Conference 2017 – Expedition Cruising

AH18 October 16, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Creating Ambassadors: Expedition Cruising Helps Secure the Future of Sable Island” Allow us to introduce Cedar Swan, an adventurer and passionate outdoor enthusiast. The CEO of Adventure Canada—as well as an expedition planner…

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Conference 2017 – Seeking Sable’s Lost Wrecks:

AH18 October 15, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Seeking Sable’s Lost Wrecks: Following a Digital Paper Trail” With some 350 ships thought to have wrecked on Sable Island, it’s sometimes called “The Graveyard of the Atlantic”. At our conference, Bill…

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Conference 2017 – Marine Debris and Micro Plastics

AH18 October 14, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Atlantic Canada Microplastics Research Project” Marine debris and micro plastics. Unpleasant for sure, but what does the research tell us? Ariel Smith, MEnv, is the Marine Debris Project Coordinator at Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation…

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Conference 2017 – Sable Island Horse Research

AH18 October 13, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Population Ecology of the Sable Island Horses”  Sable Island’s most famous inhabitants are its horses. And here’s the man who may understand them the best.Philip D. McLoughlin is an Associate Professor…

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Thank You Bill Freedman

October 28, 2015

It was sad to hear of the passing of Bill Freedman in late September 2015.…

AGM 2015 Recap

June 25, 2015

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2015 Annual General Meeting on June 24th at the…

Conference Thanks

June 2, 2015

One month ago today we opened the first Sable Island Conference. It was exciting to…

B-5: “Mapping the Landscape of Sable Island” – David Colville, Brittany Reeves, Bill Livingstone, Heather Stewart


In September 2014 the Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) completed a third aerial mapping campaign of Sable Island.  The AGRG first mapped the island in early October 2002 with an aerial photography survey.  Then in August 2009 AGRG conducted an aerial photography and Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) survey.  Five years later, in September 2014, these same technologies were deployed again.

Each of these surveys led to a photo-mosaic of the island and a mapping of the land cover.  The 2009 and 2014 surveys also produced Digital Surface Models (DSMs) derived from the LiDAR data.  Ground-truthing efforts associated with each survey provided data to assist with the interpretation of the aerial imagery.  In 2014 the fieldwork efforts resulted in more than 100 ground-truth plots being sampled across the entire island.

This mapping of Sable Island’s landscape has resulted in the quantification of the various land cover classes (i.e., vegetative communities, ponds, sand) and comparisons of how and where these have changed over the years.  The LiDAR-derived data has resulted in a mapping of the topography of the island and an excellent opportunity to quantify the landscape changes that have occurred on the island over the last five years.

AGRG is working with Parks Canada to better understand how the topography (i.e., shape, size, and heights of dunes) and land cover (i.e., vegetation communities) are changing.  This understanding will help Parks Canada fulfill their ecological monitoring requirements and guide them as they prepare a management plan for one of Canada’s newest national parks.