Biodiversity Research Seminar Series (BRS)

BRS Corey Garza: A game of drones: Advancing discovery and innovation in coastal research

October 4, 2023, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

2212 Main Mall

Dr. Corey Garza, 

Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 

College of the Environment Professor, 

School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

University of Washington


A Game of Drones: Advancing Discovery and Innovation in Coastal Research.


Coastal habitats are some of the most heavily monitored ecosystems in the world owing to their economic and ecological importance. Traditional monitoring methods, such as quadrats and meter tapes, have provided valuable data on trends and status on coastal resources. However, these approaches come with limitations centered about the spatial and temporal scales across which they can be used. With ongoing climatic shifts, new approaches are needed to monitor how a changing climate is affecting coastal habitats across multiple temporal and spatial scales. Aerial drones have seen increased use in coastal studies due to their ability to rapidly capture multi-scale data on the distribution and abundance of coastal resources at a relatively low cost. Outfitted with high-resolution digital cameras, drones provide a method for capturing multi-scale data on coastal habitat distribution and community composition at scales of a few centimeters up to hundreds of meters. Beyond their capacity to capture high resolution image data, drones come with many other advantages that provide scientists with new ways to study the factors that structure coastal habitats across multiple spatial and temporal scales. These include but are not limited to (1) carrying various imaging (e.g., multispectral cameras) payloads to collect data; (2) increased frequency in survey intervals; (3) low altitude, autonomous flight that allows sensors to collect fine spatial resolution data; and (4) low operating costs. Drones can provide stakeholders, resource managers and researchers with timely information on changes in coastal habitat and, support training a new generation of scientists who can address the emerging needs of 21st century coastal science.

Host: Dr. Bridgette Clarkston

This seminar will be hosted both in-person in the Beaty Museum auditorium, as well as via zoom. The speaker will be presenting in-person.

A recording if the seminar is available here:

Passcode: G5w6y%Kx 



  • Biodiversity Research Seminar Series (BRS)

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