This is a part of the 2015 Fall VPS. For more VPS articles, click here
Project Team: North Carolina Ecological Forecasting
Team Location: NASA Langley Research Center ÛÒ Hampton, Virginia
Dr. Kenton Ross (NASA DEVELOP National Program)
This project focused on ecological forecasting for wetlands in the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed in Northeastern North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia. The Albemarle-Pamlico watershed encompasses the second largest estuary system in the United States. Understanding land cover types and uses is incredibly important in managing the myriad of uses for, and stressors on, this valuable resource. In partnership with the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (APNEP), this project aimed to provide an updated version of NOAA’s Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) land-use classification, with a specific focus on delineation of wetland types within this watershed. The project also further disaggregated land cover types such as crop varieties and the invasive species, Phragmites australis. The team utilized a supervised land classification methodology and cross-referenced Landsat 8 imagery with ground truth, LiDAR or Digital Elevation Models (DEM), the National Hydrological Dataset (NHD) and soil datasets to create inputs for the R classifying model. The end goal of the project was to produce maps and a methodology by which APNEP can continually update wetland types and to establish if there is a correlation between wetland type and wetland health within the watershed. This was all with the aim of helping APNEP to make informed policy and management decisions.