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Michael Brown

Radiative transfer modelling in an enclosed bay: towards improving coastal satellite remote sensing for habitat mapping

Michael Brown
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Mike completed his undergraduate degree in 2007 at Cornell University. His research interests include satellite remote sensing and bio-optical oceanography. He also likes to play music and many different sports.

Jon Grant

Oceanography, Dalhousie University


Ecosystem Function, EF-07: Ecosystem Health and Habitat Complexity


Satellite remote sensing is a very useful tool, as it allows consistent synoptic observations of study areas for long periods of time, utilizing easily accessible data. Habitat structure occurring in the pelagic may be detected via this approach.  However, due to their optical complexity, satellite remote sensing in coastal waters has variable success. This is unfortunate given their environmental, social, and economic value. The focus of my project is to develop methods that will improve satellite remote sensing in coastal areas, as a means of resolving habitat.

The specific project/thesis aims are:

    1. Use a radiative transfer model to construct a look up table (LUT) documenting how incident light fields and water constituents affect the optical properties of a nearby costal study area.
    2. Utilize the LUT to design atmospheric correction routines and/or bio-optical algorithms that will improve the retrieval from satellite-based data of coastal water constituents.

This project is directly related to my laboratory’s broader CHONe project, a primary goal of which is to perform landscape and habitat mapping in coastal areas with satellite remote sensing.

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