Extracting Features from Satellite Imagery for Climate Justice and the Commercial Market

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Extracting Features from Satellite Imagery for Climate Justice and the Commercial Market

September 26, 2023 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm EDT

Title: Extracting Features from Satellite Imagery for Climate Justice and the Commercial Market

Date: September 26, 2023

Time: 12:30 – 1:30pm

Presenters: Dr. Jose Pillich & Ryan Kmetz

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and earth observation technologies are revolutionizing how we understand and interact with our environment. By gathering and analyzing geographic, remotely sensed, and other environmental data, researchers and activists now have more tools than ever before to reveal environmental injustices and advocate for change. This talk will provide an overview of key GIS concepts and earth observation technologies, focusing on their application for climate justice. We’ll explore how satellite imagery, drones, sensor networks, and spatial analysis can uncover pollution sources, track deforestation, map social vulnerability, model climate impacts, and more. These technologies make environmental data more accessible, allowing communities to better understand threats to their health and environment. However, technology alone is not enough – true climate justice requires giving communities agency over these tools and data, not just extracting value from them.

Dr. Jose L. Pillich is a NOAA CESSRST Alumni. he earned all of his degrees from the City University of New York City (CUNY). Dr. Pillich received a Bachelor of Arts, Major in Urban Studies from Hunter College, New York in 2007. He received his Master’s in Urban Planning, Hunter College, in 2010. He later earned his doctoral degree at the CUNY Graduate Center in Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2018. He completed his Postdoctoral Research at Brooklyn College, in 2019. Throughout his education, his primary research interests have been at the intersection of urban planning and using geospatial techniques that lead to enhancing social, environmental, and economic systems. Furthermore, he has also lived abroad and traveled extensively, with a strong interest in exploring diverse cultures and ways of life. With over 15 years of working in the private and public sectors, Dr. Pillich has become an interdisciplinary researcher with extensive experience in geospatial/data analysis, urban planning, sustainability, environmental, financial service, and transportation. With these broad experiences, Dr. Pillich has applied this knowledge to work as an adjunct professor, consultant, and researcher presenting at major academic conferences that have led to published journal articles.

With over ten years of experience, Ryan Kmetz has worked on projects that address the intersection of sustainability, climate, environment, and resilience in both private and public sectors. He has worked with various types of environmental and climate data through different kinds of projects. Ryan holds a Master’s of Science in Environmental Studies – Sustainable Development and Climate Change from Antioch University New England and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Le Moyne College. He also has an Environmental Sustainability Professional Credential from the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure. Ryan is an expert in listening to stakeholder’s needs to help them analyze and aggregate geospatial datasets, commonly known as mapping data. He believes in data-driven storytelling as a crucial tool to engage communities and advocate for a healthier and more resilient environment. Ryan aims to provide stakeholders with access to technology and materials they may not have had in the past through his work with GIS and other cutting-edge data tools.

This talk will discuss strategies for democratizing environmental data access and enabling participatory mapping, crowdsourcing, and citizen science initiatives. Join us as we explore how emerging technologies can empower action for climate justice, if guided by principles of equity, inclusion, and community ownership.

The talk will explain the process of ETL (Extract, Transform & Loading) from satellite imagery to dashboard. Specific features are extracted from different satellite imagery and then contextualized with other datasets. Once a new dataset is created, then the data will be loaded into ESRI dashboards for different stakeholders can easily access the data. It will be a non-technical presentation explaining the process and opportunities of these techniques.


September 26, 2023
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm EDT
Event Category:


City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue
New York, 10031
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