OSA Rochester Section

The Rochester Section of the Optical Society of America is a group of people in the optics industry interested in promoting the knowledge of optics for the local community.

Laser Dissection of Vegetation...

There is More to a Tree Than Meets the Eye


             Talk by Dr. Jan van Aardt                          



Our research group has developed a solid relationship with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). NEON has as its main objectives the monitoring of continental scale ecosystems to assess the impact of climate change, invasive species, and land-use/land-cover change on these ecosystems. This will be achieved by collecting relevant (public domain) ecological in situ variables. However, synoptic coverage and scaling ability will be provided by three airborne imaging platforms that arguably contain the world’s leading airborne imaging spectrometer (next-generation AVIRIS) and a waveform light detection and ranging (lidar) laser scanner. Waveform lidar measures the backscattered intensity for a 1064nm laser, as a function of time, with precise geo-location. Waveform lidar sensing allows algorithm specialists to derive information about the ground surface, vegetation structure, and to extract 3D surfaces. Imaging spectroscopy, on the other hand, provides narrow, contiguous wavelength bands in the 400-2500nm spectral region for assessment of vegetation species, stress, and processes. I will focus on our lidar research with NEON, while also alluding to imaging spectroscopy efforts to characterize the structure and condition of vegetation.  Not only will we be able to determine what vegetation “feels like” (structure), but these and related efforts will enable us to assess what plants “look like” (composition) and what role (function) they play in ecosystems.


Enjoy this talk on November 11th at 7:00 PM. 
Click Here for event details.


Using Optics to Inspire Middle School Students!

Our educational outreach efforts help inspire middle school students!

Please see the outreach page below for the media coverage highlighted by the OSA Foundation.  
Media coverage on our educational outreach

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ROSA sends out newsletters on occasion to keep our membership informed about our activities.  The most recent newsletter may be viewed and downloaded at the link below:

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Educational Activities

The Rochester Section is active in the support of optics education in area schools. The Rochester Section developed its Optics Suitcase in 1999. The Optics Suitcase is an innovative, interactive presentation package designed to introduce middle school students to many of the concepts of optics as well as other sciences.

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For information on how to join, please see our new membership form online. We still support both online and traditional postal membership renewal methods. Miscellaneous questions can be answered by our secretary

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