Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Remote Control

Interesting article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer (and a few dozen other places) about a recent study of remote sensing technologies from the Carnegie Institution and Stanford University. The research, soon to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involved identifying invasive plants in Hawaii by flying over sites and recording remote sensing data. Flyovers to ID species are not in themselves a novel concept. What makes this study interesting is that the sensing equipment was recording the nitrogen and water content of the plants. The distinct signature given off by the fire tree Myrica faya, for example, makes them easy to identify. This type of reconnaissance can be implemented a lot earlier in the invasion process than identification by visual characteristics. You can read the original news release here.

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