Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Remote sensing of cheatgrass die-offs featured on YouTube

This past Tuesday Owen Baughman gave a 1 hour talk as part of the  Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative's Webinar series which you can view HERE. The talk was about cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) die-offs and whether they  present an opportunity for ecological restoration, which is the topic he studied for his Master's thesis. Although the focus of the talk was on his field experiments, which I won't describe here (better to hear it in his own words by watching the YouTube video) he did take some time to show some of the preliminary results that came about from our cheatgrass die-off remote sensing study. I'll spare you the remote sensing details and save that for when our upcoming paper comes out, but I'm proud to say that our remote sensing method for mapping cheatgrass die-offs using Landsat imagery appears to be working very well.  We developed models for 2014 using the spectral signature of known die-offs and then applied them to 2015 imagery.  Sixteen out of seventeen predicted die-offs turned out to be real die-offs when visited in the field indicating a high level of accuracy.  You can see one of the example maps for predicted die-off events in 2015 below.

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