Automating the Process of Counting Bird Populations:

Maddie Hayes

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“We believe that this is the most  accurate mapping of this area ever  done and the first time anyone has  been able to automate counts of  these seabirds. It’s important because sea gulls are good indicators of ecological change.  So if we can study what’s happening at these local levels, then they can act as a “canary in the coal mine” for the rest of the ecosystem.”

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THis Week’s Key Question

“Can drones be used to count birds?”

This Week’s Guests

Maddie Hayes is a Remote Sensing Analyst at the Duke Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab. The Lab promotes interdisciplinary research using unmanned aircraft systems and other small robotic platforms.  Maddie’s research focuses on the applications of artificial intelligence and GIS to analyze drone imagery. She is currently using deep learning frameworks and remote sensing theory for seabird population assessments and water quality analysis.  Maddie graduated from the University of Vermont in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and Geospatial Technologies. Before joining the Lab, Maddie worked at the University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab, where she researched the use of drone imagery and object-based image analysis for aquatic invasive species classification. 

What We Learn

Maddie talks about using drones to automate counts of huge seabird colonies in the Falkland Islands.

Mentioned Link



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Anonymous October 12, 2021 at 8:50 pm


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