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Thursday, September 14 • 8:45am - 9:15am
Mapping wildlife habitat with sUAS

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ABR, Inc.—Environmental Research & Services (Fairbanks, AK) collaborated with researchers from the University of Montana (Missoula, MT) and University of Maine (Fort Kent, ME) using Phantom sUAS to collect data for very-high-resolution orthomosaics and digital canopy height models at over 50 tundra and woodland spruce sites in Alaska and the Yukon Territoy. The sites were within the historical range of the Fortymile and Porcupine Caribou Herds. Detailed plant cover data was at collected at 10 quadrats within each image block. The imagery (<1 cm resolution) is being analyzed to estimate cover and volume of light-colored lichens, which are an important part of the winter diet for caribou (Rangifer tarandus). The detailed lichen maps for the small study sites are then being applied to train models of lichen cover using satellite imagery to cover the entire caribou ranges. The lichen cover mapping is supporting caribou population studies funded by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The detailed 3D models produced from the imagery have many other applications for characterizing vegetation structure and wildlife habitats, especially in open plant communities. We provide additional examples of using drones in Alaska to study and map coastlines, archaeological sites, floodplains, snowmelt, farms, and insect outbreaks.


Matthew Macander

Matt is a geographer specializing in vegetation and wildlife habitat studies and landscape ecology. He leads ABR's remote sensing group, has over 19 years experience mapping in Alaska, and holds a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating. His expertise includes vegetation... Read More →

Thursday September 14, 2017 8:45am - 9:15am
Wedgewood Resort Borealis Room

Attendees (2)