Monitoring System for Mapping Non-Cultivated Areas in the Agricultural Landscape of Alberta Using Remote Sensing
This project addresses the following issues: (1) the lack of
valuable information related to the spatial distribution, composition and amount
of the three non-cultivated components of the agricultural landscape: riparian,
remnant and wetland areas and (2) the lack of an appropriate monitoring system to
track changes in area and distribution of these resources. The project aims to
fill in current gaps in the information system by proposing a new approach for
monitoring these ecosystems over space and time using remote sensing technologies.
Background: One of the major recommendations of the landuse framework survey, initiated by the Government of Alberta, is the protection and management of watersheds, wetlands, native grasslands as well as riparian areas. To make the conservation of these ecosystems possible, there is an urgent need for current and comprehensive data and information systems. Land and water stewardship, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, underlined the importance of the availability of such data and information systems for carrying out their monitoring activities. In addition, the Alberta Sustainable Resource Development requires frequent monitoring of these areas for updating its Grassland Vegetation Inventory. Furthermore, the Agriculture and Food Council addressed the need of developing and implementing data measurements and a monitoring system to support policy makers and planners in their decisions. The Alberta Government also pointed out similar needs in their landuse framework. Main requirements for such a system are the generation of consistent information in a cost-effective way and timely fashion. Satellite remote sensing with its large area coverage and frequent repeat cycle is the only tool which can meet these requirements.
Objectives: The main objective of the project is the development of a remote sensing monitoring system for operational mapping of the extent and health of the following non-cultivated components of the agricultural landscape: riparian, remnant and wetland areas.