The U.S. Forest Service (USFS)-National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) Virtual Pitch Fest, virtually hosted in early June 2020, was a creative collaboration inspired by the need for virtual connection due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), in concert with its international, Federal, Tribal, state, local, and non-government organization partners, uses a large number of remote sensing technologies to find optimal solutions to monitor and manage fish and wildlife populations, habitats, waters, wetlands, and landscapes. The FWS utilizes acoustic geographic positioning systems (GPS), and radio telemetry sensors on fish and wildlife for time and location information tied to a variety of remote sensing image products such as aerial and satellite optical imagery, thermal, radar, sonar, and light detection and ranging (lidar) imagery. This time and geospatial system of imagery and location is used to map habitats, find invasive plants, determine flight paths of birds and bats, conduct fish and wildlife inventories, watch over refuge lands, and monitor trust species.
Forested animal habitat is impacted by disturbance agents such as wind, insect outbreaks, fire, silvicultural treatments, and climate change.
Continuous data on vegetation cover, height, and relative density are increasingly sought as useful metrics for determining animal habitat conditions across large areas. Airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) multi-return information provides a ready source of remotely sensed data that can directly estimate vegetation height and cover at appropriate spatial scales. The U.S.
Although the International Union on Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Egyptian tortoise (Testudo Kleinmanni) as critically endangered, it is the least studied tortoise species in the Mediterranean basin.
National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) in Texas and Oklahoma manage forested habitats to support priority bird populations in the West Gulf Coastal Plain and Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions. Airborne laser altimetry or light detection and ranging (lidar) can capture details of forest structure that determine bird species diversity, densities, and distributions.
The majority of America’s wetlands are located in Alaska (65%), but to date the FWS National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) Program has produced wetland data covering only 42% of the State. Areas without NWI data include over 31 million acres of the FWS National Wildlife Refuge System.
The FWS Division of Migratory Bird Management is integrating remote sensing and machine learning technologies to improve safety, data quality, and efficiency of broad-scale migratory bird surveys. The Division uses manned Department of the Interior fleet aircraft to monitor migratory bird populations over vast regions of North America.
Tumbesian dry tropical forests are found along the Pacific coast from southern Ecuador into northern Peru. They represent a region of substantial species endemism and seasonal forest conditions that differ from evergreen tropical forest. Remnant dry forest areas are essential for maintaining watershed conditions and a clean water supply, as well as providing high biodiversity values.
Migrating waterbirds moving between upper and lower latitudinal breeding and wintering grounds, while crossing arid continental interiors, rely on a limited network of endorheic lakes and wetlands, which are waterbodies in closed basins with no outflow.
Remotely sensed data and derived information contribute significantly to mission-critical work across the Department of the Interior (DOI). This report from the DOI Remote Sensing Working Group (DOIRSWG) highlights a sample of DOI remote sensing applications and illustrates the many types of technology, platforms, and specialized sensors employed.* DOI personnel use remote sensing technology to evaluate and monitor changing land-surface and natural resource conditions over the vast areas for which DOI has responsibility.