Analysis of MODIS-Aqua imagery to determine spring phytoplankton phenology in the Strait of Georgia, Canada

The goal of this research was to construct a time series of accurate chlorophyll-a concentration for the Strait of Georgia, Canada, using an improved atmospheric correction scheme and workflow for the MODIS-Aqua satellite instrument to describe the chla dynamics and spring bloom phenology in the SoG. In situ radiometric samples were acquired to assess three potential atmospheric correction schemes.  Water property samples were collected to further assess atmospheric corrections and the applied ‘Ocean Color 3 Modis’ (OC3M) standard chlorophyll algorithm.  Link to thesis.  

Bio-optical Characterization of the Salish Sea, Canada, Towards Improved Chlorophyll Algorithms for MODIS and Sentinel-3

The goal of this research was to improve ocean colour chlorophyll  retrievals in the Salish Sea by characterizing the main drivers of optical variability and using this information to parameterize empirical algorithms.  This was accomplished through 5 field cruises with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and bi-weekly trips on an instrumented BC Ferry to collect in situ water and optical measurements.  The optical variability was then characterized through a hierarchical analysis and statistically compared to the biogeochemical data to define specific classes or bio-optical regimes in the Salish Sea.    Link to the thesis.


Spatial and temporal particulate variability at an integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) site in Kyuquot Sound

The goal of this research was to detail spatial and temporal organic particulate dynamics at an integrated IMTA site on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. In-situ optical measurements were collected in conjunction with water samples for particulate organic carbon and chlorophyll concentrations. These measurements were performed over three seasons (autumn, winter and summer) at reference sites and at sites within and directly adjacent to the fish component of the IMTA system.  Data were examined to examine the bio-optical relationships over various timescales (seasonally, daily, and within day) to describe the particulate variability and to assess the effectiveness of bio-optical methods for environmental monitoring.  

Link to thesis.  Also see the Publication.


Eelgrass spectral detection and remote sensing mapping

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is a keystone component of inter and sub-tidal ecosystems. Delineation and continuous monitoring of eelgrass distribution is an integral part of understanding these pressures and providing effective coastal ecosystem management. A proposed tool for such spatial monitoring is remote imagery, which can cost and time effectively cover large and inaccessible areas frequently. .In this study, in situ hyperspectral measurements were used to define key spectral variables that provide the greatest spectral separation between Zostera marina and associated shallow submerged substrates. Link to thesis.


Spatial and temporal analysis of water siltation caused by artisanal small-scale gold mining in the Tapajós water basin, Brazillian Amazon: an optics and remote sensing approach

The main goal of this research was to investigate the spatial and temporal impacts of water siltation caused by Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) on the underwater light field of the Tapajós River and its main tributaries (Jamanxim, Novo, Tocantinzinho, and Crepori rivers). In order to accomplish this, two fieldwork research trips were undertaken to collect data associated with water quality and radiometric data. This data provided information to quantify the underwater light field in water affected by a gradient of mining tailings intensity.  Link to thesis and publication.

Synergistic use of Radarsat-2 and TerraSAR-X to the monitoring of vegetation distribution, growth and phenology in the Amazon floodplain wetlands

This research project looked at the quantification of vegetation dynamics and variability in the Amazon floodplain, through the synergistic use of Radarsat 2 and TerraSAR-X systems.  The main objectives were to develop an operational, accurate method for macrophyte and woody vegetation cover mapping and monitoring in the Amazon floodplain environment.  Link to thesis. 


Transmission of light through the water column and remote sensing reflectance of the Amazon River and main tributaries and mine impacted rivers

The characterization of transmission of solar energy in the water column is essential for understanding several water processes such as phytoplankton distribution and primary productivity, the ecology, and chemistry of the upper water column. Changes in transmission of light in water are mostly due to variability of water optical constituents, which in the Amazon are strongly affected by seasonal riverine stream flow, regional geology, and upland processes. Anthropogenic use of the Amazonian uplands could have major regional effects on the seasonal distribution of optical constituents in the water, and subsequently affect the quantity and quality of light in the water column.  

Defining spatial-temporal flooding dynamics and land cover in the Brazilian Pantanal wetland using satellite imagery to define habitat connectivity for the Pantanal marsh deer

The Pantanal is the world’s largest continental tropical wetland located between Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. The Paraguay River, its tributaries, and the rainfall patterns of the region, support an annual flood regime that varies both temporally and spatially, and helps define the geomorphology and the large biodiversity of the region. However, the Pantanal and its rich biodiversity are vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbances. The human-altered landscape plays a role on patterns of resource selection and connectivity of the landscape for certain species, specifically the Pantanal marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus).  The goal of this project was to derive spatial temporal flooding and land cover maps of the entire Brazilian Pantanal, and integrate this information to define landscape connectivity and resource availability for the Pantanal marsh deer.