision makers familiar with SDG Indicators 15.3.1 and 11.3.1, understand the basics on how to compute indicators of SDG 15.3.1 such as: productivity, land cover, and soil carbon in support of country reporting needs and to understand how to use the Trends Earth Urban Mapper web interface.

ARSET’s trainings bridge the gap between NASA and decision-makers

Is it a paid course? If yes, how much does it cost?

No cost. As all NASA data is open and free, so are ARSET trainings

Course Dates: Tuesdays, July 9, 16, and 23, 2019.


10:00-11:30 EDT (UTC-4) English


18:00-19:30 EDT (UTC-4) Spanish

Registration Information: https://go.nasa.gov/2VEXipf


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