Dr. Erin Hestir, North Carolina State University
Freshwater ecosystems underpin global water and food security, yet are some of the most endgangered ecosystems in the world because they are particularly vulnerable to land management change and climate variability. There is large temporal and spatial differentiation in the multiple stressors acting upon aquatic systems under threat for water security and biodiversity. Remote sensing, particularly high spatial resolution imaging spectroscopy coupled with satellite earth observing missions and in situ sensor networks provide the biophysical measurements needed to make “supra-regional” (e.g., river-to-coast) assessments of vegetation communities, habitat distribution, ecosystem function and sediment, nutrient and carbon source and transport. The research presented will leverage such assessments to provide understanding of aquatic ecosystem responses to multiple stressors, exploiting airborne high spectral and spatial imaging spectroscopy, LiDAR, and satellite remote sensing, and in situ bio-physical and bio-optical measurements.