NASA Monitors Invasives

February 11, 2005 - 12:03

Invasive species of plants and insects now have a new enemy — NASA satellites. According to an article in Medical News Today, NASA has accepted an invitation to join the National Invasive Species Council (NISC). NASA will be assisting 12 other Federal agencies in combating invasive species across the country by providing information from satellites.

According to the article, NASA satellite data will be used by the other federal agencies to help locate various plants. “The satellites will use bands of color from the spectrum to see the Sun’s light reflected by different plants and the environments in which they are growing,” the article explained. “The satellites will lock in on the combination of bands of color to determine an invasive plant’s current locations and areas that may develop a future invasion. Scientists are working now with the satellite data to see different plants.”

“NASA is pleased with the invitation to join the National Invasive Species Council and eager to assist in the control of invasive species that threaten U.S. agriculture, ecosystems, water resources and public health,” Edwin Sheffner, manager of the invasive species program element in the Applied Sciences Program at NASA Headquarters, said to Medical News Today.

NASA has agreed to make its satellite observations of Earth, computer modeling and engineering experience available to NISC to improve the ability to help control and destroy invasive species that are harming the U.S. environment. NASA’s track record of achievement in the realm of invasive species monitoring led to NISC’s invitation to join the Council.

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