Modelling Waterfowl Abundance Within The NASA Above Domain

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Michigan Tech Research Institute


The Arctic-Boreal zone (ABZ) is a vast landscape, supporting many waterfowl species. However, because of spatial extent and data scarcity, modelling waterfowl populations across the ABZ is challenging. Species abundance models (SAMs) for waterfowl typically use time-static habitat covariates to make predictions, such as wetland type maps. Here, for the first time, we used remote sensing methods to create time-varying ABZ wetland inundation covariates, which helped improve our waterfowl SAMs. SAMs were tested over the Peace Athabasca Delta (PAD), within the NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) domain. Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMM) were used to demonstrate the efficacy and additive value of this novel inundation data, which was derived using Google Earth Engine (GEE) and Sentinel-1 satellite imagery. Timely inundation data like these provide an opportunity to better understand the spatio-temporal variation in ABZ waterfowl under changing climatic conditions.

Publication Title

International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)