First Faculty Mentor

Dr. William J. Stark

Department

Biological Sciences

Award

3rd Non-Empirical Graduate

Classification

Graduate Student

Description

Ground surveys are the primary means of conducting habitat assessments and landscape monitoring. However, these methods are temporally and financially expensive, and can be difficult to conduct in remote areas. Aerial photographs overcome some of these issues, but there are problems associated with poor resolution and are produced at too low of frequency for proper analysis and monitoring. With the introduction of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and high resolution sensors, monitoring efforts of landscapes can be obtained at high frequencies with high image resolution. Texas horned lizards (P. cornutum) and Lesser earless lizards (H. maculata) are ideal organisms to study habitat composition within a landscape due to their low mobility and occupy a specific habitat niche. The objective of this study is to monitor herpetofauna communities in western Kansas, and gather data using UAS technology to characterize microhabitat structure and presence patterns.

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Remote Survey of Herpetofaunal Habitat in Western Kansas

Ground surveys are the primary means of conducting habitat assessments and landscape monitoring. However, these methods are temporally and financially expensive, and can be difficult to conduct in remote areas. Aerial photographs overcome some of these issues, but there are problems associated with poor resolution and are produced at too low of frequency for proper analysis and monitoring. With the introduction of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and high resolution sensors, monitoring efforts of landscapes can be obtained at high frequencies with high image resolution. Texas horned lizards (P. cornutum) and Lesser earless lizards (H. maculata) are ideal organisms to study habitat composition within a landscape due to their low mobility and occupy a specific habitat niche. The objective of this study is to monitor herpetofauna communities in western Kansas, and gather data using UAS technology to characterize microhabitat structure and presence patterns.