What We Do

Earth Observation Science plays a key role in

  • monitoring environmental changes
  • resource management, and
  • formulating sustainable development policies

Basic and applied research initiatives support our ability to

  • assess and monitor changes in biodiversity
  • monitor and assess effects of forest fires
  • enhance mineral and mining exploration
  • monitor snow cover and land ice
  • produce maps of land cover
  • provide information and support to Alberta's natural resource industries and public sector agencies that provide stewardship, set policy, and identify long-term strategy.
  • play a role in environmental risk mitigation through research that allows us to
    • forecast ice jam floods during the break-up of river ice
    • estimate snow water equivalent for modeling of watershed hydrology
    • assess soil moisture conditions

There are three areas of science and technology that define current and future advances in these domains:

  • Remote sensing, primarily through spectral and hyperspectral imaging, exploits the fact that most materials reflect light in diagnostic ways.
  • Intelligent image analysis, aimed at shape and motion analysis, segmentation, physics-based modeling and animation, and image based rendering.
  • Spatio-temporal data management approaches for the co-analysis of imagery with data collected from networks of very small sensors spread over large areas of interest (e.g., forests). Both basic and applied research initiatives in these areas are well advanced at the University of Alberta.

CEOS investigators are part of a wide-ranging, international network of research initiatives, funded by provincial, national, and international agencies.