Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne

Secondary Mentor NetID

eestabro

Secondary Mentor Name

Emma Estabrook

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Program/Major

Environmental Sciences

Primary Research Category

Vermont Studies

Secondary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Presentation Title

Unmanned Aircraft Systems and the Mapping of Water Chestnut in the Lake Champlain Basin

Time

All day

Location

Humanities Center Creative Lounge

Abstract

The monitoring and removal of the invasive species water chestnut in the Lake Champlain Basin (LCB) is a tedious and expensive task. The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC), the agency tasked with monitoring and removal, faces problems in prioritizing harvesting needs due to the remote nature and sheer extent of water chestnut sites across the state. To increase efficiencies of removal, an accurate and inexpensive method of mapping must be determined. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are rapidly deployable, inexpensive, and can produce a wide array of high spatial resolution products. In collaboration with the VTDEC, the UVM UAS Team conducted UAS flight operations at 8 different sites in the LCB to test the viability of these systems for water chestnut mapping. A variety of UAS platforms were deployed to collect different types of aerial data. Geospatial products were derived from the overhead images, including ortho mosaics and feature extraction of water chestnut rosettes. The ortho mosaics provided the DEC Team with highly accurate maps collected in real time, useful for future removal planning and monitoring progression of conditions. Ortho mosaic products were beneficial in identifying spectral signatures and true color appearance of water chestnut. The feature extraction was used to quantify water chestnut populations. The work completed provides strong evidence for improvement of invasive species mapping and monitoring in the future. Future plans include quantifying the amount of water chestnut removed at each site, and further data collection for identification of water chestnut throughout the growing season.

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems and the Mapping of Water Chestnut in the Lake Champlain Basin

The monitoring and removal of the invasive species water chestnut in the Lake Champlain Basin (LCB) is a tedious and expensive task. The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC), the agency tasked with monitoring and removal, faces problems in prioritizing harvesting needs due to the remote nature and sheer extent of water chestnut sites across the state. To increase efficiencies of removal, an accurate and inexpensive method of mapping must be determined. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are rapidly deployable, inexpensive, and can produce a wide array of high spatial resolution products. In collaboration with the VTDEC, the UVM UAS Team conducted UAS flight operations at 8 different sites in the LCB to test the viability of these systems for water chestnut mapping. A variety of UAS platforms were deployed to collect different types of aerial data. Geospatial products were derived from the overhead images, including ortho mosaics and feature extraction of water chestnut rosettes. The ortho mosaics provided the DEC Team with highly accurate maps collected in real time, useful for future removal planning and monitoring progression of conditions. Ortho mosaic products were beneficial in identifying spectral signatures and true color appearance of water chestnut. The feature extraction was used to quantify water chestnut populations. The work completed provides strong evidence for improvement of invasive species mapping and monitoring in the future. Future plans include quantifying the amount of water chestnut removed at each site, and further data collection for identification of water chestnut throughout the growing season.