Mary-Butler Fleming

M.S. Candidate, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Conference Travel Grant Type 1

“Salt marshes are economically valuable ecosystems that provide habitat for
important fishery species, and protection of coastal communities from flooding, storms,
and erosion. The objective of my project is to quantify the spatiotemporal storage of
carbon in the salt marshes of Georgia. This project will provide valuable data not only
for my research but also for the Blue Carbon Initiative and other organizations working
towards the same goal. I am working in collaboration with a team of researchers at the University of Georgia who are developing low-cost remote sensing technology to sense soil organic carbon at depth. My contribution to this effort primarily is direct
measurements of carbon and assisting with sensor calibrations in the field. The other
investigators will use the data I gather to develop models based on remote sensing and machine learning. This collaboration connects well-practiced field methods with remote sensing applications to determine soil organic carbon stocks, improving cost effectiveness of assessing blue carbon sinks. Attending the annual SWS conference this summer provides me an opportunity to enhance my academic experience and professional development by engaging and networking with other professionals in my