Providing the Perfect Pit Stop for Birds in Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, Kansas

EarthzineOriginal, Spring 2013 VPS

Satellite imagery of Kansas. Credit Develop

Satellite imagery of Kansas. Credit Develop

Image Credit: DEVELOP

Authors: Amanda Bordeaux, Katie Nohe, Allison Bowman, Lauren Steel, Peter Marinescu, Tiffani Orne

Mentors/Advisers (affiliation): Dr. Kenton Ross (Langley Research Center, LaRC)

Team Location: Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Abstract: Documented as a wetland of international importance by the Ramsar Convention, the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area (CHBW) is comprised of 8,036 hectares of diverse and unique marshland in central Kansas. As a critical stopover for migrating bird populations, the CHBW places a strong emphasis on creating a diverse marsh habitat for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl in its management practices. This project provided the CHBW officials with tools to aid in management of the marsh systems, allowing for proactive rather than reactive techniques. Utilizing tools created by DEVELOP for monitoring turbidity using remote-sensing reflectance, this project provided the CHBW with an evaluation over time of sediment movement in and out of pools within the wildlife area. Using Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+), a land cover classification for the CHBW was produced for 2012. Another management support tool provided were maps of vegetative health and pool sizes, created through the use of vegetation indices such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The methodologies for acquiring these end products were also provided to project partners to allow for a better understanding of how best to augment management practices for improved decision-making using NASA Earth observations.