Steller Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus)
Prince William Sound, Alaska
Canon 100-400mm lens @ 400mm
1/400 sec @ f5.6
© Teklanika Photography 2013
courtesy of Anchorage Daily News
by Dan Joling
Greg Walker is looking to fly in places where blue sky and runways are in short supply.
Walker is manager of the unmanned aircraft program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He’s at the beginning of a project to evaluate how unmanned aircraft can be used to monitor endangered Steller sea lions as they haul out on remote rocky outcroppings of the Aleutian Islands hundreds of miles between airports.
The project is a technology development experiment, evaluating manufacturers’ claims versus researchers’ needs, Walker said from his office at Poker Flat Research Range northeast of Fairbanks.