The Kansas Applied Remote Sensing (KARS) Program was established in 1972 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the State of Kansas to conduct applied research on techniques that enable public agencies and private firms to better utilize data from satellite and air-borne remote sensing systems. Projects undertaken by KARS with federal, state, and local agencies and private industry are designed to identify and enhance ways in which remote sensing technologies and related geographic information systems (GIS) can aid in decision-making, policy formulation and planning in a variety of applications. KARS projects have involved land use, land cover inventory, monitoring land use change, rangeland and forestland characterization, wildlife habitat evaluation, mapping of irrigated lands, surface mined lands inventory, soil conservation needs assessment, wetlands inventory, and urban area analysis.
KARS Program staff includes specialists with backgrounds in geography, ecology, biology, environmental studies and natural resource management, and reflects the interdisciplinary approach used to apply remote sensing and GIS technologies. The program's expertise in both landscape-level and close-range remote sensing is nationally recognized. In addition, KARS has over 30 years of experience developing databases and natural resource models for implementation in GIS environments. KARS staff also have extensive experience in providing national and international workshops, short courses, and training sessions on remote sensing and GIS technologies. Since its inception, KARS has been influential in fostering the introduction and growth of remote sensing and GIS technologies within the state and the nation.