For 10 days in September, Brittany Reeves crisscrossed the 50 kilometre span of Sable Island gathering samples and photographs from 100 different sites. “This island is most definitely a treasured part of Nova Scotia’s history and it was great to see how many people are devoted to its well-being.”
The Advanced Geomatics program graduate was part of a team from the Nova Scotia Community College’s Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) that visited the island. An aerial survey of the island using a new topo-bathymetric lidar and camera sensor, funded in part by the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust, will provide Parks Canada with a detailed map of one of Canada’s newest national parks. That, in turn, will be used to develop a management plan for the island.
This is the third time that AGRG has conducted a survey of the island, and the data sets they have gathered reveal a landscape in constant flux, according to NSCC research scientist David Colville.
“You can see how coastlines have increased or decreased in size and shape, and how changes in the shapes of the dunes affect vegetation. Parks Canada is interested in these changes because they pose challenges to managing this park, and we were able to bring that expertise to the table.”
Colville and Reeves will be analyzing the data and providing their findings to Parks Canada in 2015.
“I feel very privileged to be able to go out there, gather this data and understand the conditions so we can help preserve Sable Island for generations to come,” says Colville.