Mitigating whale-vessel collision from Space: a viable option?

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IMAGE: NOAA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A mitigation technique for whale-vessel collisions is of interest to both commercial and conservation sectors as they often result in damage to the ship and death of the whale. The scale of which this is happening is difficult to monitor as there is no universal database on the matter and ships are often nervous to report collisions due to perceived implications. However, the IWC Vessel Strike Data Standardisation Committee has been collating both formal and informal reports of whale-vessel strikes since 2005 which indicates whale-vessel strikes are on the rise and unsurprisingly more common in areas with high maritime traffic. Continue reading “Mitigating whale-vessel collision from Space: a viable option?”

Tutorial: How to download and do land classification on Sentinel-2 data in QGIS

Recently I have done a couple of training sessions and found people wanted guidance on how to download Sentinel-2 data and what they could do with it. This uses an example of processing in tropical forest but could be adapted for other purposes. Here are the notes I produced as a result of this session – they are aimed at a complete beginner who isn’t looking to do masses with the data but would just like to get started with learning.  I thought I would share in case they are useful to anyone else.

It requires a plugin called the Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin that can be installed by going to Plugins > Manage and Install Plugins then searching for Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin. It will be highlighted in green as it is a trusted plugin. Press install and all the toolbars should appear.

Note there is definitely more glamorous ways of doing this, but this is a great start for people who are only looking to use QGIS. Feel free to ask any questions!

Impacts of landslides on trunk roads in Scotland

Once again I present you a very dated case study – I must have preempted this as I have since moved to Scotland so this suddenly seems interesting again.

Scotland is connected by a series of trunk roads. Trunk roads are roads of strategic importance and closure of one of these roads can have widespread impacts. Scotland’s trunk roads carry 35% of all Scottish traffic and are valued at £20.8 billion. In August 2004 there was a series of landslide events across Scotland. The landslides affected key parts of the road network and limited access to travel and services, highlighting the potential financial implications of landslides (Table 1).

Continue reading “Impacts of landslides on trunk roads in Scotland”

Using GIS and remote sensing for management of wildland-urban interface

Another small project I did ages ago. This is one I’d like to return to as there is so much more potential and remote sensing for forests is a particular interest of mine. However for now here is a quick look at a case study of the wildfire-urban interface.

The GiIl and Stephens article is an excellent article about the challenges posed by wildfires on the management of the wildland-urban interface (WUI). Building on this, this post will use GIS and remote sensing to look at asset protection zones in Wilson, Wyoming.

Continue reading “Using GIS and remote sensing for management of wildland-urban interface”

Soil Erosion and Deforestation in Ecuador

Firstly I thought I’d share some short summaries of projects I’ve worked on in the past. They are quite basic in their techniques used – I was just starting out! – but I think they could be useful as a case study nonetheless.

Deforestation is a growing issue in developing countries as the demand for agricultural commodities rises. In Ecuador, the government’s subsidy based approach to agriculture and the discovery of oil has led to the country having the highest rate of deforestation in South America. Furthermore, the removal of vegetation has been identified as the leading cause of soil erosion. I chose to look at two sites in contrasting regions of the country to see how the soil has been impacted as a result of deforestation. An overview of the two sites characteristics can be seen in the table below:

Continue reading “Soil Erosion and Deforestation in Ecuador”