Use of Satellite and Airborne Remote Sensing to Map Coral Reefs for Coastal Management and Conservation Applications

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

First Advisor

Samuel Purkis


Due to the integrated global significance of coral reef ecosystems, management applications to promote health and to develop more effective underwater mapping techniques are being explored using integrated in situ and satellite and airborne remote sensing techniques to assess the coral environment. Remote sensing detects differences in benthic substrates, including corals, via spectral signatures; however decoupling the benthic signal from sources of noise remains difficult and complex due to sensor, atmosphere, and water column interference. Mapping and monitoring coral reef habitats has both conservation management and socioeconomic applications. Valuing the coral reef ecosystem directly and indirectly using remote sensing, places a normally non-traded good or service into the economy at a quantifiable scale.

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