A birds’ eye view: how satellite imagery is changing wildlife research in Antarctica
Join us for a special edition of Meet the Scientist with Dr. Michelle LaRue from the University of Minnesota!
Antarctica is pristine, remote and harsh, and as a result is a difficult place to conduct field research on important Southern Ocean indicator species: penguins and seals. Few populations along the coastline have long-term datasets, yet under climate change and resource extraction scenarios in the Southern Ocean, it is becoming increasingly critical that we move beyond local-scale research. The innovation of high-resolution satellite imagery (0.31 – 0.60 m spatial resolution) has changed the way we address wildlife research in Antarctica, allowing unprecedented access to every penguin and seal population on the continent. In this talk, Michelle will discuss the importance of penguins and seals to the ecosystem; how innovations in technology have allowed for several “firsts” in our understanding of polar ecology; and how crowd-sourced research is continuing to advance our ability to learn about these environmental indicator species along our southern-most continent.