Please join us for the final Spatial Technology Lunch of the quarter on Thursday, May 14 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in Phelps Hall room 3512. This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction across the university’s spatial technology community.

UCSB alumnus Kevin Sullivan will present a talk titled, “Semi-automated Detection and Counting of Gray Whales” (see summary and brief biography of Mr. Sullivan, below).

Pizza and drinks will be provided; please RSVP to Kitty Currier by Wednesday, May 13.

Semi-automated Detection and Counting of Gray Whales

Kevin Sullivan
Toyon Research Corporation

Summary: We describe a system that we have developed which detects gray whale blows and uses these blow detections to infer how many whales are migrating along the California coast. The blows are automatically detected using video from three infrared cameras stationed at a NOAA facility at Granite Canyon, CA. The automated system detects most of the blows, but also detects some false alarms which are removed using a tool which displays video segments of putative blows to a human operator who verifies or denies the presence of the blow. All verified blows are presented to automated tracking software which infers how many whales are present based on the detections, the time of year, and whale respiration statistics. We will present a brief description of the system and provide the results of a comparison to a team of trained marine mammal observers supplied by NOAA.

Kevin Sullivan obtained an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1985 from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Since then, he has worked at Toyon Research Corporation, a small business located in Goleta, CA, primarily engaged in defense contracting. While at Toyon, Mr. Sullivan has worked on a variety of projects involving signal processing, automated tracking and data fusion, sensor resource management, and sensor platform control. Current efforts include the development of video processing algorithms and software for the detection of gray whales in infrared video and the detection and classification of reef fish in underwater videos.