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Freeman Ranch hosts Remote Sensing seminar

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
August 24, 2010

Texas State University-San Marcos' Freeman Ranch will host a one-day "Remote Sensing" seminar from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27.

The seminar will be held in room 3-14.1 of the LBJ Student Center on campus.

The seminar will address the wider definition of remote sensing: Instrumentation for environmental data collection, near and far. It is hoped that the definition of remote sensing will be expanded and generalized by the speakers to discuss and demonstrate their collection of environmental data in a non-direct manner to assist in the measurement, understanding, management, conservation and preservation of landscapes with the Freeman Ranch as a teaching, research, and outreach stage for use by multiple universities and agencies.

The speakers will discuss their past, present and future research efforts on the Freeman Ranch at Texas State. Scheduled speakers include:

  • Jim Heilman, Texas A&M University, will discuss climatological data collection and the eddy-covariance  weather stations on the ranch. This is the longest-running research program on the ranch, now headed into a sixth year.
  • Amy Nuenschwander, University of Texas Center for Space Research, will discuss LIDAR data and the effort to determine plant communities from space and from aerial imagery as well as the development of laser altimetry.
  • Robert Washington-Allen, Texas A&M, will discuss ground-based radar to determine sub-surface voids and geological structure in the Edwards Aquifer. He will show techniques of both 3D-Terrestrial Laser Scanning and GPR.
  • Jay Pulliam, Baylor, will discuss seismographic studies on the ranch as part of a larger coastal rift investigation.
  • John Klier, Freeman Fellow, will discuss his research and use of small remote-controlled aircraft to gather plant community information, geological aquifer-related information, and possible species identification.
  • Susan Schwinning, Texas State, and Georgianne Moore, Texas A&M, discuss their work to study sap flow, root characteristics and ecohydrological studies of woody plant water use on the ranch.
  • Ana Gonzalez, UT department of integrative biology, will discuss research relating to the encroachment of woody brush species in the Hill Country.
  • Jen Jensen, Texas State Department of Geography, will discuss future projects relating to the use of LIDAR data and spectral imaging to vegetation communities on the ranch.
  • Ben Schwartz and Weston Nowlin, Texas State biology department, will discuss aquifer effects and relations between recharge areas and the springs dependent upon them, including pollution management.

Other speakers will present their ideas for research in a round-table format, speaking about 2-3 minutes followed by 2-3 minutes of questions. Seminar guests will be asked to participate in a discussion of how (a) research, teaching and outreach activities can become more student-centered and orchestrated; (b) communications and facilitation between multiple interests at multiple universities and agencies can be increased; and (c) what instrumentation is needed, on a per-project basis, so that a ranch proposal can be submitted for funding for the acquisition of such equipment to be shared by multiple partners.

All guests are encouraged to email with a simple RSVP to J.P. Bach, Ranch Manager, at For additional information, call (512) 787-3710.