Kevin Tansey

  • Tuesday 30 May 2017
  • 6.00pm-7.00pm
  • Centre for Medicine, Lecture Theatre 1

Earth’s Big Brother: Using Satellite Data to Monitor our Planet

Over the last 20 years we have witnessed an incredible growth in the development of satellites that keep an eye on the Earth’s oceans, land, and atmosphere. It is hard to believe that we can image all of the Earth and establish its state as a habitat that sustains humans and the biosphere on a daily basis and in incredible detail.

I have been incredibly fortunate to have worked in this period and work with a number of fantastic colleagues that established the amount of wood stock of a large region in Siberia, estimated the global vegetated area that had been consumed by fire, mapped Earthquake fault lines beneath forests in Slovenia, constructed the fire and land use change history of carbon-rich, tropical peat-swamp forest which happens to also be a habitat for the orangutan.

Products that I have developed have been disseminated through Europe’s flagship Copernicus ‘EU Eyes on the Earth’ programme. My interest in Earth Observation informs the teaching. My opening line is usually "Have you used Google Earth?" This inaugural lecture will start with this question so be prepared. I will then outline what has and continues to inspire me to use images from satellite data to better understand the Earth’s surface and the people who live on it.

Kevin Tansey, Head of Department of Geography and Professor of Remote Sensing

Kevin Tansey 200x266.jpgKevin Tansey read Geography at the University of Sheffield after he was told by his personal tutor there were many more jobs available to geographers than those having a degree in pure maths. It was at Sheffield that he took a module in remote sensing that was taught by Professor Chris Clark. He was awarded his PhD from the University of Leicester in 1999 under the supervision of Professor Andrew Millington. He then held Post-Doctoral positions at Swansea University, Friedrich-Schiller University (Germany) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (Italy).

He returned to the UK in 2003 to take up a lectureship at the University of Leicester. In 2016, he was promoted to a Personal Chair. Professor Tansey is a member of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization Advisory Panel for Climate and is an editor of the International Journal of Remote Sensing. He is currently the Head of the Department of Geography.

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