In Episode 16 of the RCN Podcast, Sarah Hoffman of Biomark discusses the use of reality capture technology in biological research and wildlife conservation.
(0:20) Sarah's background
(2:40) Why research into marine life biomechanics and swimming kinematics is important
(4:05) What is biomimetics?
(4:18) The origin of velcro
(6:00) How Sarah used 3D technology to study shark maneuvering behaviors
(7:08) How scientists are utilizing Xromm software and radio opaque beads to see how animal bones move in 3D
(8:58) How to interact with wildlife
(13:00) The technologies used on a daily basis at Biomark
(14:00) Land managers study how salmon are interacting with their environment and that informs improvement areas for different species and life stages
(16:15) Columbia Habitat Monitoring Protocol
(17:20) Using drones to collect real time high resolution habitat information and implement the metrics into modeling
(19:50) Types of sensors on the drones other than imagery to see into the water
(20:35) The benefits of including multi-spec imaging in conservation imagery work
(21:40) How drones help reduce the risk of physical danger in wildlife related work
(25:12) The biggest pain point in the development of new software in conservation?
(26:15) How Biomark is beginning to use machine learning to process imagery
(30:27) How deep into water can you capture imagery of animals?
(31:55) What is the capture timeline when flying for marine life imagery?
(32:53) How to capture a turtle for tagging
"How do we get real time habitat data information, especially in response to big events like floods or restoration events? That's where we've really shifted into using drones as a way to collect high resolution habitat data and implement those metrics that we can pull off of drones and drone products into our models."
- Sarah Hoffmann
Sarah first became involved in marine research as an undergraduate at Clemson University working on a coral transplant health study in Long Key, Florida. The warm weather and world class diving kept her in Florida for both her Master’s and Ph.D. where she attended Florida Atlantic University.
Sarah is primarily a field biologist at heart and seeks out as many opportunities to work in nature as possible. She was a main contact for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to necropsy stranded sharks throughout the state. As a regular volunteer for the National Marine Fisheries Service Apex Predator Tagging Program, she spent time on commercial fishing vessels along the eastern U.S. as well as the Grand Banks (250 miles off Nova Scotia, CA) tagging a variety of shark species. She also worked with the Florida Manta Project identifying a juvenile population of mantas on the east coast of Florida, and volunteered frequently with the FAU shark lab to acoustically tag and monitor an aggregation of blacktip sharks.