NASA-funded BioSCape surveys South African biodiversity

A tree in a field in South Africa with scientists collecting vegetation data in the background.

An international team of researchers — including Erin Hestir, campus director of CITRIS at UC Merced — spent October and November 2023 in the field studying one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas, South Africa’s Greater Cape Floristic Region.

As part of the Biodiversity Survey of the Cape, or BioSCape, these researchers used NASA airborne and space-based instruments to gather complementary data to better understand the unique aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in this region. Their findings will inform the capabilities of future satellite missions aimed at studying plants and animals.

“BioSCape is a unique opportunity to advance international scientific collaboration using state-of-the-art technology to tackle one of the greatest challenges facing us today: conserving biodiversity to sustain life on Earth,” said Hestir.

Read more from NASA. | Read more from UC Merced.