Satellite ocelot habitat study wins prize for team

winsteadfischer

NASA DEVELOP interns Daryl Ann Winstead, left, and Christina Fischer.

Phillip Gentry / UAH

Two UAH students were on the top prize winning team in a virtual poster competition between participants in NASA's DEVELOP program this summer.

Earth system science major Daryl Ann Winstead and public affairs major Christina Fischer made up half of a team that used both Landsat and satellite spectroradiometer instruments to study the habitat of ocelots in the southern portions of Texas and Arizona.

Although it has a range that extends from South America into the U.S., the ocelot is listed as endangered, with fewer than 100 remaining in the United States. The DEVELOP team created a land cover map to identify suitable ocelot habitat, then added a proximity risk map of roads and urban areas where potentially deadly interactions with people are most likely.

A typical ocelot hunts across a home range of about 6.5 square kilometers (about 2.3 square miles).

The finished products were delivered to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, the Denver Zoo, the Texas Department of Transportation, the South Texas Refuge Complex and the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Rescursos Naturales of Mexico.

The winning team - which was based at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center's DEVELOP center at UAH and was advised by Dr. Rob Griffin, a faculty member in UAH's Earth system science program - also included Kaushik Narasimhan and Amberle Keith. The winning virtual poster was chosen from among 38 projects conducted by 175 participants across 15 DEVELOP locations.

More information about the research and the competition is available at: http://earthzine.org/develop-summer-2015-vps/

 

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