Earlier this week we told you about the Nature Conservancy’s Phones and Drones volunteer project. Now, meet one of the women behind the project.
As El Nino hits the West Coast, it’s a prime time for scientists to use the weather patterns as a crystal ball for future climate change. Tides are higher, and there are more storms. The Nature Conservancy’s Sarah Newkirk is spearheading a project that looks at the coast line using images from drones, shot by “citizen scientists” — essentially anyone with a drone.
Drone Girl: Why did this project come about?
SN: I direct the California Coastal Project at the Nature Conservancy of California, and our job is to makes sure we still have natural shorelines, but we have a land development threat. Our communities are growing, but there is sea level rise, so coastal habitats are getting squeezed out of existence.
DG: So what’s your role?
SN: We’re working to help communities and decision makers make wise decisions about using natural resources rather than sea walls. Sometimes that means restoring wetlands, getting infrastructure off the coast. It also means understanding how sea level rise and climate driven coastal change impact how we go about this. It’s a conservation problem in 4 dimensions — latitude, longigtue, altitude and time. It’s not about our coastline today, but tomorrow.
DG: What’s the project you are doing now with drones? Continue reading Meet the woman whose project uses drones to study El Nino’s impact on California