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Coral Mission to Mote in Florida

A Headwall team scanned coral in tanks onshore and also flew a drone mission from a boat offshore at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in the Florida Keys. Since 2008, Mote scientists have planted more than 216,000 corals of multiple native species and more than 325 genotypes to restore depleted reefs.
Catching a drone after a flight over water from a small boat

Headwall team members Chgarles Kepler, Dr. Carson Roberts, and Marissa Dupont on a Mote research boat after a drone mission over waterThe Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is an independent, nonprofit marine research institution comprising world-class marine scientists committed to the belief that the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s oceans begins with research and education. Since 2008, Mote scientists have planted more than 216,000 corals of multiple native species and more than 325 genotypes to restore depleted reefs.

Mote’s coral reef restoration efforts are made possible through collaboration with partners such as NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and others. Mote’s research and restoration activities described above were conducted under permits from NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Dr. Carson Roberts presented a talk at STRATUS at SUNY ESF in Syracuse on Day One entitled “The Effects of Calibration on Spectral Classification of Hyperspectral Imagery” and then hopped a plane to the Florida Keys where colleagues Charlie Kepler and Marissa Dupont, the rest of the Headwall remote-sensing mission team, were preparing for hyperspectral scanning of coral in onshore tanks and from above the ocean using the same turnkey UAV package Headwall sells to customers. The most challenging part of the mission was the launch and retrieval of the lightweight drone from a small research boat bobbing in the ocean. Check out the video posted online!