Space-based Remote Sensing and Visualization - Tools for Studying Bird Migration Across Multiple Scales

J.A. Smith (USA)


Modelling of natural phenomena, visualization, remote sensing, computer graphics, bird migration


The study of bird migration on a global scale is one of the compelling and challenging problems of modern biology with major implications for human health and conservation biology. Migration and conservation efforts cross national boundaries and are subject to numerous international agreements and treaties. Space based technology, computer graphics, and visualization offer new opportunities to shed understanding on the distribution and migration of organisms on the planet and their sensitivity to environmental changes. Our working hypothesis is that individual organism biophysical models of energy and water balance, driven by satellite measurements of spatio-temporal gradients in climate and habitat, will help us to explain the variability in avian species richness and distribution. Vegetation habitat modifications to the energy budget may be captured using ray tracing and other computer graphics techniques to compute vegetation view factors. These models provide an ecological forecasting tool for science and application users to visualize the possible consequences of loss of wetlands, habitation modification, or natural disasters such as hurricanes on avian biodiversity and bird migration.

Important Links:

Go Back