Zhanchao Shao is currently doing his PhD in Marine Sciences at the University of Waikato. His study focuses on estuarine health monitoring using satellite data and machine learning to simulate the potential effects of sea level rise and climate change on New Zealand’s coastal environments. Zhanchao is going to continue his study as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Environmental Research Institute after his PhD to keep contributing to coastal process modelling and estuarine restoration.
Satellite and machine learning - monitoring our coastal environments efficiently and smartly
There are more than 300 estuaries around the coastline of Aotearoa New Zealand, which provide important habitats and shelters for coastal species. Due to the strong anthropogenic and climate change related stress, a significant number of estuaries are prone to tipping points and thus the coastal ecosystems start degrading. Thanks to high-resolution satellite data and machine learning, now we are able to establish a long-term and relatively precise monitoring system for all impacted estuaries. In this presentation, I will share how to extract the estuarine health indicators from the satellite images and use these indicators as a basis to monitor and evaluate the coastal environment states.