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Frontiers Of Science 2023

Exploring Open Science
and Big Data

"Combining Satellite Imagery with Machine Learning to Address Global Challenges"

Presented by Tamma Carleton
Assistant Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara

February 4, 2023
100 Thomas Building, Penn State University Park
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tamma Carleton for the 2023 Ashtekar Frontiers of Science.

The combination of satellite imagery and machine learning has begun to transform our ability to map, monitor, and influence many global challenges, ranging from deforestation to poverty eradication to illicit activity. However, this emerging research area is data intensive and computationally demanding, making participation impossible for many researchers, governments, and nongovernmental organizations. In this talk, Carleton will describe how satellite imagery and machine learning are being used to fill traditional data gaps. She will then focus on new algorithmic innovations that make this field more accessible to a wider array of users, highlighting specific use cases and publicly available tools that aim to democratize access to a powerful new source of global information.

Tamma Carleton is an assistant professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research combines economics with data sets and methodologies from remote sensing, data science, and climate science to quantify how environmental change and economic development shape one another. Her current work focuses on climate change, water scarcity, and the use of remote sensing for global-scale environmental and socioeconomic monitoring. Carleton is a member of the Climate Impact Lab, a research associate at the Environmental Markets Lab, and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She holds a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and M.Sc. degrees in environmental change and management as well as economics for development from the University of Oxford.