U.S. Department of Agriculture UAS Monitors Plant Growth Cycles in New Mexico
Story by Emily C. Kelley (firstname.lastname@example.org) posted on the UAS Vision website at http://www.uasvision.com/2014/03/31/u-s-department-of-agriculture-uas-monitors-plant-growth-cycles-in-new-mexico/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=385b97dfbc-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_term=0_799756aeb7-385b97dfbc-297549825
Drones Used for Jornada Range Research
By Emily C. Kelley (email@example.com)
A small group of researchers and technicians recently gathered on a dirt airstrip at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Jornada Experimental Range to launch a Bat 4 unmanned aircraft on a mission, flying through both military restricted airspace and the National Airspace System. "We do rangeland monitoring, and it's a way to gauge rangeland health to see how the plants are doing over the course of the year," said Connie Maxwell, USDA biological science technician and New Mexico State University affiliated faculty member. This specific flight is one of a series that will monitor plant growth cycles for a USDA scientist studying vegetation response to climate. The scientist selects the flight dates in conjunction with satellite over-flights to compare the images. "We were doing an imagery flight," Maxwell said. "We have several sites out on the Jornada that we do repeat imagery on. This was a baseline flight for the year, before things start growing. In a couple of months, we'll go back and do the same flights we did that day and see the green of the vegetation out there, and then later on in the year, we'll see peak times, we'll catch peak biomass, then at the end of the year when the plants start dying." Read more ...
Las Cruces Sun News (Staff and Wire Reports) - Obama administration announces 'climate hub' in Las Cruces - New center based at Jornada Range
WASHINGTON >> Climate change is already hurting American farmers and rural residents, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday, warning the United States would regret any failure to adapt and prepare for shifting weather realities.
Unveiling a new effort to coordinate the government's response, Vilsack said extreme weather events have already taken the nation by surprise, putting ranchers and others out of business. He pointed to the intensity and frequency of recent storms, long droughts, snowstorms and subzero weather as evidence that climate change is no longer hypothetical or in the future.
Read more ...
More Southwest Region Climate Hub press releases at http://swclimatehub.info/news