ALERT: Congressional briefing on anniversary of landsat satellites, future importance

Agronomy, Crop, and soil science societies part of program highlighting fire, food, and water tracking

Forty years ago, Landsat Satellites began a vigilant watch, protecting and enhancing the quality of life on Earth by tracking changes on the surface over time, and creating a vast global record of amazing land images and data.  But could this effort become even more significant during the next forty years, and beyond?

The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America is sponsoring a specially planned congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., 'Fire, Food, and Water:  40 Years of Landsat Satellites,' on Monday, July 23, 2012.  This important briefing is being held on the anniversary date of the first Landsat launch, and hosted by Iowa Congressional Representative Bruce Braley, a Democrat from the 1st District; along with Iowa Congressional Representative Tom Latham, a Republican from the 4th District.  It will be held at the Rayburn House Office Building in Room 2325, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. (EST).    

A panel of experts, including American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America Member Philip Rasmussen, the Director of the Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Center at Utah State University, will discuss how Landsat helps track wildfires, assesses agricultural challenges, and mitigates water management issues, along with highlighting why the Landsat program is essential to remote sensing needs with evolutionary advances planned when a new satellite launches next year.

Confirmed to join Rasmussen on the panel is NASA Earth Science Division Director Mike Freilich, University of Maryland's Department of Geographical Sciences Chair Professor Christopher Justice, and U.S. Geological Survey Climate and Land Use Change Associate Director Matthew Larsen.  There will be time allowed for questions following the speakers.  The media and public is invited to attend this notable briefing which will celebrate the past, while pushing the innovation and importance of Landsat, into the future.

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