Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Science, Technology and Business Division (202) 707-5664; Jeannie Allen, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (301) 614-6627

June 7, 2007

"City Lights, Spy Satellites and Urban Sprawl" To Be Discussed on June 27

Satellites are making it possible to study the interactions on Earth between urbanization, biological processes, weather and climate. What are they showing us? In an illustrated presentation at the Library of Congress, a NASA scientist will explain the profound effect of human activity on Earth’s natural systems.

Marc L. Imhoff will discuss "City Lights, Spy Satellites and Urban Sprawl" at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, in Dining Room A on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The lecture is the third in a series of four programs about cutting-edge science presented through a partnership between the Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

According to Imhoff, urbanization and land cover change driven by human activity is profoundly affecting Earth’s natural systems with impacts ranging from a loss of biological diversity to changes in regional and global climate. This change has been so pervasive and progressed so rapidly, compared to natural processes, some scientists refer to it as "the great transformation."

Imhoff, the project scientist for NASA’s Terra Mission, works in the Earth Sciences Directorate at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He specializes in the use of remote sensing and computer modeling to study human interactions with the biosphere and climate through the alteration of biogeochemical cycles. He has worked extensively on developing the means to measure the effects of urbanization on biodiversity, food security and climate. He was a principal investigator in NASA’s Carbon Cycle Science and Land-Cover Land-Use Change Program and is also accomplished in the use of radar sensors for terrain and vegetation mapping. He has a doctorate in biological sciences from Stanford University.

The Library of Congress maintains one of the largest and most diverse collections of scientific and technical information in the world. The Science, Technology and Business Division provides reference and bibliographic services and develops the general collections of the Library in all areas of science, technology, business and economics. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/.

For more information on the Terra Mission Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, visit http://terra.nasa.gov/.

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PR 07-129
06/07/07
ISSN 0731-3527

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