Drones, kites and blue carbon at Heron Island

Our recent trip to Heron Island was a great success, despite a minor drone crash and some trying winds…the team was great and we had lots of fun in the process! One of the products arising from this work will be an open-source, best practices-type manual to serve as a toolkit to help other researchers, conservation practitioners and resource managers use drones to survey reefs and other marine environments. We also collected lots of samples to see how predators may indirectly affect blue carbon storage as part of the Global Change Institute grant. Stay tuned! (All photos are by Brian Sullivan unless otherwise noted.)

Team Halo 2014: Emily Darling, Edd Hamill, Trisha Atwood, Quinn Olivier, Elizabeth Madin. Also part of the team but not shown: Brian Sullivan (the man behind the camera), Alastair Harbourne, Andy Goodwin.

Team Halo: Emily Darling, Edd Hamill, Trisha Atwood, Quinn Olivier, Elizabeth Madin. Also part of the team but not shown: Brian Sullivan (the man behind the camera), Alastair Harbourne, Andy Goodwin.

Heron lagoon as seen from RV Boult. Photo: Elizabeth Madin

Edd Hammill working hard...

Edd Hammill and Trisha Atwood working hard…

One of the drones we used to get aerial imagery of the lagoon reefs. Elizabeth Madin and Andy Goodwin. Photo by Brian Sullivan.

One of the drones that Andy built to get aerial imagery of the lagoon reefs. Elizabeth Madin and Andy Goodwin.

Brian Sullivan recovers the drone after a flight… Photo: a selfie, perhaps?

The eagle ray kite we used to fly the camera post-drone crash. Photo: Emily Darling

The eagle ray kite we used to fly the camera post-drone crash. Photo: Emily Darling

Elizabeth learning how to take Underwater Street View imagery.

Elizabeth learning how to take Underwater Street View imagery.