Harbor Seals

The goal of this research is to assess the relationship between glacial ice availability and harbor seal spatial distribution and abundance in John Hopkins Inlet using an 8-year (2007-2014) time-series of digital imagery of ice cover and harbor seals.

The specific objectives are to:

  1. Develop and apply automated processing methods to classify aerial photos and to quantify percent ice cover, brash ice, open water, iceberg size, and ice block angularity.
  2. Conduct an accuracy assessment of classified image products.
  3. Use the derived ice class co-variates and seal location information data to determine the relationship between seal density and glacial ice availability/properties.
  4. Investigate seasonal and annual trends in ice cover and characteristics from 2007-2014 period.