This week brought us to Zürich, the magnificent city of bank buildings and rösti. We were heading for a highly interesting meeting, organised by the GMBA, the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment. They gathered a team of leading scientists from two different disciplines: ecology and remote sensing.
Ecologists, like I am one, are interested in the distribution of species. To understand these distributions, we need detailed information of the environment in which the species are living. The remote sensing community on the other hand uses drones, airplanes or even satellites to monitor the environment with extremely high detail.
Aha, you might say, sounds like you two are made for eachother! Yes, indeed. Yet as often, one community does not really know what the other has to offer, while the other is not entirely sure what the one community needs. This meeting tried to bridge that gap, on the one hand show ecologists which remote sensing techniques are ready to use, and what to expect in the near future, and on the other hand let us ecologists make up our mind on what we would like to get next from remote sensing.
And all that was a tremenduous success in my opinion. What a promising field is this remote sensing! You will definitely hear more on this later!