Lola Fatoyinbo and research assistants from the University Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique
Her studies have brought her back to Africa, where she has journeyed along the coastlines to test a new satellite technique for measuring the area, height, and biomass of mangrove forests. She developed and employed a method that can be used across the continent, overcoming expensive, ad hoc, and inconsistent modes of ground-based measurement. Fatoyinbo's approach recently produced what she believes is the first full assessment of the continent's mangrove forests.
"We've lost more than 50 percent of the world's mangrove forests in a little over half a century; a third of them have disappeared in the last 20 years alone," said Fatoyinbo, whose earlier study of Mozambique's coastal forests laid the groundwork for the continent-wide study. "Hopefully this technique will offer scientists and officials a method of estimating change in this special type of forest."
NASA 20/08 NASA researcher nets first measure of Africa's coastal forests
Fatoyinbo's original study on mangrove measurements in Mozambique, Journal of Geophysical Research
More about NASA's Lola Fatoyinbo