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SeaBee at GeoHab Conference

SeaBee experts attend this year’s international GeoHab conference (Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping) at Réunion Island.

They gave two talks and contributed to a poster.

How we use drones to map under-studied regions

Kasper Hancke (NIVA, SeaBee’s coordinator) presented the SeaBee research infrastructure and how SeaBee uses flying and surface drones to map shallow water habitats in the coastal zone. Kasper focused on the narrow stretch of coastline that hosts vegetated habitats. It stretches from the upper intertidal line to the bottom of the euphotic zone (10-30 m water depth). This is a zone that is under-studied in most mapping and monitoring programs due to the shortcomings of traditional data collection techniques, however drone-based assessments are ideal here.

Kasper Hancke in action, presenting SeaBee at GeoHab conference, 8th – 12th May 2023
A selection of current and future applications of SeaBee research infrastructure, presented by Kasper Hancke at GeoHab conference 8th - 12th May 2023.


It was a great pleasure for us to share and discuss our current work on developing drones, sensors, AI/ML analysis tools, and data visualization solutions – Kasper Hancke, SeaBee Coordinator 


How SeaBee supports research and innovation

Hege Gundersen (NIVA, SeaBee’s co-lead and project lead for KELPMAP) presented the first results from the KELPMAP innovation project. KELPMAP develops novel tools for kelp forests mapping using drone products and machine learning-based image classification. KELPMAP is funded by the Norwegian Environment Agency. It collaborates with SeaBee on kelp forest habitat mapping, and aims to improve marine management actions.

Kasper Hancke presented a poster on behalf of the MASSIMAL project team (led by Martin Skjelvareid, funded by the Norwegian Research Council). The poster showed results from using hyperspectral imaging for benthic habitat mapping. 


Mapping seagrass and rockweed habitats using UAV hyperspectral imaging and machine learning

View over Vega archipelago (above) and different steps of the mapping process (below) used in the KELPMAP innovation project. The protocol used by KELPMAP (and above illustration) is developed in collaboration with the SeaBee and OBAMA-NEXT projects. Pictures from presentation by H. Gundersen at GeoHab conference, 9th May 2023.


GeoHab represents an international group of people dedicated to marine habitat mapping. GeoHab gathers ~150 experts, students, stakeholders, and industry partners from around the world for an annual conference. The GeoHab conference was held from 8th – 12th May 2023 on Rèunion Island. The conference proceedings can be found here, open access.