Ecologist and scientific advisor to the Amazon Aid Foundation, Greg Asner is a pioneer of new methods for investigating tropical deforestation, degradation, ecosystem diversity, invasive species, carbon emissions, climate change, and much more using satellite and airborne instrumentation. As the the leader of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory project, Asner helped raise awareness of the devastation caused by illegal gold mining with a shocking airborne video showing the extent of the damage in Madre de Dios.
In his TED Talk below titled Ecology from the Air, Asner answers the question what are our forests really made of? From the air, Asner uses a spectrometer and high-powered lasers to map nature in meticulous kaleidoscopic 3D detail — what he calls “a very high-tech accounting system” of carbon. In this talk Asner teaches us how new technologies and measures of gathering data can help us save the Amazon rainforest.