Earth Observation for Ecological Restoration

 

Project Leader: Ass. Prof. Peter Erskine, University of Queensland

Participants: University of Queensland, Frontier SI

Australian industries and land managers are required to restore and rehabilitate land that they have disturbed. However, these industries and government regulators lack Earth Observation (EO) tools to effectively characterise progressive rehabilitation of these disturbance footprints.

This project aims to engage the mining industry and land management agencies to develop a clear understanding of EO tools needed to improve government monitoring, and industry management approaches to mine rehabilitation and restoration at the property scale (including stochastic event monitoring).

We know from recent discussions with multiple mining companies (e.g. BHP, Anglo, and Rio Tinto) that there is a compelling argument to link remotely sensed observations with rehabilitation success criteria.

This project includes a needs analysis based on industry and government engagement; a literature review on EO for rehabilitation monitoring and tool development; and the development of a roadmap that highlights current capabilities and recommendations for future research.

We would greatly value your input to this work.

To participate in the industry survey of what benefits ecological restoration can gain from EO, please read below.

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Participant Information (please read and agree)

Research Title: Knowledge gaps and opportunities for earth observation tools in mine-rehabilitation at the property scale

Researcher(s): Associate Professor Peter Erskine (Centre Director, project leader), Mr Phillip McKenna (Senior Research Officer), and Dr Lorna Hernandez-Santin (Research Fellow) from the Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation part of the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland. Dr Brendon McAtee (Industry Engagement Manager) from FrontierSI.

If you decide to participate in this research, please keep in mind that your participation is voluntary. If you decide to take part and later change your mind, you are free to stop at any time, and you would not need to give any explanation for your decision to stop participating and your data will not be used in the research.

What is this research about?

This project aims to engage the mining industry and land management agencies to develop a clear understanding of Earth Observation (EO) tools needed to improve monitoring and industry management approaches to mine rehabilitation and restoration. This research is organised by the researchers listed above and is funded by the CRC-SmartSat program. Specifically, the objectives of this study are to investigate the current EO capabilities, knowledge gaps, and future EO opportunities to characterise land use change and impacts from stochastic events on rehabilitated and restored ecosystems at the property scale. To this extent, an important component of this study is to understand user needs, information that will be gathered through surveys and interviews with people associated with the mining industry (e.g. mining companies, service providers, and regulators).

What will I need to do?

If you agree to participate you will be asked to answer a 5-minute online survey. At the end you may elect to have an additional face to face online interview, which will be conducted by FrontierSI.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

The tasks you will participate with will help to determine what industry and regulators need or want to monitor rehabilitation using earth observation tools. Thus, the benefits of participating in this research is that you will get your say in the way mine rehabilitation is monitored and the tools to conduct its data analysis in the future. This means that this research group has the potential to address and solve current issues you are facing when monitoring mine rehabilitation areas.

What are the possible risks and disadvantages of taking part?

The main risk of participating is that your issues or opinions raised during through your participation may not be addressed by this research.

What will happen to the information about me?

All information collected about you will remain confidential. Given the small number of participants/rare identifying factors of your data, it might not be possible to guarantee complete anonymity.

Raw data collected for this research will be stored in The University of Queensland’s Research Data Manager System and OneDrive, where only the researchers mentioned above will have access to the data. Summary databases may also be shared using email and Research Data Management system hosted internally at UQ. In addition, the research derived from this study may be used in future research that is an extension of, or related to, this project.

It is anticipated that the results of this research project will be published and/or presented in a variety of forms. In any publication and/or presentation, information will be provided in such a way that you cannot be identified, except with your expressed permission.

If you wish to receive results about this research, please advise us. This will allow us to inform via e-mail you when the research is published or presented.

Who can I contact if I have any concerns about the project?

This study adheres to the Guidelines of the ethical review process of The University of Queensland and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. Whilst you are free to discuss your participation in this study with the researcher Assoc Prof Peter Erskine at p.erskine@uq.edu.au if you would like to speak to an officer of the University not involved in the study, you may contact the Ethics Coordinator on +617 3365 3924 / +617 3443 1656 or email humanethics@research.uq.edu.au

 

To agree to the above participant terms and proceed to the survey, click https://bit.ly/SERA-eco