Image of coral by Greg Asner

Center for Global Discovery and Conservation

The Center for Global Discovery and Conservation launched in 2019 under the leadership of Greg Asner with the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School for Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. The center has two locations, one in Arizona and the other in Hawai'i.

In Arizona, the GDCS labs are the Biodesign Institute C building, which houses our high-tech global ecology mapping and analysis program including the Global Airborne Observatory, Allen Coral Atlas, Planet Incubator Program, DREAMS Lab, and Spectranomics Program. These programs employ the latest in computational artificial intelligence, chemometrics, biospheric spectroscopy, airborne and satellite remote sensing, autonomous environmental measurements, and more to probe Earth’s ecosystems at unprecedented scales and with unmatched detail.The Global Airborne Observatory uses laser scanning technology known as lidar had been used to map forests and coral reefs and can cover 250,000 acres a day at a resolution of four centimeters.

In Hawaiʻi, the center is headquartered in the ASU Pacific Ridge-to-Reef Program that is administered by the U.S. Forest Service. The center is located next door to the University of Hawaii at Hilo, fostering interuniversity collaboration across the Hawaiian Islands.