Remote Sensing Uncertainty in Mapping Beaver Dams

Author Name(s)

Viviana Celaya
Natalie Perez
Keitreice Kirksey
Emily Fairfax

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Emily Fairfax


Beavers are a keystone species that benefit their surroundings by improving water quality and groundwater storage, providing habitats, and creating natural fire resistance patches all by creating dams. Using satellite and aerial imagery makes it possible to efficiently study thousands of beaver dams and answer landscape-scale research questions without needing to invest months of time in fieldwork. For this project, nine researchers remotely surveyed three types of landscapes: Canada(forested lowlands), Colorado(mountain meadows), and California(rocky riverscape). The level of uncertainty was evaluated to determine if counts were consistent between landscapes mapped or varied. This information can aid in future research of beaver populations/dams. Understanding the impacts beavers have on their environment and where they are located is imperative to managing their restoration and resilience.



2 thoughts on “Remote Sensing Uncertainty in Mapping Beaver Dams”

  1. Maria Ballesteros-Sola

    My discipline, unfortunately, is far from beavers, but as I experienced with the other beaver team, I now want to know more!. It is remarkable how well you integrate technology to conduct your research, avoiding costly fieldwork. Your conclusions seem relevant for other researchers using mapping, so I hope you can move it toward publication. Well done! Congrats to your advisor too!

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