News


Dar Roberts receives AGU Fellow Award

posted Jan 10, 2017, 2:15 PM by Susan Meerdink   [ updated Jan 10, 2017, 2:25 PM ]

At the annual fall AGU meeting, VIPERs gathered to watch Dar Roberts receive the prestigious AGU Fellow Award. Established in 1962, the Union Fellows program recognizes AGU members who made exceptional contributions to Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers. Oliver Chadwick nominated Dar for developing spectral mixing models that drive pixel-based interpretation of remote sensing data to solve environmental problems. At the Honors Ceremony, VIPERs watched Dar receive his award, while also earning the title of most raucous cheering crowd. After the ceremony, Dar fans gathered for champagne toasts and a group photo (see below). Following the champagne reception, a banquet was held to celebrate all AGU honorees. In addition to wonderful food, the banquet hosted a photo booth help to commemorate the night. The evening ended with fantastic music and dancing. Dar Roberts even danced with AGU President Margaret Leinen! 

Viper's Attend AGU 2016

posted Jan 10, 2017, 12:45 PM by Susan Meerdink   [ updated Jan 10, 2017, 2:05 PM by Sarah Wells Shivers ]

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) held it's annual fall meeting in San Francisco December 12 - 16, 2016. With approximately 24,000 attendees in 2015, AGU’s Fall Meeting is the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world. This year will mark Fall Meeting’s 49th year as the premiere place to present your research; hear about the latest discoveries, trends, and challenges in the field; and network with colleagues that can enhance your career. The majority of the VIPER lab made the trip up north to present their current research including: Alana Ayasse, Gabriel Daldegan, Susan Meerdink, Fernanda Ribeiro, Sarah Shivers, Zach Tane, and Erin Wetherley. In addition the vipers were joined by Dar Roberts who presented current research at AGU. 

Vipers attend 2016 HyspIRI Workshop

posted Oct 22, 2016, 8:48 AM by Susan Meerdink   [ updated Oct 22, 2016, 8:49 AM ]

Four members of the Viper Lab attended the 2016 HyspIRI Science Workshop at Caltech. This workshop provided an update on mission status and ongoing science results for the proposed HyspIRI satellite mission. This workshop always provides a diverse sampling of ongoing spectroscopy projects in a variety of topics. Advisor Dar Roberts presented a talk titled "Developing Methods for Fractional Cover Estimation Toward Global Mapping of Ecosystem Composition".  Susan Meerdink presented a talk titled "Spectral emissivity features of plants: Prospects for the Hyperspectral Thermal Emission Spectrometer (HyTES) sensor". In addition, Alana Ayasse and Sarah Shivers attended the workshop for a couple days. Also attending the three day workshop were a couple of Viper alumni who also gave presentations: Phil Dennison and Andrew Thorpe. Slides from the above mentioned presentations will be available on this website: http://hyspiri.jpl.nasa.gov/events/2016-hyspiri-science-and-applications-workshop

NASA and USFS Facebook Live with Zach Tane

posted Sep 1, 2016, 11:46 AM by Susan Meerdink   [ updated Sep 1, 2016, 11:50 AM ]

On August 30 at 11 am, scientists Natasha Stavros from NASA and Zach Tane (VIPER lab PhD candidate) with the U.S. Forest Service were found on NASA Earth's facebook page hosting a facebook live event. They discussed way NASA data and technology are helping the Forest Service understand wildfire behavior and improve wildfire recovery. With Griffith Park as their backdrop, Zach and Natasha explained how remote sensing can aid wildfire prevention, status, and recovery. Zach explained how spectroscopy using AVIRIS is a great tool for forest management. People from around the world logged on and asked questions about wildfires in California. Log on to https://www.facebook.com/nasaearth/ to watch the full video now!

Dar Roberts named AGU Fellow

posted Jul 26, 2016, 11:21 AM by Susan Meerdink   [ updated Jul 26, 2016, 11:21 AM ]

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) today announced its 2016 Fellows, an honor given to individual AGU members who have made exceptional scientific contributions and gained prominence in their respective fields of Earth and space sciences. Since the AGU Fellows program was established in 1962, and according to the organization’s bylaws, no more than 0.01 percent of the total membership of AGU is recognized annually. This year’s class of Fellows are geographically diverse coming from 18 states and eight countries.

“Although AGU Fellows represent the many diverse sciences of AGU members and come from different career backgrounds, they’ve each played a leading role in promoting discovery and developing solutions for a sustainable future for Earth,” said Margaret Leinen, AGU President. “We’re pleased to recognize and honor the newest class of Fellows for their significant and lasting contributions to Earth and space sciences.”

Our very own Dr. Dar Roberts has been chosen as an AGU fellow. He will be honored at the AGU annual meeting in San Francisco.

Link to full article: http://news.agu.org/press-release/american-geophysical-union-announces-2016-fellows/

Zach Tane's Research featured by JPL, NPR

posted Jul 11, 2016, 12:01 PM by Zachary Tane   [ updated Jul 26, 2016, 11:27 AM by Susan Meerdink ]


VIPER lab member Zach Tane had his on going research on identifying tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada Mountains via AVIRIS data featured by JPL recently:


A few days later NPR affiliate KVPR ran a follow up story on the piece:


The story was also feature on NASA's front page on July 20th, 2016:

PhD alumni Andrew Thorpe published in Washington Post

posted Jun 28, 2016, 11:25 AM by Susan Meerdink   [ updated Jun 28, 2016, 11:25 AM ]

Recent research on the massive Aliso Canyon methane gas leak of late last year, conducted by researchers including Viper Lab PhD alumni Andrew Thorpe, was featured in The Washington Post after initial publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The size of the leak was of such large proportion that a NASA satellite could see the plumes of gas from space. 


Link to the Washington Post Article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/06/15/this-gas-leak-was-so-massive-that-nasa-saw-it-from-space/

Comparison of detected plumes. D: AVIRIS-C flightline at 12 January 2016, 20:25 UTC. B: Hyperion on 1 January 2016, 16:39 UTC. (source Geophysical Research Letters)

Taking the ASD for a spin

posted Jun 16, 2016, 12:40 PM by Susan Meerdink   [ updated Jun 16, 2016, 12:53 PM ]

Alana Ayasse, Nina Bingham, Susan Meerdink, Sarah Shivers, and Erin Wetherley spent a couple hours learning about an ASD FieldSpec 4 spectrometer. Lots of fun and spectra were collected!

Team VIPER wins the Geography Scavenger Hunt!

posted Jun 10, 2016, 2:09 PM by Susan Meerdink   [ updated Jun 10, 2016, 2:09 PM ]

Ready, Set, Go! Seven teams of undergraduate and graduate students participated in the Geography Department’s Scavenger Hunt on Thursday, June 2. Planned and executed by the Outreach Committee (Heather Frazier, Nina Bingham, Sari Blakeley, Mike Johnson, Susan Meerdink, and Rafael Ramos) the event was hosted to promote interaction among the geocommunity and other participants, and to celebrate the end of the academic year.

Featuring clues and activities all over campus, the participants had to combine team-work, strategy, endurance, and lots of enthusiasm. Some of the tasks included getting to one of the good surfing spots on campus, taking a photo with a duck couple, and even finding a sunken place where testudines call home!

This Scavenger Hunt was for sure a competitive one. All the teams did very well and in the end there were some very close scores. Tying for 1st Place was Team VIPER (Alana Ayasse, Dan Phillips, Sarah Shivers, Zach Tane, and Erin Wetherley) and Spatial Forces (Thomas Hervey, Sara Lafia, and Georgios Technitis). 3rd place was awarded to the undergraduate Raster Masters (Chris Chien, Lucine Garibian, Ryan Linhart, Cole McLaughlin, and Andrew Westerman). These teams won a variety of prizes including: Geography T-shirts from the thirtieth and fortieth anniversaries, Geography Bags, $50 Bookstore gift cards, ESRI pens and notebooks, passes to the Natural History Museum and Sea Center, and Geography pencils. After finishing the scavenger hunt, the participants also enjoyed a graduate student poster showcase while eating Woodstock’s pizza.

According to Sara Lafia, from the Spatial Forces team, participating in the Scavenger Hunt allowed her to appreciate our beautiful UCSB campus, and her coworkers at the Spatial Center, who also participated. “I’m really happy to have participated and hope that we can make it an annual department end-of year tradition”, Sara remarked. That is indeed an idea to look forward to.

Erin Wetherley Awarded NASA NESSF Award

posted May 25, 2016, 8:43 AM by Susan Meerdink   [ updated May 25, 2016, 8:44 AM ]



Erin Wetherley was awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) for her proposal, "Using HyspIRI-like Data to Quantify the Effects of Urban Vegetation and Materials on Microclimate at Sub-Pixel Scales." This is a competitive, multi-year award, so congratulations to Erin for her accepted proposal! 

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