Lunch and learning at River Institute

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
Lunch and learning at River Institute
Jesse St. John and Dr. Matt Windle hold the St. Lawrence River Institute's drone before their Lunch & Learn presentation on Friday, May 10, 2019 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – From Monday, May 6 to Friday, May 10, the St. Lawrence River Institute invited the public to come join them for an educational lunch.

The seminars were sponsored by the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and covered topics like invasive fish species, bats, real world science, the Great River Rapport and the use of drones in environmental research and conservation.

On Friday, May 10, Dr. Matt Windle presented his seminar titled Drones and Habitat Mapping.

Windle explained how the St. Lawrence River Institute had been using a drone to map wetlands along the St. Lawrence River.

“Thanks to the drone, we’ve been able to get high resolution imagery of the wetlands,” said Windle. “A lot of wetlands are being taken over by cat tails, and these images will enable us to better track that. It also gives us a baseline for the current water levels in wetlands and we’ll be able to look back in 50 years and see how that’s changed.”

The done used by the Institute is a Phantom 4 Quad Copter that was purchased in 2017. The drone was first used by a volunteer to help the Institute with fish surveys.

The Institute is interested in acquiring more drones, as well as different attachments to increase their versatility, including adding night vision and thermal capability.

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