1,100 Words

Spying on Sea Turtles

For David Johnston, drones are the perfect surveillance tool to spy on marine wildlife. Johnston and his team of ecologists, stationed at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC, use unmanned aerial systems rigged with cameras and infrared sensors to map coastal habitats, like oyster reefs and seagrass, and to track ocean species like seals, sea turtles and sharks. Here we look on as Altavian employee Matt Nations helps the team test a Nova drone, whose long flight times and ability to land on ground or water will open new windows into the lives and times of sea creatures.