Professor Jeff Pietras (right) studies petroleum geology via geochemistry, sedimentology & stratigraphy
Environmental Visualization Research Stream
Geospatial remote sensing refers to a sophisticated array of techniques that allows researchers to collect and analyze detailed data for mapping across huge spans of the Earth. This particular research stream depends on techniques that allow researchers to “see” below the Earth’s surface, such as LIDAR (a kind of radar, for example, that can detect fault zones, or archeological features covered by jungle vegetation). To understand these challenges and, thus, how best to address those in an ever-changing world, this research stream uses state-of-the-art techniques in both field and lab work. The research carried out by freshman students in the Environmental Visualization research stream at Binghamton University include projects ranging from archeology to seismology to petroleum geology.
A key component of the FRI program is that students learn to work in teams -- because that is how researchers tackle the big questions in these fields. The students create a research proposal, based on the protocols and equipment they have learned to use. Subsequently, they conduct the research they have proposed. This process develops interpersonal and communication skills and critical thinking, along with an array of advanced technical skills.
An example of geospatial sensing addressing problems: The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) uses its web GIS application, Fire Globe, to monitor areas susceptible to fire.