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My research focuses on the application of remote sensing to rivers as a means of more efficiently characterizing fluvial systems, primarily channel form and behavior. More specifically, I develop, test, and apply methods of measuring various river attributes, such as depth, streambed composition, turbidity, and flow velocity, from different types of remotely sensed data, including multi- and hyperspectral images and near-infrared and green LiDAR. These techniques provide higher resolution, essentially continuous data over larger spatial extents than could be surveyed via conventional field methods and thus could facilitate river research and management. My research involves a combination of numerical radiative...
The overall objective of the MoWS research group is to gain better understanding of the precipitation-runoff processes and use this knowledge to develop improved hydrologic models. The main research topics include: • Add functionality and improvements to the MoWS simulation models being developed and integrate with other hydrologic, hydraulic, and climate models. • Enhance the models to use the best and latest topographic, climate, geologic, and land-use data sets as direct input to process algorithms to increase the physical nature and temporal and spatial resolution of model input. • Develop national model structure and calibration strategy for national model application.
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Fire and hydrology can be significant drivers of permafrost change in boreal landscapes, altering the availability of soil carbon and nutrients that have important implications for future climate and ecological succession. However, not all landscapes are equally susceptible to disturbance. New methods are needed to understand the vulnerability and resilience of different landscapes to permafrost degradation. This project uses remote sensing, geophysical, and other field-based observations to reveal details of both near-surface (<1 m) and deeper (>1 m) permafrost characteristics over multiple scales. This LandCarbon project currently supports the NASA ABoVE project, 'Vulnerability of inland waters and the aquatic...
The impact of agricultural drainage and resulting non-point source nutrient export on water quality is a growing concern across the entire Prairie Pothole Region. In Canada, the three Prairie Provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan) are currently revising and reviewing surface water management strategies and have recognized the need for wetland restoration and conservation to help maintain and restore water quality, and sustain watershed health. However, unlike the US portion of the PPR, there is no complete wetland inventory for the Canadian portion of the PPR. As a result it is not currently possible to target wetland conservation and restoration efforts to maximize water quality benefits. This project...
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The efficiency and effectiveness of aerial photography by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Aviation Program has been improved with upgraded components for the Applanix DSS 439 Camera System, including a 60 millimeter lens and gyro-stabilization mount. Both are installed and in use. The stabilization mount improves image resolution and minimizes asymmetrical pixels. The 60 millimeter lens also improves image resolution for higher quality aerial photographs. This advanced equipment results in more accurate bird counts and stereo interpretation of vegetation maps which will ultimately assist management decisions made in biological programs.
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Accurate estimation of evapotranspiration (ET) is essential for assessments of water balance and hydrologic responses to forest restoration treatments in uplands adjacent to the Desert LCC. As part of the Four Forests Restoration Initiative, a new paired watershed study is being planned to assess the hydrologic effects of mechanically thinning and restoring a more frequent fire regime to the ponderosa pine forests of Arizona. Water and energy balances will be measured and modeled in these paired watersheds to help inform and better plan for the hydrologic responses of future forest restoration actions. Researchers at Northern Arizona University have collected six years of eddy covariance measurements of ET in the...
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The importance of riparian ecosystems in semiarid and arid regions has generated interest in understanding processes that drive the distribution and abundance of dominant riparian plants. Changes in streamflow patterns downstream of dams have profoundly affected riparian vegetation composition and structure. For example, in the southwestern United States, flow regulation has contributed to the replacement of many riparian forests historically dominated by the native Populus fremontii (Fremont Cottonwood) and Salix gooddingii (Goodding’s Willow) by the exotic species Tamarix spp. (Salt Cedar). The proposed project will help guide reservoir release decision making to enhance downstream recruitment of native cottonwood...
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FY2017This dataset provides a near-real-time estimate of 2017 herbaceous annual cover with an emphasis on annual grass (Boyte and Wylie. 2016. Near-real-time cheatrass percent cover in the Northern Great Basin, USA, 2015. Rangelands 38:278-284.) This estimate was based on remotely sensed enhanced Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (eMODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data gathered through June 19, 2017. This is the second iteration of an early estimate of herbaceous annual cover for 2017 over the same geographic area. The previous dataset used eMODIS NDVI data gathered through May 1 (https://doi.org/10.5066/F7445JZ9). The pixel values for this most recent estimate ranged from 0 to100%...
This project applies ET remote sensing at two scales, 1) across the full landscape at 1000 m MODIS resolution (as a component of the water budget to support water availability studies, and 2) on agricultural lands at 100 m Landsat resolution (for estimating crop water use).
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The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies will use, combine and optimize an array of remote sensing techniques to identify the most efficient process that characterizes grasslands and level of shrub component in those grasslands. The project will classify a pilot area, the Janos Grassland Priority Conservation Area, which contains the majority of the Janos Biosphere Reserve, using a variety of remote sensing approaches. In the process they will identify the best techniques for decomposing grass-shrub intermix at low densities and identify the best approaches for large scale application of remote sensing to classify the desert grasslands and shrublands.
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Better understanding of the overall fishery production in river systems around the world may influence general development policies and practices for aquatic systems and sustainable maintenance of an important protein source (particularly for poorer countries where fish are relatively readily available to the local human population). With this study, researchers are working to fill this knowledge gap by estimating the overall fishery production in river networks globally using multivariate statistical models with explanatory variables compiled from remotely sensed and in‐situ observations. The freshwater fish production in rivers is being estimated by: 1. Developing models using key drivers (temperature, precipitation,...
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2015 was an extraordinary drought year in the Northwest as higher than average winter temperatures in 2014/2015 caused a transition in precipitation from snow to rain and the snow that did accumulate melted much earlier than normal, causing reservoir levels and stream flows to drop below long-term averages. At high elevations, headwater streams fared no better, with numerous streams experiencing periods of “no flow” for the first time in recorded history. These periods of low to no water flow can cause major water availability problems for wildlife and human communities, especially if they are not anticipated. In order for land and resource managers to anticipate and prepare for future droughts, they need scientific...
Determine source and sink strengths and environmental controls of greenhouse gases at the Earth’s surface and the role of management in modulating the exchange near the surface. Evaluate the role of land use and climate change on evapotranspiration rates over various land surfaces toward regional assessments with the aid of models and remote sensing.
This project seeks to quantify, predict, and project the relative role of plant physiology, among other ecosystem drivers, on carbon, nutrient, and trace-metal biogeochemistry. Approaches span landscape-to-molecular scales as necessary to understand how human and stochastic alterations of wetland structure influence wetland function. Research sites represent a wide range of salinity and management conditions, from rice agriculture to coastal and restored wetlands. Primary goals include evaluating management and modeling approaches to quantify wetland carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas budgets and/or mercury methylation and export.
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The disturbance team contributes to the goals of the LandCarbon project and conducts research focusing on 3 main components: (1) monitoring disturbance patterns and their impacts on carbon cycling, (2) understanding drivers creating the patterns and impacts, and (3) using scenarios of change to project future potential disturbance patterns, their interactions with other disturbances, and subsequent impacts on carbon cycling. Key research questions driving our work include: (1) Monitoring: How can remotely sensed, field-based, and other data best be used individually and synergistically to track changes in fire occurrence in ecosystem types with long fire-return intervals and the impacts on carbon? How do disturbances...
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The Rainwater Basin in south-central Nebraska includes a complex of seasonally shallow playa wetlands that attract millions of migratory waterfowl as well as other waterbirds, including the federally and state listed endangered whooping crane. The Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data provide the robust capability of capturing small variations in low-relief playa wetlands. The main objective of this project is to build LiDAR-derived 3-D geospatial models to statistically assess the effectiveness of grass plantings and buffers on playa natural inundation and sedimentation control at watershed scales in the Rainwater Basin. The anticipated products include: (1) A set of statistical models to correlate grass plantings/buffers...
The Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) is a partnership formed and directed by resource management entities as well as interested public and private entities in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Desert and montane sky island regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Desert LCC science depends on access to transboundary base datasets. Given the importance of vegetation such as grasslands and riparian vegetation in conservation science, a bi-national, landscape-scale vegetation data layer with classess relevant to Desert LCC research is crucial. One objecttive of this project is to investigate approriate methodologies and landscape scales to create a Desert LCC binational land cover...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: 2014, AZ-01, AZ-02, AZ-03, AZ-04, All tags...
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Overgrazing and fire suppression have led to a loss of deep soils and vegetative cover in the 420,000 acre Alamosa Creek watershed in southwestern New Mexico. Rain and snow melt are no longer held by the soils and released slowly, but run off in floods, resulting in catastrophic flows and severe erosion that contribute sediment to Elephant Butte Dam. The diverse community of farmers that irrigate 800 acres of valley land on 49 farms in Cañada Alamosa are looking to revive traditional and develop innovate new practices to maintain their way of life. Partnerships are required to design new land management practices between scientists and local land managers. This project is a component of a larger Alamosa Land Institute...
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2012, Alamosa Creek, Cañada Alamosa Watershed, Conservation Design, Datasets/Database, All tags...
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Northern Arizona University will build upon the U.S. Forest Service Four Forest Restoration Initiative in Northern Arizona to investigate how restoration efforts can affect the water volume available in the snowpack and soil moisture in the Desert LCC. This project will result in a tool that can be used to predict the water volume in snowpack and soil moisture response to various forest treatments.
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2013, AL-04, AZ-01, Academics & scientific researchers, Applications and Tools, All tags...
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Wetlands provide critical services to natural and human communities alike, forming important wildlife habitat, storing and filtering water, sequestering carbon, and offering opportunities for recreation. Unfortunately, not only are these valuable ecosystems understudied compared to others, but they are also among the most sensitive to climate change. Climate change threatens wetlands by altering temperature and precipitation, which cause changes in water level and water temperature. Due to this threat, the international community and domestic agencies alike have highlighted the need to better understand wetlands in the face of climate change, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to the Ramsar Convention,...


map background search result map search result map Modeling the Effects of Climate Change on Wetlands in the Pacific Northwest Aviation and Remote Sensing Programs Use of LIDAR to Assess the Effectiveness of Grass Plantings and Buffers on Playa Natural Inundation and Sedimentation Control in the Rainwater Basin Predicting Snow Water Equivalence (SWE) and Soil Moisture Response to Restoration Treatments in Headwater Ponderosa Pine Forests of the Desert LCC Aligning Ecological Restoration and Community Interests through Active Experimentation Assessing Evapotranspiration Rate Changes for Proposed Restoration of the Forested Uplands of the DLCC Managing water and riparian habitats on the Bill Williams River with scientific benefit for other desert river systems Remote sensing to segregate grass and shrub mixed habitats in Janos Grassland Priority Conservation Area Global Assessment of River Fish Production and Potential Global Change Implications Identifying Resilient Headwater Streams to Mitigate Impacts of Future Drought in the Northwest Ecosystem disturbances monitoring an modeling Alaska permafrost characterization Near-real-time Herbaceous Annual Cover in the Great Basin Aligning Ecological Restoration and Community Interests through Active Experimentation Managing water and riparian habitats on the Bill Williams River with scientific benefit for other desert river systems Remote sensing to segregate grass and shrub mixed habitats in Janos Grassland Priority Conservation Area Use of LIDAR to Assess the Effectiveness of Grass Plantings and Buffers on Playa Natural Inundation and Sedimentation Control in the Rainwater Basin Predicting Snow Water Equivalence (SWE) and Soil Moisture Response to Restoration Treatments in Headwater Ponderosa Pine Forests of the Desert LCC Modeling the Effects of Climate Change on Wetlands in the Pacific Northwest Assessing Evapotranspiration Rate Changes for Proposed Restoration of the Forested Uplands of the DLCC Identifying Resilient Headwater Streams to Mitigate Impacts of Future Drought in the Northwest Near-real-time Herbaceous Annual Cover in the Great Basin Aviation and Remote Sensing Programs Alaska permafrost characterization Ecosystem disturbances monitoring an modeling Global Assessment of River Fish Production and Potential Global Change Implications