Zachary is a research associate in the Center for Geospatial Studies with expertise in environmental remote sensing and geographic information systems and science. Current and past research projects include identification of wetland vegetation cover using object based classification, characterizing forest canopy using LIDAR data, developing databases for National Park Service forest inventory and monitoring program, and designing web-based mapping applications. Zachary also pilots UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and explores how this emerging technology can be leveraged to improve natural resource management. Additionally, Zachary manages the Geovisualization Laboratory and was a lead designer of our state-of-the-art lab.
Christmas tree growers are keenly interested in the potential of new technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s also known as drones) with the potential to complete tasks more efficiently and with less cost. This project will establish methods to remotely measure and inventory trees with the use of drones; will test the sensitivity of specific spectral indices to provide an indication of plant stress, pest infestation, or disease; will develop algorithms which can distinguish trees influenced by pests and pathogens from their healthy neighbors; and will assess pest presence using multispectral imagery obtained by drones. Experimental tests of an agricultural spray drone will be conducted in Christmas trees in comparison to conventional sprayers. Educational materials will be developed and used to transfer technology to Christmas tree growers. This project will rely on UAV equipment acquired through a Christmas Tree Promotion Board research grant. This project brings together foundational knowledge of Christmas tree production and unmanned aerial systems expertise from the Center for Geospatial Analytics at NC State University.
The Center for Geospatial Analytics will develop methods to identify, map and quantify (provide acreage) the areas within twelve North Carolina counties where sweet potatoes were planted during the 2015 growing season. The counties are identified as follows: Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Harnett, Johnston, Nash, Pitt, Sampson, Wayne and Wilson.