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One of the key "vital signs" of Earth's vegetation is the total green leaf area for a given ground area. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites collects global Leaf Area Index (LAI) data on a daily basis.


 Students observe seasonal images of Monthly Normalized Difference Vegetation, looking for any changes in vegetation that are occurring throughout the year.


Explore using units in calculations with the Leaf Area Index (LAI). LAI is a ratio that describes the number of square meters of leaves per square meter of available land surface. Because of the units in the ratio, it is dimensionless



Scientific data are often represented by assigning ranges of numbers to specific colors. The colors are then used to make false color images which allow us to see patterns more easily. Students will make a false-color image using a set of numbers.


The fires in Greece during the summer of 2007 devastated large tracks of forest and ground cover in this Mediterranean region. Students analyze these data to determine the scale, area, and percentage of the forest impacted by of these fires.


Information from satellites if often used to display information about objects. This information can include how things appear, as well as their contents. Explore how pixel data sequences can be used to create an image and interpret it.




Identifying cause and effect relationships can help us make predictions about the function of natural systems and their impact on the world. These relationships, whether simple or complex, are vital for forecasting weather and predicting Earth events in new contexts.


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