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Irish Christmas in America Returns December 10, 2023!

Arizona Edition: Conservation management gets help from above

Imagine your job is researching seeds, but you can only pick them up one at a time to collect your data sample.

But once a year a giant vacuum comes around to collect and count them for you.

That’s probably a bad analogy to explain the boon LIDAR and high-resolution photos collected from the air will give Bureau of Reclamation researchers managing dozens of species in 18 conservation areas between Hoover Dam and the U.S. Mexico border.

Terry Murphy is Manger of the Bureau’s Multi-Species Conservation Program. Murphy spoke to Arizona Edition along with group manager, Jimmy Knowles.

The Bureau’s Lower Colorado Multi-Species Conservation program manages habitat for 27 species along the Colorado River. And while working on the ground in those areas is important, Murphy says you have to measure a lot of individual trees to get the widest data set possible.

This month an annual project will use a sensing unit and camera mounted on an airplane to get up close to a lot more trees, and give researchers a bigger, and more detailed, picture of the health of particular region.

Lou grew up in Tucson and has a long family history in the state of Arizona. He began his public radio career in 1988 at KNAU in Flagstaff as a classical music DJ and has been hooked on public radio since, transitioning to news after trying his hand at several other careers in publishing and commercial broadcasting. Lou has a degree in American Studies from Arizona State University and was KAWC's Morning Edition host for two and half years before becoming News and Operations Director.
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