Determining How Drones Can Help Define a Response to Climate Stress

Dr. Scot T. Martin is a Professor of Environmental Science and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, and he was at the DJI AirWorks 2018 event to discuss how drone-based sensing and sampling has opened new frontiers in the environmental sciences.

We caught up with Dr. Martin earlier this year to get a sense of how he was using drones to sniff the various organic chemicals coming out in all types of sub-forest ecosystems that make up the bio-diversity in the Amazon. At AirWorks, he fully explored all of these details for attendees and talked through the difference drones have made in terms of providing a “sweet spot” when it comes to the tools that can capture essential information.

Efforts to understand why plants emit certain compounds have been hindered because scientists like Dr. Martin haven’t been able to spatially map out which plants are emitting these compounds at which times and for which reasons. That’s the 1km-type resolution in the horizontal that has been missing and which drones are able to provide.

A couple of the key insights from his presentation centered on how drones are resetting the expectations that scientists like him have going into such projects. A single drone and fleet can tackle some science questions that traditional platforms cannot even get out of the gate for, and it’s made a difference in terms of the approach and findings for such projects. Additionally, Dr. Martin talked through the challenges associated with the political and social environment surrounding the Rainforest, which simply underscores the fact that there will always be challenges when it comes to operating a drone, regardless of the environment.

The way in which Dr. Martin is using drones highlights the incredible opportunities that will be opened up by the technology as it becomes more accessible to professionals working in a variety of industries. As an illustration of what these opportunities could look like, the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise has already showcased what it means to transform possibilities into reality.

See a few more pictures and insights from Dr. Martin’s session below, or discover plenty more from AirWorks 2018.

About the Author

Jeremiah Karpowicz always envisioned a career as a screenwriter, but found the autonomy and freedom he was looking for in the digital space. He has created articles, videos, newsletters, ebooks and plenty more for various communities as a contributor and editor. He has also worked as the Executive Editor for ProVideo Coalition where he was first introduced to UAV technology. You can get in touch with him on Twitter: @jeremiahkarp

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