MS GIS Senior Lecturer Jonathan Resop presented in two summer online conferences: the Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) national conference and the Towson University GIS (TUGIS) regional conference. For both conferences, Dr. Resop presented research on the use of drone laser scanning for estimating riverscape vegetation metrics (such as roughness, vegetation density, and vegetation height), for use in ecological and hydraulic models. The research is being done through collaboration with the Department of Biological Systems Engineering StREAM Lab at Virginia Tech.

Information about the presentation can be found on the TUGIS website.

Quantifying Riverscape Vegetation Change using Drone Laser Scanning

Drone laser scanning (DLS), or UAV-based lidar, provides ultra-high-resolution point clouds (greater than 400 points per square meter) of the environment, which allows scientists and engineers to collect detailed information about both the topography and vegetation. For this study, six DLS surveys were conducted over a two-year period (2017 to 2019) for a reach of Stroubles Creek, located downstream of Virginia Tech's main campus in Blacksburg, VA. This reach underwent a stream restoration in 2010 and is continuing to evolve and change since having its streambanks reshaped and floodplain vegetation planted. Three lidar metrics were generated to represent different aspects of the floodplain vegetation: height, roughness, and density. The change in these metrics both seasonally and annually were then quantified by calculating DEMs of difference. Simple data processing pipelines using ArcGIS and Python scripting were used to help automate these workflows.

More information can be found in the publication.

Quantifying Riverscape Vegetation Change using Drone Laser Scanning