Imaging spectroscopy for conservation applications

Megan Seeley, Gregory P. Asner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


As humans continue to alter Earth systems, conservationists look to remote sensing to monitor, inventory, and understand ecosystems and ecosystem processes at large spatial scales. Multispectral remote sensing data are commonly integrated into conservation decision-making frameworks, yet imaging spectroscopy, or hyperspectral remote sensing, is underutilized in conservation. The high spectral resolution of imaging spectrometers captures the chemistry of Earth surfaces, whereas multispectral satellites indirectly represent such surfaces through band ratios. Here, we present case studies wherein imaging spectroscopy was used to inform and improve conservation decision-making and discuss potential future applications. These case studies include a broad array of conservation areas, including forest, dryland, and marine ecosystems, as well as urban applications and methane monitoring. Imaging spectroscopy technology is rapidly developing, especially with regard to satellite-based spectrometers. Improving on and expanding existing applications of imaging spectroscopy to conservation, developing imaging spectroscopy data products for use by other researchers and decision-makers, and pioneering novel uses of imaging spectroscopy will greatly expand the toolset for conservation decision-makers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number292
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2 2021


  • Conservation
  • Coral reef
  • Drylands
  • Forest
  • Hyperspectral
  • Imaging spectroscopy
  • Methane
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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