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International Lecture

The 6th ISDE International Lectures

  • Automation and Scaling from Satellite and Drone Collections_David Hughes preview
  • Coral Reef Mapping and Monitoring Using Drones_Steve Schill preview
  • Drone LiDAR for Coastal Topography and 3D Marsh Mapping Pros and Cons_Cuizhen (Susan) Wang preview

The 6th ISDE International Lectures, with the theme of "Digital Coast for Climate Resilience with Drones", was given on September 26, 2023, 8:30 - 10:00 am (EST). At this event, three speakers were invited to demonstrate the automation and scaling from satellite and drone collections, and the application of drones to the coral reef mapping and monitoring. The advantages and disadvantages of the drone lidar in coastal topography and 3D marsh mapping were also analyzed.


Invited Speakers:

David Hughes (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA)

Steve Schill (The Nature Conservancy, USA)

Cuizhen (Susan) Wang (University of South Carolina, USA)



Cuizhen (Susan) Wang (University of South Carolina, USA)




Welcome and Introduction


Topic: Automation and Scaling from Satellite and Drone Collections

Speaker: David Hughes (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA)


Topic: Coral Reef Mapping and Monitoring Using Drones

Speaker: Steve Schill (The Nature Conservancy, USA)


Topic: Drone LiDAR for Coastal Topography and 3D Marsh Mapping: Pros and Cons

Speaker: Cuizhen (Susan) Wang (University of South Carolina, USA)


Group Photo



Short Bio of Invited Speakers:


David Hughes

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA

Dr. David Hughes is a senior remote sensing scientist with Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Before coming to ORNL, David worked over the past 25 years for various governmental and corporate entities such as the Naval Oceanographic Office, Naval Research Laboratory (Stennis Space Center, MS and Washington, DC), and in the Washington, D.C. area as a remote sensing subject matter expert. He earned a MS in Physics from Emory University in 1996 and a PhD in Scientific Computing from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2002. David has specialization in extraction and scaling of nearshore optical properties such as bathymetry; edge computing of infrastructure damage assessment; and image quality masking and mitigation of clouds, haze, shadows from satellite imagery. David currently serves as President for the Mid-South region of the American Society of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing (ASPRS).



Steve Schill

The Nature Conservancy, USA

Dr. Steve Schill is the Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy's Caribbean Division. As a marine conservation specialist, he has been promoting the use of technology to protect and manage marine resources for over twenty years. His expertise includes remote sensing of marine habitats, systematic design of marine spatial plans, and the development of GIS-based decision-support tools. His team works with governments and partners to map marine habitats and model ecosystem services, strategically expand marine protected areas, and develop new monitoring techniques. Recently, he has been involved in developing multi-scale approaches for monitoring coral reefs and mangroves using satellite imagery as well as aerial and surface drone platforms. Prior to working with TNC, he was a Project Manager for the NASA Affiliated Research Center at the University of South Carolina, developing innovative uses of remote sensing technology for commercial interests. Steve received his doctorate in Geography from the University of South Carolina and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography at Brigham Young University and Adjunct Faculty at the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science at Arizona State University.



Cuizhen (Susan) Wang

University of South Carolina, USA

Dr. Cuizhen (Susan) Wang is a full professor of Geography at University of South Carolina, USA, with expertise in bio-environmental remote sensing and Digital Earth. She received her Ph.D in Geography in 2004 from Michigan State University, USA, and Ph.D in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing in 1999 from Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Dr. Wang’s research and education are embraced in Big Earth Data that harmonizes all remotely sensed data of Earth observations to promote environmental health and sustainability. Dr. Wang is a Council Member of the International Society of Digital Earth (ISDE), a U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Subject Matter Expert in Remote Sensing and Image Analysis, and on the inaugural BOD of the South Carolina Interagency Drone Users Consortium (SCiDUC). Her recent research about coastal drone applications can be found at the Center for GIScience and Geospatial Big Data (CeGIS) at USC (http://gis.cas.sc.edu/cegis/).




Cuizhen (Susan) Wang

University of South Carolina, USA


Extended Material:

Center for GIScience and Geospatial Big Data (CeGIS):