The Regional Earth Science Applications Center (RESAC) program was established in 1999 by NASA as a consortium of universities, state and federal natural resource management agencies, and industry partners charged with developing satellite remote sensing products, geospatial analysis methods, and biophysical process models to meet regional decision-making needs. The Upper Midwest RESAC included the University of Minnesota , University of Wisconsin-Madison , and Michigan State University. Its goals were to help the user community realize economic and environmental benefits by using satellite imagery to monitor lake clarity, map and analyze urban growth, and estimate forest characteristics and Monitor vegetation conditions.
Remote sensing using aerial photography is an integral part of forest inventory and management, but operational use of satellite data has been limited. The goal of eForest was to integrate satellite remote sensing into forest inventory and management at all levels - local, state, federal, corporate and private with the following three major objectives spanning the range of strategic inventory to field level management: 1. Improve the categorical resolution and accuracy of forest classification and change detection by integrating the best combinations of sensor data and analysis methods. 2. Extend field data to landscapes by implementing a promising non-parametric technique, called "k-nearest-neighbors, for estimation of forest variables from satellite imagery and field plot data. The alternative we will research " assigns known characteristics of field sites (e.g., FIA plots or other plots/stands) to the image elements that are their closest neighbors in spectral space. 3. Develop improved image product solutions for forest management applications for which satellite imagery has the potential for replacing current spatial data technologies, and develop delivery mechanisms based on Internet technologies that streamline getting the new products into the forester's hands.