Carnegie's Global Ecology inks partnership with Japanese satellite firm

Stanford, CA The Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology has signed a one-year contract with ImageONE, a Japanese satellite imaging company based in Tokyo. Under the terms of the agreement, Greg Asner's group will host an ImageONE engineer, who will learn ecological remote sensing and analysis techniques from Asner and his staff. In return, ImageONE will provide Carnegie with funds to cover expenses related to the project, including the salary of an additional full-time technician.

"We are very excited about this agreement; it represents a unique partnership that will further Carnegie's research and scientific education missions while also supporting the objectives of ImageONE," the Director of the Department of Global Ecology, Chris Field, said. "Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology is the newest Carnegie Department and our staff is leading the way in introducing new technology to this area of research."

Using satellite data, Asner's lab tackles difficult ecological questions such as deforestation, desertification, and invasive species. By detecting physical and chemical changes in landscapes, Asner can learn how specific land use strategies affect ecosystems. For example, he recently discovered that selective logging, the practice of plucking single trees while leaving the surrounding forest mostly intact, disturbs a swath of Brazilian rain forest about the size of Connecticut each year--twice the amount of previous estimates. (For more on this discovery, see: http://www.carnegieinstitution.org/news_releases/news_0510_21.html)

ImageONE develops imaging technology for forestry, agriculture, and ecosystem dynamics. While at Carnegie, ImageONE's engineer, Mr. Masahiro Negishi, will work one-on-one with the newly hired staff member to learn technology such as hyperspectral image analysis. Mr. Negishi will establish a network with Carnegie scientists, facilitating a long-term collaboration between the two organizations.

The contract term will begin on or around September 1, 2006 and will last one year, with an option to extend the term if Carnegie and ImageONE agree. In addition to salary for one full-time Carnegie technician, the agreement also provides funds for computing resources, field travel, and publication costs.

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Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology was founded in 2002 on the campus of Stanford University. Its staff conducts basic research on the interactions among Earth's ecosystems, land, atmosphere, and oceans to understand how these interactions shape the behavior of the Earth system, including its response to future change.

The Carnegie Institution of Washington (www.carnegieinstitution.org) has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research since 1902. It is a private, nonprofit organization with six research departments throughout the U.S. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.

ImageONE, based in Tokyo, Japan, uses state-of-the-art image processing technology to visualize raw information in an easily understandable format, and provides this information to its customers in various sectors including medicine, defense, intelligence, environment, disaster prevention and management, and agriculture. The company does business in medical imaging information, satellite imagery information, image sensing, and environmental technology.


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