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Remote sensing forest disturbances in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Project Full Title:

Identifying landslides and canopy gaps in the cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica using high-resolution multispectral satellite imagery

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Project Description:

This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of Mathematics and Biology. However the project is specifically housed within the Hope College Department of Mathematics. Disturbances create gaps in the tree canopy in forest landscapes. Many disturbances are due to windthrow or landslides that are associated with large wind or rain events. Gaps form at different places and times and with a variety of sizes, creating a shifting habitat mosaic that supports high species diversity and abundance. We will use high-resolution multispectral satellite imagery and a unique existing long-term data set of ground-based measurements to develop a scheme to classify and measure landslides and canopy gaps in Monteverde, Costa Rica. The classification scheme will be validated using new field experiments.

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