Media Advisory
26 October 2012

NSIDC lead scientist joins Landsat Science Team


NSIDC Lead Scientist Ted Scambos joins the Landsat Science Team. —Credit: Peter Gibbons, NSIDC
High-resolution Image

NSIDC lead scientist Ted Scambos has been selected by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as a member of the Landsat Science Team. The team provides science support on issues critical to the mission of the Landsat Earth-observing satellites, which have been documenting forest fires, tsunamis, moving ice sheets, and other everyday changes of the Earth's surface for the last forty years.

Scambos will serve from 2012 to 2017 and will provide technical and scientific input to the USGS and NASA on issues vital to the study of the cryosphere. His research interests include glaciology, remote sensing of the poles, climate change effects on the cryosphere, Antarctic history, geochemistry, and planetary science.

Since 1972, a series of six Landsat Earth-observing satellite missions has provided a unique and continuous record of global land-surface features. The upcoming Landsat 8 satellite, to be launched in February 2013, will extend the global record further into the 21st century. NASA and the USGS jointly manage the Landsat program.

The Landsat Science Team will play a key role in ensuring the link to forty years of similar data from the first six Landsat missions, providing the most detailed record of the planet, and the most sensitive measure of change available in satellite data.

Scambos will focus on the new capabilities of the Landsat-8 system for polar and glacier research, including its two new channels and its improved radiometric sensitivity (light-measuring precision). These have important uses for snow and ice surface mapping, ice melt detection and melt pond measurement, and thermal mapping of debris-covered glaciers and the ocean surface near large floating glaciers.

For more information on the Landsat Program, visit their Web page at

For more information on Ted Scambos's research, visit his bio at

See the USGS Press Release at


Natasha Vizcarra
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado Boulder
+1 303.492.1497

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