Authors: Laura C. Loyola, Jason T. Knowles, Andrew J. Marx, Ryan McAlinden,
Steven D. Fleming
Remote sensing is used in the Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) across the full spectrum of the organization’s teaching and research initiatives. From undergraduate to graduate classes that utilize unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in data collection and graduate courses that incorporate remote sensing for a variety of applications, including Earth observation, to applied research via the Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence (HSGI) Lab projects and work being done with One World Terrain (OWT) at the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) to build a fully geo-referenced 3D planetary model, SSI recognizes the need to educate students about remote sensing techniques. This paper discusses faculty involvement in conducting a pilot study for the Catalina Island Conservancy (CIC) using UAS to survey local bison and deer populations. The team utilized an autonomous fixed-wing UAS with a thermal payload to collect data for a semi-automated detection workflow integrated within a GIS successfully identifying both deer and bison. Additionally, graduate students participate in a weeklong experiential learning opportunity on Catalina Island, CA during which they develop and conduct a research project integrating UAS and other remotely sensed data with primary data collection in a Geographic Information System (GIS). By extension, the Institute then reinforces that these educational opportunities, focused primarily on data acquisition, are instrumental in supporting the geographic information systems, science, and technology experiences in many diverse fields, including (but not limited to) human security, humanitarian relief, sustainable urban and rural planning, and public health.
See also: Comments to Paper