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Distinguished Carolina Professor Susan L Cutter Seminar Series

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Fenner Seminar Room

Frank Fenner Building 141, Linnaeus Way, ANU

Acton, ACT 2601

Australia

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Reducing Bushfire Losses Through Better Information on landscape flammability from space - Dr Marta Yebra

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Abstract:

Annually, across Australia, fire is estimated to cause approximately 7.5 fatalities and over 3,000 injuries and significant resources are allocated to mitigate the risk. The estimated annual total cost of fire in Australia is estimated to be $650 million. The improvement in fire management decisions (e.g. better allocation of scarce resources in fire management) will result in a decrease of economic, social and environmental impacts across spatial and temporal dimensions. This requires accurate information on landscape flammability and fire danger that is presented in a timely and appropriate manner to facilitate informed decisions.

In this seminar, Marta will introduce the purpose and science of the Australian Flammability Monitoring System (AFMS, http://anuwald.science/afms), the first continental-scale prototype web service providing spatial information on landscape flammability conditions derived from satellite observations. She will also present the latest developments towards a comprehensive fire danger rating system that will be soon implemented in the AFMS.

BIO

Marta Yebra is a Senior Researcher at the ANU-Fenner School of Environment and Society and mission specialist of the ANU-Institute of Space. Her main background is in remote sensing of vegetation biophysical properties for spatial fire risk analysis, carbon sequestration and water balance studies.

From 2004-2010 she was employed at the University of Alcala, where she was involved in two large multidisciplinary projects which assessed and integrated the main fire risk factors and analysed fire risk trends, considering potential changes in socio-economic factors as well as foreseen impacts of global climate change. During her research, she spent time at the Centre for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing (University of California at Davis, USA); the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA, Argentina) and the School of Environmental and Life Sciences of Salford (UK).

From 2010 to 2013 Marta worked at CSIRO Land and Water as developing innovative methods to integrate satellite and in-situ observations from micrometeorological tower sites with models to predict carbon-water coupling.

Yebra's research has been recognised through numerous awards, including the prestigious Max Day Environmental Science Fellowship from the Australian Academy of Science (2017), the CSIRO Pyne-Scott Career Award (2013) and the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research Utilisation for her team’s work on the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC project ‘Mapping bushfire and hazard impacts’.

Marta is also an Associate editor for Remote Sensing of Environment (Elsevier), highest ranked journal in Earth observation for environmental applications.

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Fenner Seminar Room

Frank Fenner Building 141, Linnaeus Way, ANU

Acton, ACT 2601

Australia

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