Studying Penguins via Satellite Imagery with Dr. Michelle LaRue

By September 28, 2016 Speak Up For Blue Podcast

Speak Up For Blue Podcast

Michelle studies penguins and seals in the Antarctic via Satellite Imagery, how cool is that?1?!?!

When you think of using satellite imagery for anything, one tends to think of spies using imagery to gather information on one’s enemy to get the upper hand; however, that is not the case for Dr. Michelle LaRue. In fact, Michelle des quite the opposite. She studies emperor penguins and Wedell seals in the Antarctic through the eyes of Satellite Imagery to gather information and learn how the animals’ population moves across large scales and counts the number of colonies by monitoring the patches of guano stains (yes, penguin poop!). In contrast to spies, Michelle loves to share her research.

Michelle is an active science communicator on Twitter and on Facebook where she posts contests such as “Cougar or Not?” every Friday via her Twitter feed. She also engages other social media users who tend to post “not so appropriate things” about women in science to raise more awareness that women should be treated equally in science and the workplace.

Michelle is pushing the boundaries of science by studying population dynamics of iconic species through satellite imagery. As a fellow GIS (digital mapping) and Remote Sensing ecologist, I am highly envious of her work because she gets to study the species that many people want to study from Minnesota! She still takes the odd trip to Antarctica, but for most of the year, she lives in Minnesota where she watches penguin and seals go about their activities throughout the year and answers some basic, but important questions that will help better manage each species.

Do you want to work in a career in Marine Conservation like Michelle

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