Planet Partners with Canadian Universities to Research Biodiversity, Regeneration, and Human Impact in Boreal Forests

Planet Labs PBC (NYSE: PL), a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, today announced a new partnership with a group of interconnected research programs at the University of Alberta, Yukon University, Université Laval, and the University of Calgary, researching biodiversity, regeneration, and human impact in the Canadian Boreal Forest. Leveraging Planet’s satellite data, these research programs, including the Boreal Avian Modeling Project (BAM), the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI), the Boreal Ecosystem Analysis for Conservation Networks (BEACONs), and the Boreal Ecosystem Recovery and Assessment (BERA) project, will evaluate spatial and temporal dynamics of human disturbance activity on the vegetation and biodiversity in the region and use these insights to generate simulations of future forest scenarios.

“Biodiversity in the boreal is facing new challenges due to growing industrial development and climate change, but Planet’s high-cadence satellite imagery is helping us to assess the shifting ecosystem dynamics in the region and support data-informed decision making in Canada,” said Dr. Erin Bayne, the PI for the Boreal Avian Modelling Project. “A network of research initiatives now leverages Planet’s data to evaluate bird populations, vegetation dynamics, and industrial disturbances. This data then helps us to model sustainable practices in this region.”

The boreal forest is one of the largest intact ecosystems left on the planet; however, there are a growing number of human-induced environmental changes that are impacting this vast ecosystem. BAM, ABMI, BEACONs, and BERA are utilizing Planet’s satellite imagery to relate patterns of boreal bird populations and their changing habitats, document the temporal and spatial scale of natural and human disturbances, conduct large-scale assessments of boreal forest regeneration, and build decision support tools to assist managers and policymakers as they work to protect this important environment.

“At Planet, we believe that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. The protection of Earth’s critical biodiversity requires innovative programs like BAM, BEACONS, BERA, and ABMI that conduct novel research by measuring, monitoring, and modeling dynamic ecosystem states in the boreal forest. We are thrilled to be providing our daily satellite datasets to researchers working on the protection of vital ecosystems,” said Planet Director of Science Programs Joe Mascaro.

This new collaboration comes as Planet’s Education and Research Program celebrates its five year anniversary. Launched on Earth Day (April 22) of 2017, the E&R Program was designed to provide opportunities for students, researchers, and professors, associated with accredited universities, to access Planet’s unique satellite datasets. With this access, participants can review, download, and analyze Planet’s archive of remote sensing data and publish key results.

The program has grown over the last five years, and to date, the number of universities purchasing Planet’s Education and Research site licenses for scientific applications has reached 80 schools in 16 countries, including Yamaguchi University in Japan, MIT and Arizona State University in the US, and Stockholm University in Sweden. Including Planet’s Education and Research Program, their NICFI Satellite Data Program, the company’s recent acquisition of VanderSat, and their partnerships with NASA and DLR, Planet’s data has now contributed to >1,800 academic publications since 2016.

About Planet

Planet is a leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Planet is driven by a mission to image the world every day, and make change visible, accessible and actionable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest Earth observation fleet of imaging satellites, capturing over 30 TB of data per day. Planet provides mission-critical data, advanced insights, and software solutions to over 700 customers, comprising the world’s leading agriculture, forestry, intelligence, education and finance companies and government agencies, enabling users to simply and effectively derive unique value from satellite imagery. Planet is a Public Benefit Corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as PL. To learn more visit and follow us on Twitter.


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