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Wetland and Soil Moisture Workshop

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University of Alaska Fairbanks

505 South Chandalar Drive

Fairbanks, AK 99775

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Workshop to Validate High Latitude Wetland and Soil Moisture Mapping


September 9-13, 2019, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA


Landscapes in high-latitude regions, such as boreal and arctic environments in Alaska, are changing at an accelerated pace due to the trends of unprecedented warming and wildfire activities. Changes in permafrost and surface hydrology are altering wetland areas and regional soil moisture patterns. Studies of high latitude ecosystems require accurate mapping of wetlands and soil moisture to gain a better understanding of carbon cycling and methane emissions. Scientific evidence has demonstrated that as the climate and permafrost soils warm, microbes start to break down the organic carbon that has been frozen and fixed in the permafrost, leading to a rise in terrestrial emissions of carbon dioxide and methane. However, the mapping of wetlands (such as bogs and fens) and the characterization of regional soil moisture patterns face far more challenges in high latitude regions than in temperate or tropical areas. Indeed, the 5th Satellite Soil Moisture Validation and Application Workshop held at George Mason University on 24-25 October 2018 recommended high priorities were given to systematic and integrated soil moisture monitoring in high latitude regions. Hence, the overall quality of such mapping data needs closer scrutiny and remains a research topic. USGS has extensive field data that depict characteristics of wetlands and soil moisture profiles in boreal and arctic environments. This workshop, combining field visits and classroom exercises, is designed to enhance our understanding of the state and quality of wetland area and soil moisture map products.


Objectives:


The overall objective of this workshop is to further enhance science of Earth observation focusing on soil moisture and wetland remote sensing in connection with ground-based observations and process studies as well as modeling studies linking in-situ and remote sensing observations to atmospheric processes. The workshop will contribute to the Soil-Ecosystem-Carbon (SEC) Nexus to improve our understanding of how environmental changes in high-latitude regions affect sustainability and security of natural resources. The workshop will bring together government managers, academic scientists, and technical experts to examine in-situ wetland conditions and soil moisture profiles in high-latitude ecosystems, to review the state of wetland and soil moisture mapping methods and products, to understand measurement accuracies and uncertainties, and to discuss enhancements of integrated spatial products for high-latitude regions worldwide. This workshop will focus on the opportunities and challenges in operational applications for satellite-based soil moisture products over high latitude regions.


Schedule and Locations:


Two days of field trips at locations near Fairbanks AK, two days indoors on campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and followed by an one-day visit to Denali National Park. We will provide more details and agenda information in the summer.


Organization


This workshop including the field component is organized by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The main points of contact are: Helene Genet (hgenet@alaska.edu), and Zhiliang Zhu (zzhu@usgs.gov)


Intended participants


International government officials who coordinate satellite-based wetland mapping and soil moisture characterization, remote sensing scientists in government research labs who produce such data products, and field-based academic ecologists or geophysical scientists who measure such data in the field and use map data for their research.


Logistics


Participants will be responsible for their own flights, hotel arrangements, and rental cars (Uber is also available for local transportation). There are many hotels to choose from in Fairbanks. Early September is near the end of tourism season but, still, participants should book their hotel as soon as possible. Transportation for field trips will be arranged via large vans by the university.

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University of Alaska Fairbanks

505 South Chandalar Drive

Fairbanks, AK 99775

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