Testing the use of unmanned aircraft systems for intertidal surveys - proof of concept

Project Description

Intertidal monitoring is essential to establish benchmarks and to monitor important resources that are particularly important to the people living in Alaska's coastal environments. One of the shortfalls of the traditional sampling typically conducted through on-the-ground surveys is the small area that can be feasibly monitored with limited people-power and time due to low tide series. What is needed is a cost-effective mechanism that can be used to survey larger areas during the short low tide time period. We are currently providing a proof of concept that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are a cost-effective tool that can be used to 1) expand the typically small-scale (on the order of meters) monitoring with larger-scale (on the order of kilometers), high resolution imagery taken from low-flying UAS, and 2) monitor new areas where benchmark data are currently lacking. This projects links to and expands the Gulf Watch Alaska intertidal monitoring that is currently being conducted in Kachemak Bay.

Research Team

Principal Investigator

picture of Brenda Konar

Brenda Konar

Associate Dean of Research and Administration Director
Director of Institute of Marine Science
Director of Coastal Marine Institute
Professor
Specialties:
  • phycology
  • research scuba diving
  • biodiversity
  • monitoring programs
  • nearshore ecology
  • ecosystem change
  • benthic ecology
  • kelp forest ecology
bhkonar@alaska.edu
(907) 474-5028
Full Profile

Co-Principal Investigator

picture of Katrin Iken

Katrin Iken

Professor
Specialties:
  • Trophic interactions and food web analysis
  • Benthic diversity and communities
  • Stable isotope analysis
  • Phycology and invertebrate ecology
  • Shallow water ecology and deep-sea biology
  • Polar marine biology
kbiken@alaska.edu
(907) 474-5192
Full Profile

Project Funding

Coastal Marine Institute
Start Date: 2014-00-00 End Date: 2016-00-00

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