In order to protect the redwoods from future climate change, scientists must understand many things, including how the giant trees use and respond to water and sunlight. This often requires laboriously surveying hundreds of acres of forest and surrounding land.
In a new study, Dr. Todd Dawson (a professor of integrative biology and environmental science, policy and management at UC Berkeley) is using drones to quickly construct detailed resource maps from the air.
By quickly and inexpensively gathering data, the drones free up scientists to focus on more complex research tasks.
The pilot project is partially sponsored by Parrot, a manufacturer of drones for both personal and commercial use.