IDENTIFYING HURRICANE IMPACTS ON BARBUDA USING CITIZEN SCIENCE GROUND OBSERVATIONS, DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY AND SATELLITE IMAGERY
Keywords: Barbuda, land cover, citizen science, hurricanes
Abstract. Barbuda is a low-lying leeward island in the West Indies. In September 2017 Hurricane Irma battered the island with 185 mph winds. Damage to housing and infrastructure was so extensive that all 1800 residents of the island were immediately evacuated post hurricane to the neighboring island of Antigua. Our research is focused on documenting and analyzing the landscape scale changes that took place on the island as a result of the hurricane using a nested methodology. Ground level observations were recorded using a beta version of the Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Observer Land Cover tool. Aerial photographs provide medium scale landscape resolution. Satellite images were processed to provide NDVI values. We describe how nested data at several spatial scales enable detailed description of Hurricane Irma’s impact across the landscape of this 62 sq. mile island. Here we are connecting observations at different spatial scales, using citizen science observations, aerial drone photography and satellite imagery to document and analyze hurricane impacts on the island of Barbuda, eastern Caribbean.