[Coral-List] Yet Another ICRS Session: Session 51 — Remote Sensing of Coral Reefs: Transitioning from Developmental to Operational

Eric Hochberg eric.hochberg at bios.edu
Wed Dec 16 20:40:37 EST 2015

Session 51 — Remote Sensing of Coral Reefs: Transitioning from
Developmental to Operational

Since the early 1970s, coral reef remote sensing, particularly mapping
reefs and their biological properties, has been in a developmental
phase: a long series of one-off studies, with no standard algorithms,
and no large-scale government programmatic support. 2015 has seen a
pivot toward an operational phase. In the U.S., NASA is providing
substantial support to CORAL (COral Reef Airborne Laboratory). Australia
has initiated a pilot project to combine mapping and modelling for its
Great Barrier Reef. The upcoming Sentinel-2 (Europe), EnMAP (Germany),
PRISMA (Italy), and HyspIRI (U.S.) satellite missions will provide the
means for global scale mapping and monitoring both biological and
geophysical properties of reefs. Properly developed, regional to global
data products will open new science inquiries and will become a major
asset to resource management. However, there is currently no organized
capacity to process and analyze the expected data streams and products.
More importantly, there is no consensus about which science and
management products should be prioritized, much less which algorithms
provide the best results. Thus, this session has two objectives: (1)
summarize the current status and near-term future of coral reef remote
sensing, and (2) stimulate interaction/discussion between remote sensing
specialists and coral reef scientists and managers. The session will
provide the basis for developing a cohesive community ready to integrate
coral reef mapping and monitoring products for management activities
around the world.
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