MISSOULA – University of Montana forest landscape ecology Associate Professor Solomon Dobrowski recently received a Google Earth Engine Research Award to estimate how changes in both land cover and climate affect ecosystems across the entire globe. The grant will allow Dobrowski and a UM doctoral candidate to use Google Earth Engine to analyze complex geospatial datasets.
Last year, UM Professor Brady Allred received a similar research grant. The grants allow Allred and Dobrowski to access Google’s expansive database of global satellite imagery for research. Allred used the data to assess the impact and recovery of North American oil and gas development.
Dobrowski will measure the rate of climate change and land cover change by analyzing land surface temperature data collected by Earth-observing satellites. It will allow him to identify regions where land surface conditions and climate are changing rapidly. He plans to create a monitoring framework and establish baseline measurements from which to assess ongoing changes in land surface temperatures across the globe.
“By using Google’s technical and computing capabilities and partnering with their scientists, we can address earth science problems at scales larger than we could previously imagine given our existing resources,” Dobrowski said.
Dobrowski and Allred are the only two UM professors to receive the research award. Recipients are full-time faculty members at top universities around the world and are selected after a rigorous internal review process by Google.