Remote sensing used to track humanity

July 6, 2006

A U.S. geography professor is using satellite imagery to determine how land use and land cover changes affect human health and food security.

Doug Goodin of Kansas State University employs remote sensing -- the use of sensors on satellites and spacecraft to observe the Earth -- and other data to monitor and forecast the spread of infectious disease.

According to Goodin there is a confluence of change taking place across the globe. The world's population is increasing, the global climate is changing and global ecology is being altered. All are believed related to the emergence of new diseases or re-emergence of old diseases, he said.

Goodin has used the technology to study the re-emergence of mouse-spread hantavirus in the South American country of Paraguay.

"We've been able to understand how human beings have changed the landscape the mice live in," Goodin said. " It brings (the mice) more in contact with each other, so the disease spreads horizontally in the rodent population, and more in contact with people, so there is a greater chance humans can contract this disease."

Goodin discussed the subject during a recent conference in Washington sponsored by the National Academies of Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Unprecedented ice loss in Russian ice cap

September 19, 2018

In the last few years, the Vavilov Ice Cap in the Russian High Arctic has dramatically accelerated, sliding as much as 82 feet a day in 2015, according to a new multi-national, multi-institute study led by CIRES Fellow Mike ...

Diverse forests are stronger against drought

September 19, 2018

Diversity is strength, even among forests. In a paper published in Nature, researchers led by University of Utah biologist William Anderegg report that forests with trees that employ a high diversity of traits related to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.