A Bend in the River’s Future

Earthzine2015 Spring VPS, Assessing Agriculture and Ecosystems

Category: Assessing Agriculture and Ecosystems
Project Team: Georgia Ecological Forecasting
Team Location: University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia

Comparison of how the Ocmulgee River Corridor near Macon, GA looks using Landsat 8 true color (left) and classified (right). Image Credit: Georgia Ecological Forecasting Team

Christopher Cameron
Peter Hawman
Andrew Herring
Gail Miller
Caren Remillard

Dr. Marguerite Madden (University of Georgia Center for Geospatial Research)
Dr. Thomas Jordan (University of Georgia Center for Geospatial Research)

Past/Other Contributors:
Steve Padgett-Vasquez
Simmone Simpson

The NASA DEVELOP Ocmulgee River Water Resources and Ecological Forecasting team partnered with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA DNR) to conduct a project focused on conserving the Ocmulgee River corridor. The corridor is home to unique species such as Atlantic sturgeon, short nosed sturgeon, black bear, and millions of migratory birds. It also holds a rich archeological record of Native American settlement. Over the years, this area has experienced increasing urbanization pressure. The goal of this project was to analyze land cover trends over the past 15 years using National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) classifications and Landsat 8 images to predict future changes within the Ocmulgee River corridor. With this goal in mind, a current land cover map was created and the team performed a time-series analysis. Threatened and endangered species habitats and hydrologic characteristics were overlaid with the classification maps to identify areas of concern. Using the results of this project, the GA DNR can prioritize conservation of high risk areas and identify areas of future concern.

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