In September 2018, Dr. Eric Saczuk teamed up with three students from the BCIT Forest and Natural Areas Management (FNAM) program for a study at Boundary Bay Regional Park. The group’s goal was to compare the performance of two aerial cameras in their ability to detect invasive species, namely Himalayan Blackberry and Canary Reed Grass. They conducted several flights with a DJI Inspire 2 drone, alternating MicaSense RedEdge M and Parrot Sequoia multispectral cameras mounted as payload.
The group processed the images into orthophoto maps to compare with results the students had gathered using more traditional fieldwork and satellite imagery.
The results of the project have already been incorporated into courses in Geomatics and FNAM. More importantly, however, the project generated important future questions and hypotheses about how to improve accuracy and generate detailed, useful maps of invasive species using drone technology.