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Thomas H. Snitch
College of Computing, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland
The poaching of rhinos, elephants and other animals in Africa has reached epidemic proportions. The current efforts to combat this activity are not working and new paradigms are required. A team made up of individuals from the University of Maryland, the GeoEye Foundation, the GeoAnalytics Group at the GeoEye Corporation, the UN University, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force, and the African Wildlife Foundation proposes to employ advanced technologies to level the playing field against the poachers.
The team uses 0.5 metre high resolution satellite imagery as a foundation for its work. They then overlay the imagery with variables such as previous poaching incidents, weather data, animal movement patterns, phases of the moon, roads and other relevant data. Using mathematical modeling initially developed to track IED bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the team looks to identify patterns of poaching behaviour.
The results from the analysis will suggest where and when poaching events, in a given area, are most likely to occur.
This data will be employed to create a flight pattern for small drones equipped with FLIR real time cameras to ‘patrol’ the specific areas that are most susceptible to poaching. The rangers will be in contact with a command centre that receives the imagery from the drone. This will allow them to be precisely placed to stop the poachers.
By superimposing the data derived from the algorithms over the high resolution satellite imagery, the team can create a picture of where rangers should be deployed to intercept a potential poacher before they can reach an animal.
In this seminar, Thomas Snitch will demonstrate the use of this technology with a case study of the Ngulia Rhino Reserve at Tsavo National Park in Kenya.
|14:30 - 14:35||Opening Remarks and Introduction|
Govindan Parayil (UNU Vice-Rector and Director of UNU-IAS)
|14:35 - 15:20||Using High Resolution Satellite Imagery, Mathematical Modeling and UAVs to Combat Poaching in Kenya|
Thomas H. Snitch (College of Computing, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland)
|15:20 - 16:00||Q&A and Discussion|
Video and Audio Podcasts
Dr. Thomas Snitch is Senior Advisor for Global Issues at Geoeye and Chief Scientist at Little Falls Labs. On 1 September 2012, he was named Chairman of the Board of Visitors at the College of Computing, Mathematical and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland, one of the largest schools of science in the US. He is responsible for satellite imagery sharing efforts between the US, through Geoeye, and nations in Asia and Africa. Additionally, he is a liaison to the UN and international organizations working on disaster response and mitigation, environmental monitoring, climate change, and special intelligence issues in both regions.
Registration is free and open to the public. For further information, please contact UNU-IAS at unuias[at]ias.unu.edu or 045-221-2300.