NASA Scientist Opens Research Opportunities in the Field of Lake Water Monitoring


Balik-Scientist tour of duty. Dr. Josefino Comiso is back in the country for another series of lecture and collaborations.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Senior Scientist, Dr. Josefino Comiso, presented about the Application of Remote Sensing in Monitoring Water Quality and Lake Surface Water Uses, and Land Use Change of Laguna de Bay Basin, at NCAS Auditorium, College of Arts and Sciences, UPLB, last Febuary 13, 2017.

Dr. Comiso started off with an overview of NASA’s activities, and the various satellites they launched for different missions and purposes. NASA is collating all the satellite images, and they are also in charge of processing these satellite data into different levels of interpretations and usage, ranging from Level 0 to Level 4. At higher levels, the satellite data are processed into more useful parameters and formats.

Using the different levels of processed data, Dr. Comiso showed satellite images of Laguna de Bay, and presented how students and researchers can use these remotely sensed data to interpret and monitor the level of pollutions of the lake. Dr. Comiso emphasized on two important measures in using satellite images for monitoring and research purposes. First, he mentioned the importance of identifying and establishing parameters that research studies want to look at. Even with the availability of data, researchers must prioritize a number of parameters they want to study and quantify.

Second, he emphasized the importance of conducting time series analysis. An effective time series analysis, through continuous monitoring and analyzing of available data, should be done for at least 30 years of satellite data. This time series analysis will allow researchers to establish or observe an occurring trend, or describe a recurring activity in the selected study area. 

The bottomline of the lecture was how the academe can use these freely available data – both to establish a new monitoring methodology, and to complement existing field monitoring protocols.

Dr. Comiso will have his next lecture on Drought Forecasting in the Philippines on May 20, at NCAS Auditorium.