High-Resolution Imagery for Analysis of Environmental Change in Northern Alaska
an informal workshop following the "Park Science in the Arctic" conference,
Friday, 17 October, 2008
The workshop was a success! There is growing recognition of the potential of high-resolution imagery for environmental change research. And the potential has already resulted in applications to reach I&M and other goals.
Ecoystems and habitats in northern Alaska are changing rapidly due to shifting climate and a variety of external “stressors”. At the same time, technologies in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing are advancing. It is now possible to observe, detect, document, and analyze environmental change at high resolution. Aerial photography and satellite imagery – at a resolution of 1 meter or less – convey details of ecosystem components at the scale of narrow beaches, outcrops, small streams, tundra ponds, patterned ground, and vegetation communities. If processed correctly, the images can be manipulated as map layers with neglible errors. Multiple years of imagery – spanning the last several decades – can provide a time series for detailed investigation of environmental change.
The “High-Res” workshop consisted of a morning session of invited speakers and discussion, followed by an afternoon session of hands-on activities. The talks spanned topics such as: online tools for visualization and data sharing; sources of high-resolution imagery for northern Alaska; rectification techniques to increase accuracy; and case studies on detailed environmental change. The afternoon session enabled participants to step through an interactive tutorial with coastal imagery, using ArcGIS to explore visualization, mapping, change detection, and analysis.
Jim Lawler (NPS ARCN), Scott Miller (NPS ARCN), Bill Manley (Univ. of Colorado INSTAAR), Leanne Lestak (Univ. of Colorado INSTAAR), and Paul Atkinson (NPS ARCN)
Questions or comments:
Scott Miller, National Park Service