Wednesday, September 3, 2008

satellite tracking

This map is a scientific visualisation using the programme Arc map of tagged (with geo locators and data loggers ) caribou in West Greenland to find out their main feeding and breeding areas. This research is part of Peter Aarstrup's work in modelling their summer ranges using satellite based vegetation maps. Other scientists including Anders Mosbech also map ranges of birds such as the Eider onto maps of surface temperature of air and water. I am particularly interested in how meteorological data and the satellite movement data of animals are used together. The scientists use a combination of Argos based locations and surface based field work to come to conclusions about anthropogenic effects. For example a high resolution digital camera is installed at Anders Mosbech's research site in North Western Greenland which takes a photograph every 2 hours for a year. This could be a very interesting animation ... although the scientists don't use it like this. (This has a strong relationship with art projects which monitor and observe space over time. ) In Greenland oil exploration and mineral exploration require assessments from NERI of their effect on local species. They also work with hunters to find information about the animals and assess animal populations.

This is a drawing from my notebook of the Greenland fjords and caribou population

This is Christian Glahder with a satellite data logger and a neck ring used to attach to the white fronted goose in Greenland. The ring will fall off over time, as opposed to the more intrusive method of implanting the satellite tracking devices inside the abdomen of birds. This summer in Greenland Jesper Madsen and Glahder performed 'Richard Long' type walks (for counting and monitoring purposes) over 5km areas in different directions to assess populations of Greenland white-fronted geese. His work is partly anthropological and he once spent a whole season interviewing Inuit people and hunters from Greenland about their knowledge of the local species and environment. (incidentally Richard Long is one of the favourite artists of NERI scientist Rune Dietz.)

No comments: