Google blog features CSU biologist Joe von Fischer’s methane-mapping project

Joe von Fischer, associate professor of biology in the College of Natural Sciences, is featured in an April 14 Google blog post about his methane-mapping project, done in collaboration with Google Earth Outreach and Environmental Defense Fund. The post is titled “How technology can help us become more sustainable.”

Von Fischer has been leading a project to map the invisible methane leaks from natural gas pipelines under the streets of American cities with┬álaser-based methane sensors attached to Google Street View cars. So far, they’ve created interactive maps for┬áBoston, Indianapolis, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Von Fischer explains the scope of the project in the blog post’s video.

A related post by Google for Work focuses on technical applications that allow Google Maps to be used within other sites, highlighting the special application of Google Maps in the methane project. Von Fischer’s graduate student, Charlotte Alster, is featured in that video.

CSU collaborators working with Von Fischer include Jay Ham, professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, who has applied his expertise in atmospheric physics and micrometeorology to calculate leak rates from the data, and Sangmi Pallickara, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, who has developed computational methods for analyzing the vast streams of data the project brings.