Changing Our View of Agriculture using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Satellites

Changing Our View of Agriculture using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Satellites

Webinar Speaker: Dr. Heather McNairn, Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Government of Canada

Dr. Heather McNairn

About the Webinar

The application of data from optical remote sensing platforms is ubiquitous in agriculture, from precision agriculture to global production monitoring. Yet Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs) offer many advantages for mapping and monitoring agricultural landscapes. After a brief introduction on SAR basics, this lecture will discuss how SAR technologies can be exploited to assess the state of soils and crops. Dr. McNairn will present examples from research in Canada on how SAR data are helping to understand crop production, flag risks to the agriculture sector, and monitor the uptake of beneficial agricultural management practices.

Speakers’ Bio

Dr. Heather McNairn is a senior research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) in Ottawa (Canada). Dr. McNairn has 30 years of research experience in developing methods to monitor soils and crops using multi-spectral, hyperspectral and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors. This experience has included the analysis of multi-frequency (X-, C- and L-Band), multi-polarization and fully polarimetric SAR data acquired from ground based scatterometers, airborne SARs and various satellite platforms. She has led numerous national and international research teams, and has published 130 peer reviewed research papers. Dr. McNairn graduated with a Ph.D. in Geography from Université Laval (1999), a M.Sc. in Soil Science from the University of Guelph (1992) and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Geography from the University of Waterloo (1987). She is an adjunct professor at Carleton University, University of Manitoba and Nipissing University.