Tom Loveland: Geographic Landscape Global Expert, 2018 Inductee

Tom Loveland Quote Template

As one of the nation’s foremost experts on the use of remote sensing to monitor and measure changes on the Earth’s land surface, Dr. Thomas Loveland’s fingerprints are all over the landscape of South Dakota. His work on the use of moderate-resolution satellite imagery to characterize land cover and changes to it is foundational. Building from Loveland’s knowledge base, scientists today use remotely sensed data to pinpoint the scope of pine beetle devastation in the Black Hills. They can measure changes in growing seasons, and how that affects decisions on what crops South Dakota farmers plant. What if those farmers decide to plant bioenergy crops? How will that impact native bird and amphibian populations in a region? How will it impact the local economies? Remote-sensing scientists following the path that Loveland blazed can help to answer those questions. Insurance agents working on crop damage claims rely on remotely sensed images of fields before and after the storm. Lawyers and land owners debating meandering waters have relied on satellite images as well. All do so based on science that came out of the work of Loveland. Not just in South Dakota, but across the nation and the globe.

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