- Author: Andy Lyons
From April 9-12, 2019, we'll be teaching the second annual Drones for Biologists workshop at the gorgeous Hastings Natural History Reservation in collaboration with The Wildlife Society Western Section and the UC Natural Reserve System. This training event specifically caters to the interests of natural resource managers, and includes special sessions on using drones for wildlife research, UAV regulations from the US Fish Wildlife Service, and updates from the CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife. New for 2019, participants will have an option to stay for an extra two days to conduct a mentored research project (can you detect turkeys with drones?), that we plan to collectively write up and submit for publication. If you've never been to Hastings, it's a beautiful 2,500-acre oak woodland reserve in the Carmel Valley with onsite accommodation and training facilities. Registration is now open, with discounted rates for TWS members and UCANR employees.
We're thrilled to be providing these two trainings on drone data collection for the public, and even more thrilled to be working with collaborators who complement our areas of expertise with deep dives into technology developments, research, and policy. To use drones effectively involves navigating some deep waters, these workshops will save aspiring drone users vast amounts of time, money and painful mishaps. Hope to see you there!
- Author: Andy Lyons
The Clearinghouse is a database-driven platform with a wealth of curated resources for climate adaptation. The site originated out of Senate Bill 246, which mandates OPR to provide resources on climate adaptation for local governments, regional planning agencies, and other practitioners working on adaptation and resilience. The database also contains sea-level rise resources collected by the Ocean Protection Council under Assembly Bill 2516. It's an amazing resource for anyone looking to strengthen climate change preparedness in their local government, community, or business.
The database includes numerous planning resources that have been developed and vetted by experts in the field. For example, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network has a how-to guide for local governments on developing equitable, community-driven climate preparedness plans, which you can find in the Clearinghouse. There are also examples of vulnerability assessments, local plans, and funding strategies. The majority of resources are hosted by other organizations, but unlike a Google search all the resources in the Clearinghouse have been reviewed, annotated, and cataloged by subject matter specialists.
To help find resources, the Clearinghouse has a number of search options, including more than a dozen topic categories adapted from Safeguarding California, the state's overall roadmap for building climate change resiliency. You can also search by Type of Impact (e.g., drought, sea level rise), Resource Type (e.g., case study, assessment, policy guidance), and of course an interactive map. Each resource has a descriptive blurb so you can quickly find what you need.
Adaptation planning can be information intensive, so the Tools and Data section of the website is devoted to helping people find data and crunch the numbers. Interested in rangelands? Check out the CA Landscape Conservation Cooperative's compiled Threat Assessments to California Rangelands. Sea level rise? Perhaps the CosMos modeling tool from USGS, or the Surging Seas tool from Climate Central. Like all resources, each tool and dataset has a user-friendly description, a technical summary, a bit about the data, and links to the source. One of our favorites is the California Energy Commission's Cal-Adapt, which includes both historical and projected climate data downscaled for California.
Climate adaptation is complicated, but information portals like the Clearinghouse allow anyone to tap into the incredible amount of work that has already been done in California and elsewhere. Rather than reinvent the wheel, local agencies can build upon vetted guidelines from similar areas. We are all fortunate that the State of California has invested in a platform to share curated resources for the long-term, because climate adaptation is already part of the new normal. More resources are in the pipeline, so check it out and then check back often to see what's new.
The River Fire began July 27, 2018 at 1pm on Old River Road in Hopland. By the evening it had spread, and was threatening numerous buildings in the area. We have a ANR Research and Extension Center (HREC) there, and Shane Feirer from IGIS lives and works here. Evacuations were ordered quickly, and down in the bay area we all held our breath hoping the fire wouldn’t harm people or animals or consume the HREC buildings. By the time it was contained (as part of the Mendocino Complex), it had burned 48,920 acres. We’ve been flying drones over HREC for awhile, and the last month we did more drone flights to map the post-fire landscape. We flew some Hangar 360 flights with a DJI Phantom to get some sweet overviews of the scene (example1, example2, example3), and flew much of the area with our eBee on the first mission and Matrices on the second mission with both multispectral and RGB cameras.
These pics below compare the eBee imagery (2cm) with Planet imagery (3m).
These are pics of the eBee (far left) and the Matrice (far right) getting ready to fly into the blackened landscape, and some snaps from the Hanger pics.
I've come to rely on this, my blog, for recalling important work related events, places, tools, and datasets. But, it is a bit unwieldy as a search engine. Perhaps it is delayed spring cleaning (ok, delayed like 12 years...), but I feel that have way too many tags on this blog, and it could do with a tidy-up. I started the blog back in 2006 (ok, I didn't start it, Ken-ichi did, back when he was a Kellylabber), and since then its been fair game as far as tags go. What to tag a post about "drones"? fine, why not also tag it as "UAVs"! Like old maps? Tag a post "cool old maps" and "history"! You get the pic. As of now I have 88 tags. My go-tos are:
- conferences: where I give my wrap-ups from meetings, and provide some perspective along with new software, data, etc.
- class: where I capture stuff for class; and
- data and software: where I tag new stuff I need to follow up on.
So... from 88 I am going to move to 10. The core are "people", "data", and "tools", and there are a few more. They are:
- class: for all things class related; and conferences: keep up the wrap-ups!
- the triad: people: all things collaboration related; data: obvi, from drones, to imagery, to mobile, to pics; tools: analytics and apps and all the rest;
- the groups: gif: cool posts related to the gif; igis: cool posts related to IGIS; lab: for all the wonderful student work;
- science: all the domains we focus on; and
- meta: for all the culture about mapping: papers, literature, movies and music videos.
Wow. Hope it works. Now I have to reclass all the original 88 into their new homes.
My wrap-up from a very engaged and provocative 1.5 day workshop on geospatial technology futures, hosted by the CyberGIS Center: “Towards a National Geospatial Software Ecosystem”. First: great group of cool peeps all hyper-engaged in geospatial data, tools, use cases, science, and community. Second: fun to be involved in big-picture thinking on what a geospatial software institute might look like if it was to be built from scratch. Finally, I was on the panel discussing core questions bridging use cases and core technical capabilities, and I share my reflections of the workshop here.
- Question 1. Are there any significant gaps between the use cases and core technical capabilities that GSI should address?
- Training needs: beyond GIS training – “spatial data science” training, for K-12; undergrad; graduate; veterans; professionals
- Easy ways to get access to cloud storage and computation, and for different datasets like UAVs. There are examples like CyVerse (from Tyson Swetnam) and others
- Data integration: Data assimilation, Data fusion, Sensor triangulation.
- Whatever you want to call it – this remains a challenge for geospatial experts and beginners alike. And it is especially a challenge when you work across disciplines (e.g. the work of SESYNC from Mary Shelley and Margaret Palmer, SESYNC, University of Maryland)
- Dynamics: Spatio-temporal and real-time data streams: sensor networks, social media, cube sats
- in space (e.g. the new Antarctic DEM from Paul Morin, University of Minnesota);
- in time (e.g. cubesats, sensor networks; social media);
- in depth?: going under-ground (from Debra Laefer, NYU)
- We love FAIR for data. What about FAIR for tools: make tools Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable
- Question 2: What does the CyberGIS Geographic Software Institute (GSI) need to do to address community needs and contribute to the national CyberInfrastructure ecosystem?
- Link strongly with existing diversity-supporting frameworks: HBCU; community colleges; tribes; networks such as @WomenWhoCode, @LadiesOfLandsat, @BlackGirlsCode, @500womensci, @RLadiesGlobal, etc.
- More of these workshops! Multi-disciplinary meetings of people with tight/packed agendas and make use of workshop attendees between workshops; what can we do to spread the word
- Create GSI Data Institute or Bootcamp or Faculty Education Mentoring Network
- Support standards for data and software standards to promote interoperability
- Support frameworks for data and software discovery and interoperability: FAIR for data; FAIR for tools
Conclusion: Super Fun. Learned a Ton. Plus parting words from Michael Goodchild: It is not location that matters, it is context. Location provides context; context allows integration: with data, between disciplines, between people, between tools. "Let's get above the layers".