One hundred and fourteen students in Ron Whitman’s eight grade physical and seventh grade biological sciences classes (three class periods each on April 4th and 5th, 2012) learned how remotely sensed images are acquired in different regions of the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and their uses for monitoring earth surface features such as trees, crops, bare ground, water, roads, buildings, etc.
Botany faculty member and WyomingView coordinator Ramesh Sivanpillai described the differences in the interaction of earth surface features with EMR, and how those interactions result in their appearances or colors. Students learned the uses of images collected by satellites and airplanes for monitoring the effects of beetle attacks on pine trees, deforestation, crop growth, and changes in the surface areas of lakes and reservoirs. Mr. Whitman commented that the presentation helped “students understand the use of different electromagnetic waves for practical applications.”
Analyses of these signatures led the students to conclude that the spectral signature of each leaf was distinct.
Hands-on lab component for measuring and calculating “percent reflectance of the four types of leaves at different wavelengths, actively engaged the students the entire lab time” Mr. Whitman said. Sivanpillai explained the differences in the spectral signatures of different earth surface features and remote sensing scientists rely on these signatures for mapping those features.