Monday, July 19, 2010

NASA's Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences

The Caracol LIDAR Project (SAS Blog Post on May12, 2010) has recently been reported at professional conferences and news articles like this one from the New York Times. This project has highlighted the application of new technologies to archaeology. In addition, the success of the Caracol program has also widened awareness of the NASA Space Archaeology program which has the scientific objective to use the vantage point of space to improve our understanding of past human settlement patterns.

The NASA Space Archaeology program solicits proposals that incorporate the use of remote sensing data for the exploration of regional landscape analysis and modeling of human and enivronmental interactions as well as the protection and preservation of cultural heritage sites and sustainable development of cultural resources.

A newly awarded NASA grant, Climate Change and Human Impact on Ancient and Modern Settlements: Identification and Condition Assessment of Archaeologucal Sites in the Northern Levant from Landsat, ASTER and CORONA Imagery utilizes existing satellite imagery from the last thirty years. In full disclosure, this award has gone to my colleagues located just down the hall at The Geo-Archaeological Information Applications (GAIA) Lab, at the Archaeological Research Institute, in the School of Human Evolution & Culture Change at Arizona State University.

The initial pilot study and grant proposal are available online (link above) and outlines the goals of the project. In addition to exploring archaeological questions of urban collapse, this project seeks to identify areas of potential damage to existing cultural heritage materials in the Levant region of the Middle East. For archaeologists, the refinement and development of techniques to make use of Lansat TM, ASTER and CORONA imagery is beneficial. The corrected images and newly acquired site information will be made available on the Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land for public and professional use.

1 comment:

  1. The talk by Arlen Chase at the ISA in Tampa was stunning, my favorite presentation at the conference The NY Times article was timed to coincide with this presentation, but unfortunately the conference was not mentioned in the article.