Akaitcho - DUC Wetland Mapping Project

Regions: North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: physical sciences, vegetation, wetlands, mapping

Principal Investigator: Richard, Alain (1)
Licence Number: 16142
Organization: Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC)
Licensed Year(s): 2017
Issued: Jul 17, 2017
Project Team: Al Richard (Project Supervisor , Ducks Unlimited Canada), Kevin Smith (Project Supervisor, Ducks Unlimited Canada), Michael Merchant (Remote Sensing Analyst, Ducks Unlimited Canada), Becca Warren (Remote Sensing Analyst, Ducks Unlimited Canada), Becky Edwards (Remote Sensing Analyst, Ducks Unlimited Canada), Mark Kornder (Biologist , Ducks Unlimited Canada), Adam Spitzig (Remote Sensing Analyst, Ducks Unlimited Incorporated), Dan Fehringer (Biologist , Ducks Unlimited Incorporated)

Objective(s): To develop wetland inventory for south eastern Northwest Territories.

Project Description: The main objective of this project is to develop wetland inventory for south eastern Northwest Territories (NWT) that will be used to provide a baseline for many kinds of planning (including land use planning processes) and research in support of biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of habitat.

Specific objectives are to:
1) develop and use computer-based methods to produce wetland maps with satellite imagery;
2) conduct overhead field work to calibrate and validate the accuracy of the produced wetland maps; and,
3) produce user friendly documents describing the wetland maps and their wetland classes.

The research team will conduct helicopter overflights to identify wetland vegetation during a one month window when vegetation growth is at a maximum. The helicopter(s) will navigate to pre-determined sites and hovers at a height of approximately 100 m. The crew records general site description and takes overhead digital photograph. For wetland vegetation identification, the helicopter(s) descends to 10 m above vegetation (approximately 5-8 minutes to describe one field site before moving to the next). In total, approximately 100 hrs of helicopter flight time (may also use a fixed wing flight across southernmost portion of NWT where helicopter access may be limited due to remoteness).

The research team are developing work plans for community field technicians staff to assist in completing air- and ground-based data collection. Further to this, these technicians will be trained to understand wetland inventory so that they can incorporate the data into their respective land use planning processes/further community engagement.

Prior to the fieldwork commencement community events are currently being planned to communicate the work at hand, areas being considered are Fort Resolution, Lutselk'e, Fort Smith, and Yellowknife.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 17, 2017 to July 31, 2017.