Riparian buffers play a significant role in filtering contamination and maintaining water quality. Under stress from climate change, agricultural practices and urbanization, the extent of buffers in many areas are decreasing and under pressure from economic developments. In order to protect existing buffers, we need to know the current conditions of various environmental attributes within the riparian corridors. Traditional field-based approaches to assess buffers ecological attributes cost a significant amount of money and resource.

With recent innovations in GIS and other related fields, new technologies can now be utilized in buffer assessment. These include but not limited to cloud computing, BigData, spatial statistics, and machine learning. Incorporation of these new technologies will rapidly transform our past approaches to riparian buffer assessment.

This presentation will showcase several very recent applications of how new technologies are utilized in buffer ecological assessments, as well as the benefits and implications of these new techniques.


Ge Pu, also known as Jeff Pu, is a Ph.D. candidate in water resource engineering at SUNY-ESF. His focus is looking into approaches to better monitor riparian vegetation characteristics through geospatial and remote sensing means. Jeff received his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Engineering at Drexel University, where he participated in extensive water resource research projects in both New York City and Venice, Italy.