Collecting Data from the Air

While leading a tour of the research aircraft where he works, flight crew member Michael Wussow, left, discusses plans for aerial surveys of Ordway-Swisher Biological Station, a 9,500-acre facility in the Melrose area that is administered by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences – Tuesday, April 9, 2019. Wussow and two colleagues led the tour for a group of researchers and others who use the biological station, which is home to dozens of ongoing UF/IFAS studies on wildlife, trees, environmental conditions and much more. The aircraft, known formally as an Airborne Observation Platform, is equipped with high-tech instrumentation and will be flying criss-cross routes above Ordway-Swisher for several weeks to collect electronic images and other data at low altitude. The effort is a routine data-collection trip for the flight crew members, who are employed by the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), a federal program conducting long-term studies on plant communities in 65 sites nationwide. For more about Ordway-Swisher Biological Station, see http://ordway-swisher.ufl.edu.

UF/IFAS photo by Tom Nordlie

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