Remote Sensing Lab Now at Leech Lake

Nov 15th, 2000 | By | Category: 12-2: Land is Life, Tribal College News

Leech Lake Tribal College instructors now use satellite images of the earth from space as a resource for their students. The school has entered into a partnership with the University of Cincinnati and NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Minnesota to test a prototype remote sensing/ distance learning laboratory funded through NASA and the OhioView Consortium.

The OhioView consortium is a group of high tech organizations whose mission is to deliver low-cost satellite imagery and data to educational institutions and the general public. Leech Lake Tribal College will serve as a remote test site where distance learning technology will facilitate the distribution of satellite data and college courses in remote sensing. “We are very honored to be a part of this dynamic project” says Michael Wassegijig Price, chairman of the science and mathematics department at Leech Lake.

The laboratory will consist of six computer stations equipped with two-way audio/visual capability so that instructors from the University of Cincinnati can interact with tribal college students. A server will be installed to house the software and data along with a satellite dish, which will link the laboratory to the University of Cincinnati via NASA communication satellites.

In January 2001, Leech Lake Tribal College will offer its first course in Basic Remote Sensing, which will be taught by Dr. Richard Beck, project director and founder of the OhioView Consortium at the University of Cincinnati. Todd Hanson will be a co-instructor who will assist students at the tribal college.

The remote sensing laboratory will give Leech Lake the capability to train students and personnel on how to analyze and utilize landscape data from NASA’s Landsat 7, photographic satellite. Remote sensing technology helps natural resource managers and tribal councils to better manage land use and natural resources such as wild rice beds, maple sugar bush, and forests within the reservation boundaries.

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