In a recent survey by Ebert and Lyons (1980) of anthropologically-oriented uses of remote sensing, there is a clear emphasis on research into the human ecology of past and present populations. With regard to contemporary populations only, I will make the argument here that studies of human ecology and exploration of the boundaries of ecosystems have rarely had a method as powerful as that offered by remote sensing. For example, remote sensing can help discover unsuspected human and environmental interactions. It can also test how widely local observations apply to larger areas. In addition, the Olympian or “bird’s eye” point of view which remote sensing affords makes possible quantitative 240measures of biotic associations, their areal extent, and their changes through time.