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  • Thursday, October 1, 2020
  • 3:30 PM–4:45 PM
  • North Hall 276

Dr. Alison Johnston to discuss measuring the effects of wind farms on birds

Calvin University's Math and Statistics Department welcomes guest speaker Dr. Alison Johnston to a Teams meeting and lecture entitled "Wind Farms and Birds: Using Statistics to Reduce the Effects of Wind Farms on Birds." As our Colloquium speaker, her lecture will begin at 3:40 on October 1 and will also be viewed in North Hall 276.

Renewable energy is a growing industry and wind farms are an important component of renewable energy strategies. However, turbines pose a risk to birds and other wildlife, from disruption of habitat to physical collisions. I will describe two statistical approaches we have used to aid the design of offshore wind farms to mitigate the impact on seabirds.

 To estimate the flight heights of seabirds in relation to wind turbines, we created a model to estimate the flight-height distributions of seabirds. To understand the spatial distribution of seabirds at sea, we developed a model based on photographs of seabirds from the air. Both of these approaches used standard statistical methods in new ways, in order to make the most of challenging datasets.  The statistical models enabled improvements to turbine design and wind farm placement, which will reduce the number of birds affected, as this important renewable energy resource is developed.  

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North Hall 276

October 2020
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