Research

Remotely based determination of key drivers influencing movements and habitat selection of highly mobile fauna throughout the ABoVE study domain

For our caribou-focused component of the Animals on the Move project, we collaborate with over a dozen federal, state, and provincial management agencies across the study domain.  Together, we have assembled > 5,000,000 Global Positioning System (GPS) locations from ~ 3,000 individual caribou across almost 40 individual caribou populations spanning all of northwestern North America.  In collaboration with MOVEBANK, we have assembled one of the largest GPS collar databases for caribou to date. We are using MOVEBANK and the NASA ABoVE Science Cloud to annotate these caribou locations with dozens of available and new environmental remote sensing variables such as snow disappearance date, topographic variables, MODIS vegetation indices, weather, and even wind, to better understand caribou movements and habitat responses to climate and land use change.  We have three focused research areas on caribou: 1) boreal and mountain caribou, 2) barrenground/Alaskan caribou, and 3) a project on the Fortymile caribou herd in Alaska and the Yukon.