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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Articles

Wetlands of Greater Bangalore, India: Automatic Delineation through Pattern Classifiers

Wetlands are the most productive and biologically diverse but very fragile ecosystems. They are vulnerable to even small changes in their biotic and abiotic factors. In recent years, there has been concern over the continuous degradation of wetlands due to unplanned developmental activities. This necessitates inventorying, mapping and monitoring of wetlands to implement sustainable management approaches. The principal objective of this work is to evolve a strategy to identify and monitor wetlands using temporal remote sensing data. Pattern classifiers were used to extract wetlands automatically from NIR bands of MODIS and Landsat remote sensing data. MODIS provided data of 2002 to 2007, while for 1973 and 1992, IR Bands of Landsat (79m and 30m spatial resolution) data were used. Principal Components of IR bands of MODIS (250 m) were fused with IRS LISS-3 NIR (23.5 m). To extract wetlands, statistical unsupervised learning of IR bands for the respective temporal data was performed using Bayesian approach based on prior probability, mean and covariance. Temporal analysis of wetlands indicate sharp decline of 58% in Greater Bangalore attributing to intense urbanisation process, evident from 466% increase in builtup area from 1973 to 2007.

Policy Implications and Implementation of Environmental ICTPs in Developing States: Examples from Bangladesh

A number of International Conventions, Treaties and Protocols (ICTPs) have been produced around the world for years and decades and Bangladesh has signed a number of ICTPs after independence in 1971. Though all those are inevitable, but often the importance is not of the same magnitude. Like many other developing countries Bangladesh is also not in a position to fully implement the convention provisions. But the policy, legal instruments and programmes so far being implemented reflect participation in those initiatives. The principal constraint remains in the shortage of financial resources need to be allocated for implementation of projects.

Essays

Searching for the Astronomical Environmental Nature Writing Classic: Ehrlich, Abbey, and Others

With so much astronomy in the news, taking attention away from the wars on the planet, what should environmentalists think about the vast cosmos out there? Will the Moon, Mars, Venus, and the rest of the solar system, always remain an untrammeled wilderness? Should environmentalists, nature writers or eco-critics care or be involved? A surprising amount on this subject has already been written by those who for the purpose of this article wrote the Environmental Canon. Space exploration is about the future and we should care about the future. What we are willing to do to the solar system says a lot about humanity and our aspirations as environmentalists.

The Great Lakes, a 35th year anniversary; time to look forward

The year 2007 marks the 35th Anniversary of the Canada-US Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). On April 15, 1972, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and President Richard Nixon signed the GLWQA. This Agreement expresses the commitment of Canada and the United States to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem. The GLWQA has had substantial influence on the cleanup and restoration of the region. The progress made since 1972 is evidenced by the documentation by scientists of the presence of spawning lake whitefish, the resurgence of cormorant population, the rediscovery of sturgeon populations, and the return of nesting and fledging bald eagles. Threats to the Great Lakes in the face of climate change, invasive species, habitat loss, and more, demand a renewal and revitalization of the GLWQA. The time is now to renovate the binational promises.

Columns

Environmental Information Sources

Annotated web sites and listing of books related to environmental science.

Spiritual Lives of Great Environmentalists: John Wesley Powell and John Lane

A look at the spiritual lives of John Wesley Powell and John Lane.

Reviews