Project Overview

Mapping Arctic Vegetation and Ecosystems Using Imagery from Drones and Satellites

Faculty Sponsor

Mike Loranty (


Environmental Studies


This research experience involves work on two related projects that use remote sensing imagery to examine Arctic ecosystem change. One project combines computer vision Artificial Intelligence algorithms to map individual plants in tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. The second project is focused on understanding how expanding beaver distributions affect methane emissions and other biogeochemical processes in Alaskan ecosystems. The role of the student researcher is somewhat felxible, and may depend on their interests and skills. Potential activities include, but are not limited to, collection and processing of drone imagery and field validation data, preparation of drone imagery for analysis, and mapping beaver ponds in satellite images. 

Student Qualifications

The ideal applicant will have taken GIS and an introductory natural science course focused on the environment. Knowledge of either the Python or R programming languages would be advantageous. 

Number of Student Researchers

1 student

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 10/03/2023 and close on 02/28/2024

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (