Astrid Chacon

Astrid Chacon
B.S, Electrical Engineering, Undergraduate, 08/09/2019

Cohort Level: Cohort - II

Career Goal: My career goal is to attend to graduate school and continue to expand my knowledge in various research programs.

Expected Graduation Date: August 2, 2019

Degree: B.S Electrical Engineering

Research Title: Analysis of Close-Range Hyperspectral Images of Vegetation Communities in a High Arctic Tundra Ecosystem

Research Synopsis: Close-range hyperspectral imaging is a valuable but often underutilized tool for rapid, non-destructive and automated assessment of vegetation functional dynamics in terms of both structure and physiology. During the 2017 summer growing season, several hyperspectral images were collected at close proximity over a variety of vegetation plots (approximately 1m^2) consisting of a heterogeneous architecture of vascular and non-vascular plant species and spanning variable soil moisture gradients. These long-term ecological monitoring vegetation plots are associated with the International Tundra Experiment-Arctic Observing Network (ITEX-AON) in Utqiaġvik, Alaska (formerly known as Barrow). Over the past two decades, ITEX has aimed to understand how Arctic tundra is responding to warming both across plant communities and through time. Hyperspectral images were collected in the visible to near-infrared range using a SOC710 VP (400-1000nm) hyperspectral imaging spectrometer developed by Surface Optics Corporation (SOC). Here we present initial results of analysis of these images using Spectral Unmixing processing techniques, which offer the potential to characterize and highlight presence, structure, and vigor of these highly complex heterogeneous tundra plant communities.