Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 14

I spent today finally looking at the images that I am analyzing!  I looked at all of the images which I downloaded from the Landsat 1-3 MSS device; these images are from the early 1980s and therefore have fewer bands than the Landsat 8 device.  I messed around with the NDVI, which stands for normalized difference vegetation index; it is basically an index which measures the photosynthetic activity of plants.  I also viewed bands which had wave lengths in the near infrared region because healthy plants reflect near infrared and less healthy plants absorb it.  What I don't understand is how I can identify burn scars because decrease in vegetation can be caused by a number of factors other than wildfire, including drought, less foliage cover, or simply because it is the wrong season for that particular plant. My confusion lies in solving this problem, as well as understanding what other tools can help me with my analysis and how to quantify and qualify changes in vegetative patterns as a result from fire burns and scars.  However, I have sent an email to Dr. Vodacek so I should have some answers in the morning!  Today I was also a test subject for Jason and John, who are the two interns working in the eye tracking lab, and I sat in on a thesis defense in the afternoon; both were very cool!

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