Scott Eustis gave a fabulous presentation on Louisiana wetlands and land loss, what's happening, why it's an important issue and what we're hoping to do about it. We had planned to explore the issue up close by mapping out in Bayou Plaquemines, but we had some work to do first! So learning about aerial mapping, the students each worked to build their first mapping rigs.
While most of the students chose to use faucet covers, one group stuck with the traditional bottle housing model, modifying it slightly with floating rings as we were planning to map over water- good call.
On Wednesday we met at Propeller in the morning to head to Venice. Our boat captains Tod and Ryan met us at Cajun Fishing Adventures to take us out on the water.
We were split onto two boats, one aiming to run a higher altitude flight and one to run a low altitude (1000ft) flight and an infrared flight. The students learned how to set up the balloon and attach their rig and we took off!
I was on the boat doing the low altitude flight, which went well. One of the take aways we had was that we needed more helium in the balloon to account for the weight of the string, so before we did the Near Infrared flight we added helium to our balloon.
On Thursday, we met at the Rosa Keller Library to build our maps. One of the issues we ran into right away was trying to figure out how to do file sharing among all the students. We got everyone on the same google drop box, and distributed out the SD cards, but it took a little time. Once we got going though, the students were able to do some really awesome stitching projects.
Although, we learned that to do NDVI, we would need the same photos taken without the filter, drat.
And this one, a group stitched of a Barataria mapping trip: http://publiclab.org/notes/thalamka/09-11-2014/barataria-low-altitude-balloon-mapping
It was awesome :)