Teaching others how to measure, map and monitor ecosystems
Funding source: Australian Research Council, CSIRO, World Bank, Australian state/territory governments: Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Northern Territory, Google, Banana Growers Council, Sugar Research and Development Corporation
Understanding what an ecosystem needs to thrive and to continue providing benefits to humans relies on accurate information about how it responds to change. Maps for this purpose are often produced from satellite and airborne images, as well as from field survey data.
Techniques for collecting and interpreting the data vary according to the type of environment and information required. Government agencies responsible for different environments need different methods for measuring, mapping and monitoring the unique properties and dynamics of their areas. With this knowledge, the agencies can understand fluctuations better and separate natural change from human-produced changes.
UQ researchers in the Biophysical Remote Sensing Group (BRG) are collaborating with Australian government agencies, private companies, and non-government organisations to design and test suitable techniques for mapping changes in environmental structures and processes.
The BRG uses remotely sensed data, field-work and spatial models to measure, map and monitor biophysical properties in terrestrial, atmospheric and aquatic environments.
The Group has already developed and published many innovative approaches to mapping multiple environments, from coral reefs and seagrass, to mangroves, terrestrial forests, urban areas, and water bodies.
These accurate and repeatable methods, including integrating field and image data sets, are then transferred in a user-friendly format to the research partner for ongoing environmental monitoring. Some tools can also be downloaded from the BRG website.