South/Southeast Asia Research Initiative (SARI): A Response to Regional Needs in Land Cover/Land Use Change Science and Education

  • Krishna Prasad Vadrevu
Part of the Springer Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry book series (SPRINGERREMO)


The goal of this initiative is to develop an innovative regional research, education, and capacity building program involving state-of-the-art remote sensing, natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences to enrich LCLUC science in South/Southeast Asia. SARI has two important objectives. First, to advance LCLUC science in the region. Second, to strengthen existing and build new collaborations between US and South/Southeast Asia researchers in the areas of LCLUC research. The impetus for such an initiative came from the LCLUC science team meeting held in Coimbatore, India, January 19–23, 2013.

To address LCLUC science, SARI has been utilizing a systems approach to problem-solving that examines both biophysical and socioeconomic aspects of land systems, including the interactions between land use and climate and the interrelationships among policy, governance, and land use. A central component of SARI is to use of geospatial data from both remotely sensed and in situ sources and models. To strengthen the theoretical underpinnings of LCLUC science in the South/Southeast Asian region, SARI has been facilitating: (a) new partnerships with space agencies, universities, and non-government organizations; (b) novel and regionally appropriate methodologies and algorithms for LCLUC products; (c) data sharing mechanisms; (d) leadership training; (e) international workshops to identify regional priorities, discuss and share scientific findings; (f) capacity building programs; and (g) international student/researcher exchanges, including among LCLUC scientists in the region. SARI has been serving as a facilitator and catalyst for LCLUC research in South/Southeast Asia. The outputs have been beneficial to the US, South/Southeast Asia, and international researchers and serving as a model for interdisciplinary research linking LCLUC science with NASA assets.


South/Southeast Asian countries Land cover changes Research Capacity building and training 



We acknowledge Dr. Garik Gutman and Prof. Chris Justice for providing initial ideas on SARI and development. We are grateful to all SARI Task Force Members, Prof. Ruth De Fries, Dr. Thenkabail Prasad, Dr. Ivan Csiszar, Prof. Karen Seto, and Prof. Daniel Brown for providing valuable comments and suggestions on the current document. We also thank several regional scientists for providing important ideas on the SARI development.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Marshall Space Flight CenterHuntsvilleUSA

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