How and why lake volumes change over time remains a largely unknown question globally. Factors such as precipitation, water table height, evaporation, and human impacts such as lake level drawdown can impact lake volumes over time, potentially resulting in changes in water supply and lentic ecosystems. To learn more about changes in lake volumes at a global scale, the project “Lake Observations by Citizen Scientists and Satellites” (LOCSS) pairs satellite imagery, which can detect lake area over time, with simple lake gauges that everyday citizens can read and collect data from. With the changes in height read from the lake gauge paired with the changes in lake surface area, we can better assess changes in lake volume over time. Continue reading “Validating Water Surface Elevation for a Citizen Science Project in New Hampshire”
It is well known that sea level is rising and will cause significant shoreline adjustments around the globe. This makes the art of measuring sea level a critical skill for coastal scientists. For precise and accurate measurements, not only it is necessary to understand the functionality of the instruments we use, but also the reference frame to which all our measurements are fixed to, better known as datums. Fortunately, high end technology such as Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) can help us measure elevation up to 2 cm precision. This high level of precision requires complex processes. Thankfully, there is instrumentation capable of reaching high precision within a short period of time – the Trimble® R10 GNSS system.
At the UMass Amherst campus we regularly use UAS to conduct surveys of key infrastructure; whether it be to monitor and document stages of new construction on campus or to survey and inspect existing infrastructure. One of our more recent additions to our array of capabilities is the capacity to develop thermal orthomosaics from long-wave infrared (LWIR) imagery. This can help us map heat sources and thermodynamic processes of buried infrastructure, or look at heat loss in structures.
When you walk around in public spaces carrying a Trimble R10 RTK over your shoulder, you get asked a lot of questions!
For the past two summers, myself and a group of researches have used the Trimble R10 to take location and elevation measurements of landscape features in salt marshes throughout Massachusetts. Sometimes we are at Audobon sites sharing space with birders, sometimes we are near roads or in what seems like someone’s backyard, and sometimes we are just off of someone’s favorite walking path. Regardless of who we cross paths with – birder, driver, homeowner, or hiker – we always get asked about the R10 because it looks so sleek yet complex! Sometimes we are asked “What are you doing?” or “What is that?” or our favorite, “Are you making a movie?!”.
Undergraduate students in BCT and other programs in collaboration with the UMass Amherst Physical Plant assisted the commencement planning team with layout for the main graduation event. Commencement planning for thousands of students takes a village or at least the Physical Plant at UMass Amherst. One of the people responsible for coordinating the layout for events is Surveyor and GIS Administrator Carl Larson. Carl has been in charge of staking out commencement planning for a number of years, but this year Carl has a little more help. With the help of a few students and Trimble GPS equipment, the stadium will be transformed from an athletic field to graduation for thousands of students and their parents. By using the Trimble R10, we have cut the time it takes to layout graduation by almost two-thirds.