Skip to main content


Extracting and Exploring NASA Earthdata for your Study Site or Region - Ecological Society of America Workshop 33

Keywords: Earthdata Search, AppEEARS, MODIS/VIIRS, SDAT, Daymet


Ecologists are increasingly interested in answering questions that can be addressed only by integrating data from numerous sources, often across large geographic areas and spanning long time periods. Earth observation data collected by NASA provide a variety of high-resolution environmental data designed to inform global change and terrestrial ecology research. NASA satellite missions provide a range of remote sensing data products that can also be integrated into ecological studies. However, few ecologists know how to access and manipulate these specialized data to extract the information they need.

The aim of this workshop is to provide an introduction on how to access high-quality ecological, biogeochemical, and land remote sensing data offered freely and openly by NASA. We will highlight the NASA Earthdata Search Client and tools developed at two NASA centers, the ORNL DAAC (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) and the Land Processes DAAC (Sioux Falls, South Dakota). The LP DAAC will highlight NASA’s Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples, a tool that enables users to subset geospatial datasets using spatial, temporal, and band/layer parameters. ORNL DAAC capabilities include soil moisture and climate data exploration tools, and pre-processed data cutouts from MODIS and other sensors for NEON, AmeriFlux, and over 2,000 other research sites globally.

The target audience is graduate students, post-docs, and early-career researchers who would like to use Earthdata to complement the information collected during field studies. Faculty members who would like to include exercises on use of Earth observation data in their curricula are encouraged to attend.