North America Land Cover Summit
The North America Land Cover Summit (NALCS) was held from September 20-22, 2006 at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C. in order to assess national land cover monitoring efforts across the continent and identify areas of possible collaboration. Jointly sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and the Association of American Geographers (AAG), the Summit was attended by scientists and administrators from Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany, and the United States whose organizational affiliation included governmental agencies, universities, non-governmental organizations, and the United Nations. Summit participants assessed critical issues for improving land cover applications, identified institutional needs and gaps in technical capabilities, reviewed innovative uses of land cover information, and noted opportunities for interagency and international collaboration.
This AAG Special Issue volume consists of selected papers presented at the Summit - with a few relevant additions – and summaries of the conference breakout sessions. This peer-reviewed compilation provides an overview of the land cover monitoring efforts and environmental assessments being performed across the North American continent, as well as examples of continental-scale monitoring efforts in Europe and Australia.
-Jonathan H. Smith, Introduction, pp. 1-2