Cuizhen (Susan) Wang - University of South Carolina

Presentation Title: Corn boom in the U.S. Midwest: assessing bioenergy land use change with time-series satellite imagery

Bioenergy land use in the United States has been rapidly expanded since the mid-2000s. Responding to the increased demand of ethanol, corn planting areas reached a historic record of 93.5 million acres in 2007. The U.S. Midwest comprises the nation’s top 10 states holding the highest ethanol production capacity. In this talk, I present a phenology-assisted remote sensing approach to monitoring bioenergy land use change in this region. With the MODIS-extracted NDVI composites, time-series trend analysis was performed to identify major crops from their unique growth cycles. In mixed pixels, crop percent covers were extracted with a spatial-constraint, adaptive unmixing method. These case studies show that frequent satellite observations may provide spatially explicit information of energy crops to assist regional decision making.
Cuizhen (Susan) Wang is an Associate Professor of Geography at University of South Carolina. She received her MS and PhD degrees of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing from the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, in 1996 and 1999, and the PhD degree of Geography from Michigan State University in 2004. Her research area is bio-environmental remote sensing, with particular interests in optical/SAR synergy, vegetation mapping, environmental stress monitoring, and bioenergy land use assessment.