Part one: To effectively care for ecosystems, we must involve all stakeholders. But when a piece of land is owned by an inherently complex institution, stakeholders are often unable to directly reach a land manager, and options for collaborative management can be limited. St. Pierre Wetland is a 130-acre research and education property in the Pinckney chain of lakes, owned by the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability. It is closed to the public and bordered by two HOAs, a public access trail, and Bass Lake. The wetland contains high-quality prairie fen, but also spreading invasives, especially glossy buckthorn, Frangula alnus. In this case study, we share our efforts to create opportunities for lasting and meaningful wetland stewardship that can involve both the University and the property’s neighbors. We will explore how lessons learned from this process can serve as a general model for multi-party collaborative land management, especially with academic institutions.
Part 2: Remote sensing data, captured by satellite and airborne monitoring sensors, is a powerful source of existing information that can be used to raise site awareness and inform conservation and restoration. We demonstrate how spatial analysis and modeling tools facilitate ecological research and wetland restoration of St Pierre Wetland in Livingston County. We determine species composition by performing a supervised classification, using field data and spectral signatures captured through Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). We further delineate the property by conducting photo interpretation through the analysis of site-relevant leaf-off color infrared (CIR) imagery, LiDAR-derived Digital Elevation Model (DEM) indexes, and National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery. We will address the accuracy of remote sensing in identifying invasive species and how the resulting information can be used to guide decision-making and invasive species mitigation practices.