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Image by: Harry Brett
January 22, 2018

UMass Boston’s Crystal Schaaf to continue serving as landsat science team member


  • Boston
School for the environment professor to build on work during 2018-2023 appointment

Crystal Schaaf, a professor of remote sensing in UMass Boston’s School for the Environment, will once again serve a 5-year term as a Landsat Science Team Member, providing technical and scientific input to NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Landsat program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and USGS. Since 1972, Landsat satellites have collected imagery of Earth's continents and surrounding coastal regions, enabling researchers to study our planet and the impacts of things like climate change, fires, and storms. Schaaf and her 18 fellow team members will conduct Landsat-based scientific research, develop data and applications, and share the results with NASA, USGS, and others. 

“The Landsat missions have now been imaging the globe for over 45 years. Landsat 8 and the upcoming Landsat 9 missions will continue to support agriculture, forestry, and rangeland management efforts, as well as provide details about global land cover change and surface energy budget variability for various regional and global modeling studies. It is a real privilege that my students and I will be able to continue to work with this distinguished group of scientists and such high-quality satellite imaging data,” Schaaf said.

Albedo is the solar energy reflected from the Earth back into space. For the last five years, Schaaf prepared snow-free albedo products for North America. For the new Landsat 9 effort, she’ll be building upon her Landsat 8 work to produce global snow-covered and snow-free albedo products. She’ll also be working alongside the team members to evaluate the data from Landsat 9, scheduled to launch in December 2020.

Schaaf’s term as a Landsat Science Team member runs through 2023.