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Using remote sensing to monitor forest change

Mat Disney leads workshop at Brazilian Symposium

Using remote sensing to monitor forest change

Dr Mat Disney was recently invited to help lead a workshop on new lidar (laser light direction and ranging) methods at an international remote sensing meeting in João Pessoa, Brazil.

The workshop was part of the XVIIth Brazilian Symposium on Remote Sensing (SBSR XVII, a biennial meeting for Brazilian scientists and agencies with interests in remote sensing.

Mat was invited by Dr. Veraldo Liesenberg, a lidar expert from the Department of Forest Engineering (DEF), Santa Catarina State University (UDESC), to present his recent work on 3D measurement of forests, using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to address fundamental questions about forest state and change. The workshop also included Dr. Akira Kato from the School of Horticulture, Chiba University, Japan, who discussed how to combine TLS with airborne lidar data.

The workshop ran over the weekend before the main meeting and was attended by researchers interested in applying these methods to their own fields. The subsequent SBSR conference was attended by more than 1000 scientists, and focused on the challenges for remote sensing of global climate and environmental change as well as some specifically Brazilian issues.

In related news, Mat will be welcoming a new Brazilian PhD student later this year to work on terrestrial lidar, funded through the Brazilian government's extensive Science Without Borders program (

In other lidar news, Mat was recently awarded two separate grants to scan plots in tropical rainforests:

  • €10K to visit Nouragues, French Guiana (
  • €30K, in conjunction with colleagues from Wageningen University, to visit Ankasa, Ghana as part of a European Space Agency (ESA)-funded calibration/validation campaign to support the forthcoming BIOMASS mission.




    The conference was held in the newly-built modernist conference centre on the outskirts of João Pessoa. The city has the interesting geographical distinction of being the most easterly point in the Americas - where the sun rises first apparently!


    The João Pessoa Conference Centre

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