Recent Wetland Restoration Class Field Trips

professor with students looking at maps near a pond.

This past Friday, Nov. 1., the Wetland Restoration class collected data in and around the pond and wetlands adjacent to the Lab of Ornithology. Professor of Practice Mike Rolband said, “What we’re doing today is surveying the outlet and water level control structure of this wetland and pond system, as well as conducting a topographic and bathymetric survey. The outlet system is failing structurally and having a lot of problems with beavers. So the class is going to redesign it and propose replacing what’s failing with a system designed to also reduce the maintenance issues caused by the beaver.”

man with small drone boat near a pondThey used an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV – or “drone boat”), a Seafloor HyDrone, equipped with a Hydrolite echosounder to collect the depth of the water throughout the pond.

student and prof wading in pond in rafts

For a second check - some students waded in the pond with conventional survey rods equipped with flat plates meeting US Army Corps standards to collect bathymetric data to verify the sounding data.



On Saturday, the class traveled out to a wetland site near Locke, NY to confirm the wetlands mapping data they have previously obtained, install ground water wells in an upland and a wetlands for monitoring purposes, and to conduct a topographic survey with a robotic total station, survey grade GPS, and a helicopter drone where vegetation permitted ground photographic coverage.

Grad student Eirini Sarri said, "This class is the missing link between the academic knowledge that Cornell offers and the application of this knowledge in the industry. We are all extremely grateful to be able to "get our hands dirty" while still in a college environment and we can't appreciate this opportunity enough. Universities everywhere should have more classes like this and more people like Mike."


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