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Meet Karen

Scientist, Educator, Drone Pilot, and Business Co-Founder

 

Dr. Karen loves to prove that science is more than lab coats and test tubes. She believes that there is a science for everyone, you just need to know where to look.

Karen is a pioneer in remote sensing research and using drones to study the health of coral reefs. She collaborates with scientists around the world, having spent time at NASA, the University of California and in Belize, to better understand how to develop remote sensing platforms for drones, to solve environmental problems.

Karen has had a diverse working history since beginning in academia in the late 1990’s. Her career has included:

  • Gaining her PhD at the University of Queensland in mapping live coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Being a commissioned officer in the Australian Army as a Geomatic Engineering Officer.
  • Travelling New Zealand to map recreation opportunities within the Conservation Estate for the Department of Conservation. 
  • Working for GNS Science in NZ to help authorities better understand disaster management, by mapping earthquakes, landslides, floods, and volcanoes.

Karen is now a Senior Lecturer at James Cook University in Cairns. She still works on the Great Barrier Reef and in the other surrounding ecosystems that far North Queensland has to offer.

In 2017 Karen co-founded She Maps with her husband Paul. Karen leads the Education team, developing the programs that have been taught to over 6,500 students and teachers around the world.  

Karen is a passionate and experienced science communicator, and advocate for getting more women into the STEM workforce. She is part of the Homeward Bound global network of women in STEMM working together to lead and influence decision making as it shapes our planet. This is a group of highly accomplished female scientists from around the world, who undertake a 12 month program, culminating in a leadership trip to Antarctica. 

Karen is a SheEO activator, sponsored by Advance Queensland, creating a global community of radically generous women supporting women-led Ventures working on the World’s To Do List.  

In her down time Karen is a huge fitness fan, teaching the Les Mills group fitness programs RPM, GRIT, and Body Pump at local gyms in Cairns, and has completed the Cairns Half Ironman several times.

Karen has received awards for her academic teaching and research, as well as her advocacy work.

  • 2020 – The Surveyors’ Trust. Follow the yellow brick road to geospatial careers
  • 2020 – Australia-ASEAN Council Grant. Flying futures for youth engagement
  • 2019 to 2020 – Homeward Bound 2020
  • 2019 to 2020 – Advance Queensland SheEO Activator
  • 2019 – Pearcey Foundation Entrepreneur Award (Queensland) Finalist
  • 2019 – Adopt the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur For A Day
  • 2019 – The Surveyors’ Trust. Search for Queensland’s Coolest School
  • 2018 – Cairns Post Top 25 People to Watch
  • 2018 – Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards – Women’s Leadership
  • 2017 to 2018 – Blended Learning and Innovation – VR for storytelling
  • 2017 – JCU Excellence Awards – Research
  • 2017 – TropEco Award: For embedding sustainability in teaching and learning activities
  • 2017 – Women to Watch in the UAS Industry – Education
  • 2017 – Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science. She Flies Drone Camps: Building Northern Australia’s Drone Ecosystem
  • 2017 – QLD Department of Science, Information, Technology and Innovation. She Flies: Using Drones to build STEM Confidence in Girls
  • 2016 to 2017 – Rising Star award. Developing hyperspectral drone technology for coral reef bathymetric mapping
  • 2016 to 2017 – JCU Development Grant. Are satellites telling the truth? Perspectives from a coral reef
  • 2016 – Reperio Commercial pitch second place. Sugar Sense: Using a drone to measure crop health
  • 2014 – Australian Research Council Linkage,  Infrastructure, Equipment, and Facilities (ARC LIEF). Developing an Unmanned Aircraft System Capability for Northern Australia
  • 2014 – Innovation Award – Unmanned Airborne Systems
  • 2013 – Innovation Award – Developing online tools for remote sensing education http://remotesensinglab.com/
  • 2013 – Vice Chancellor’s Award for outstanding contribution to student learning
  • 2006 – Australian Defence Service Medal
  • 2000 – Order of Australia Medallion (Young Endeavour Sail Training Ship award for leadership)

Karen is an active researcher and regularly publishes her academic work.

  • Boyden, J, Wurm, P, Joyce K.E, and Boggs, G (2019) The spatial dynamics of invasive para grass on a monsoonal floodplain, Kakadu National Park, northern Australia
  • Younes Cárdenas N, Joyce K.E, Northfield, T.D., and Maier S.M (2019) The effects of water depth on estimating Fractional Vegetation Cover in mangrove forests. International Journal of Applied Earth Observations and Geoinformation 83
  • Joyce K, Duce S, Leahy S, Leon J and Maier S (2019) Principles and practice of acquiring drone-based image data in marine environments. Marine and Freshwater Research, 70(7): 952-963
  • Boyden J, Wurm P, Joyce K and Boggs G (2018) A spatial vulnerability assessment of monsoonal wetland habitats to para grass invasion in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 71. pp. 43-55
  • Hamylton S, Duce S, Vila-Concejo A, Roelfsema C, Phinn S, Carvalho R, Shaw E and Joyce K (2017) Estimating regional coral reef calcium carbonate production from remotely sensed seafloor maps. Remote Sensing of Environment, 201. pp. 88-98
  • Younes Cárdenas N, Joyce K and Maier S (2017) Monitoring mangrove forests: are we taking full advantage of technology? International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 63. pp. 1-14
  • Heenkenda M, Maier S and Joyce K (2016) Estimating mangrove biophysical variables using Worldview-2 satellite data: Rapid Creek, Northern Territory, Australia. Journal of Imaging, 2 (3). pp. 1-19
  • Wilson L, Fulton C, Hogg A, Joyce K, Radford B and Fraser C (2016) Climate-driven changes to ocean circulation and their inferred impacts on marine dispersal patterns. Global Ecology and Biogeography , 25 (8). pp. 923-939
  • Heenkenda, M., K. E. Joyce and S. W. Maier (2015). “Quantifying mangrove chlorophyll from high spatial resolution imagery.” ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. 108. pp.234-244
  • Heenkenda, M., K. E. Joyce and S. W. Maier (2015). “Mangrove crown delineation from high-resolution imagery.” Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing. 81(6) 21 – 29
  • Cowley, R. A., K. E. Joyce, M. Tovar-Valencia, T. Cowley, M. Hearnden, C. Pettit and R. Dyer (2014). “How hot? How often? Getting the fire frequency and timing right for optimal management of woody cover and pasture composition in northern Australian grazed tropical savannas. Kidman Springs Fire Experiment 1993-2013.” The Rangeland Journal. 36(4): 323 – 345.
  • Heenkenda, M., K. E. Joyce and S. M. Maier (2014). “Comparing digital object based approaches for mangrove tree crown delineation using WorldView‐2 satellite imagery.” South-eastern European Journal of Earth Observation and Geomatics 3(2): 169 – 172.
  • Heenkenda, M., K. E. Joyce, S. W. Maier and R. Bartolo (2014). “Mangrove Species Identification: Comparing WorldView-2 with Aerial Photographs.” Remote Sensing 6(7): 6064-6088.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. V. Samsonov, S. R. Levick, J. Engelbrecht and S. Belliss (2014). “Mapping and monitoring geological hazards using optical, LiDAR, and synthetic aperture RADAR image data.” Natural Hazards 73(2): 137 – 163.
  • Leiper, I., S. R. Phinn, C. M. Roelfsema, K. E. Joyce and A. G. Dekker (2014). “Mapping coral reef benthos, substrates, and bathymetry, using Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) data on Heron Reef.” Remote Sensing 6(7): 6423 – 6445.
  • Boyden, J., K. E. Joyce, G. S. Boggs and P. Wurm (2013). “Object-based mapping of native vegetation and para grass (Urochloa mutica) on a monsoonal wetland of Kakadu NP using a Landsat 5 TM Dry-season time series.” Journal of Spatial Sciences 5(1): 53 – 77.
  • Joyce, K. E. and S. R. Phinn (2013). “Spectral index development for mapping live coral cover.” Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 7.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. R. Phinn and C. M. Roelfsema (2013). “Coral cover index testing and application with hyperspectral airborne image data.” Remote Sensing 5: 6116 – 6137.
  • Phinn, S. R., K. E. Joyce and C. M. Roelfsema (2012). Airborne hyperspectral image data of Heron Reef, Australia.
  • Phinn, S. R., C. Roelfsema, J. Leon, R. Borrego, R. Canto, K. E. Joyce, H. A. McGowan and M. C. Mackellar (2012). Coral reef dynamics: Integrating field survey and satellite image data to monitor and model biogeophysical dynamics. AGU. San Francisco.
  • Joyce, K. E., K. C. Wright, S. V. Samsonov and V. G. Ambrosia (2010). “Incorporating remote sensing into disaster management.” Australian Journal of Emergency Management 25(4): 14-23.
  • Wright, K. C. and K. E. Joyce (2010). Remote sensing applications and the disaster management cycle. IAEG. Auckland.
  • Joyce, K. E. (2009). Ministry for the Environment LUCAS 1990-2008 change detection and quality assessment procedure, GNS Science Consultancy Report: 11.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. Belliss, S. Samsonov, S. McNeill and P. J. Glassey (2009). “A review of the status of satellite remote sensing image processing techniques for mapping natural hazards and disasters.” Progress in Physical Geography 33(2): 183 – 207.
  • Joyce, K. E. and G. D. Dellow (2009). The relationship between landslide distribution and contributing factors for estimating risk to property in New Zealand. International Symposium for Remote Sensing of Environment, Stresa, Italy.
  • Joyce, K. E., G. D. Dellow and P. J. Glassey (2009). Using remote sensing and spatial analysis to understand landslide distribution and dynamics in New Zealand. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Joyce, K. E. and G. Jolly (2009). Monitoring variations in Crater Lake temperatures as an indicator of volcanic activity in New Zealand: temporal vs. spatial resolution. International Symposium for Remote Sensing of Environment, Stresa, Italy.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. Samsonov, V. Manville, R. Jongens, A. Graettinger and S. Cronin (2009). “Remote sensing data types and techniques for lahar path detection: A case study at Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand.” Remote Sensing of Environment 113(8): 1778 – 1786.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. V. Samsonov and G. Jolly (2009). Temperature, color and deformation monitoring of volcanic regions in New Zealand. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Joyce, K. E. and S. Sutton (2009). “A method for automatic generation of the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum in New Zealand.” Applied Geography 29: 409 – 418.
  • Joyce, K. E., K. C. Wright, S. V. Samonsov and V. G. Ambrosia (2009). Remote sensing and the disaster management cycle. Advances in Geoscience and Remote Sensing. Vienna, In-Tech Publishing: 317 – 346.
  • Samsonov, S., K. E. Joyce, K. Tiampo, P. Gonzalez, C. Latimer and J. Fernandez (2009). SAR Interferometery for monitoring ground deformation in New Zealand. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Dellow, G. D., K. E. Joyce and C. I. Massey (2008). Landslides in 2007. New Zealand Geomechanics News, Newsletter of the New Zealand Geotechnical Society Inc. 75.
  • Joyce, K. E., G. D. Dellow and P. J. Glassey (2008). Assessing image processing techniques for mapping landslides. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Boston, MA.
  • Joyce, K. E., P. J. Glassey and G. D. Dellow (2008). Methods for mapping landslides in New Zealand using satellite optical remote sensing. 14th Australasian Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Conference, Darwin, Australia.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. Samonsov, P. Glassey, R. Jongens and J. Lee (2008). Remote sensing and natural hazards in New Zealand. United Nations regional UN-SPIDER workshop: Building upon regional space-based solutions for disaster management and emergency response for the Pacific region, Suva, Fiji, Presentation only.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. Samonsov and P. J. Glassey (2008). Keeping an eye on hazards. Impact – Magazine of the Ministry for Civil Defence and Emergency Management. 31: 9.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. Samonsov and G. Jolly (2008). Satellite remote sensing of volcanic activity in New Zealand. 2nd Workshop on the use of remote sensing techniques for monitoring volcanoes and seismogenic areas, Naples, Italy.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. Samsonov, R. Jongens, J. M. Lee and P. J. Glassey (2008). Using remote sensing for mapping the effects of natural hazards in New Zealand. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Boston, MA.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. Samsonov, R. Jongens, J. M. Lee and P. J. Glassey (2008). Keeping an eye on natural hazards from space. 2nd Australasian Natural Hazards Management Conference: From Warnings to Effective Response and Recovery, Wellington, New Zealand, GNS Science.
  • Roelfsema, C. M., S. R. Phinn and K. E. Joyce (2007). A manual for using GPS referenced digital photo transects to validate benthic cover maps, Centre for Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Science, University of Queensland.
  • Phinn, S. R., K. E. Joyce, P. F. Scarth and C. M. Roelfsema (2006). The role of integrated information acquisition and management in the analysis of coastal ecosystem change. Remote sensing of coastal ecosystem processes. L. L. Richardson and E. F. LeDrew, Klewer Academic.
  • Roelfsema, C. M. M., J, E. J. Hochberg, S. R. Phinn, A. Goldizen and K. E. Joyce (2006). Underwater Spectrometer System 2004 (UWSS04), Centre for Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Science, University of Queensland.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. R. Phinn and C. M. Roelfsema (2005). “The costs and benefits of image acquisition and pre-processing for coral reef remote sensing.” Backscatter.
  • Hedley, J. D., P. J. Mumby, K. E. Joyce and S. R. Phinn (2004). “Spectral unmixing of coral reef benthos under ideal conditions.” Coral Reefs 23(1): 60 -73.
  • Andréfouët, S., P. Kramer, D. Torres-Pulliza, K. E. Joyce, E. J. Hochberg, R. Garza-Perez, P. J. Mumby, B. Riegl, H. Yamano, W. H. White, M. Zubia, J. Brock, S. R. Phinn, A. Naseer, B. G. Hatcher and F. E. Muller-Karger (2003). “Multi-sites evaluation of IKONOS data for classification of tropical coral reef environments.” Remote Sensing of Environment 88: 128 – 143.
  • Ford, S., M. Langridge, C. M. Roelfsema, C. Bansemer, S. Pierce, K. Gomez, I. Fellegara, K. McMahon, M. Keller, K. E. Joyce, N. Aurish and C. Prebble (2003). Surveying habitats critical to the survival of grey nurse sharks in southeast Queensland, Unidive, University of Queensland Underwater Club.
  • Joyce, K. E. and S. R. Phinn (2003). “Hyperspectral analysis of chlorophyll content and photosynthetic capacity of coral reef substrates.” Limnology and Oceanography 48: 489 – 496.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. R. Phinn and C. M. Roelfsema (2003). “Weighing the costs and benefits of image acquisition and pre-processing for coral reef remote sensing.” Position Magazine 8: 76 – 78.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. R. Phinn, P. F. Scarth and C. M. Roelfsema (2003). A method for determining live coral cover using remote sensing. International symposium for remote sensing of the environment, Honolulu, HI.
  • Phinn, S. R., K. E. Joyce, P. F. Scarth and S. Andréfouët (2003). Mapping coral reef environments at high spatial resolution: The role of spatial statistics. International symposium for remote sensing of the environment, Honolulu, HI.
  • Roelfsema, C. M., S. R. Phinn and K. E. Joyce (2003). Remote sensing for management of coral reefs and sustainable fisheries. International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
  • Siciliano, D., K. E. Joyce, J. Maragos, S. R. Phinn and D. Potts (2003). Using QUICKBIRD satellite imagery to assess marine and terrestrial resources of Ailinginae Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, a proposed World Heritage Site. International symposium for remote sensing of the environment, Honolulu, HI.
  • Joyce, K. E. and S. R. Phinn (2002). Selecting Hyperspectral and Multispectral Image Processing Routines for Coral Reef Substrate Discrimination. ASLO/AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Joyce, K. E. and S. R. Phinn (2002). “Bi-directional reflectance of corals.” International Journal of Remote Sensing 23(2): 389 – 394.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. R. Phinn, C. Roelfsema, D. T. Neil and W. C. Dennison (2002). “Mapping the GBR Using Landsat ETM and Reef Check.” The Transect Line 1(2).
  • Joyce, K. E., S. R. Phinn, C. Roelfsema, D. T. Neil and W. C. Dennison (2002). Mapping the southern Great Barrier Reef using Landsat ETM and the Reef Check classification scheme. 11th Australasian Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Conference, Brisbane, Causal Publications, CDRom.
  • Joyce, K. E., M. Stanford and S. R. Phinn (2002). “A Survey of the Coral Reef Community: Assessing its Remote Sensing Needs.” Backscatter 13(1): 20 – 24.
  • Jupiter, S. D., K. E. Joyce, D. Potts, K. Wasson and D. Siciliano (2002). Habitat variation and health assessment of a dominant saltmarsh plant, Salicornia virginica, using hyperspectral tools. International Conference on Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments, Miami, Florida.
  • Phinn, S., K. E. Joyce, J. Nightingale and M. Stanford (2002). Coastal Monitoring and Management Needs – Remotely Sensed Data and Solutions? Remote Sensing of Coastal Waters Workshop – Italian-Australian Exhibition and Conference Innovation Technologies, Rialto Hotel, Melbourne.
  • Phinn, S., C. Roelfsema and K. E. Joyce (2002). Visible sensors: What’s Up There and What Can We Measure in Relation to Coral Bleaching? NOAA-AIMS-GBRMPA-Satellite Oceanography and Coral Bleaching Workshop, Magnetic Island.
  • Roelfsema, C. M., K. E. Joyce, K. Cochrane, J. A. Goodman, E. J. Hochberg, D. Ierodiaconou, J. Marshall and D. Palandro (2002). Collaborative Coral Reef Remote Sensing Workshop Summary Report: Heron Island, 2002. 11th Australasian Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Conference, Brisbane, Causal Publications CDRom.
  • Joyce, K. E. and S. R. Phinn (2001). Optimal Spatial Resolution for Coral Reef Mapping. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Sydney.
  • Joyce, K. E., M. Stanford and S. R. Phinn (2001). Remote Sensing Survey – What is Required? Reef Encounter. 30: 15.
  • Joyce, K. E. (2000). Hyperspectral techniques for analysis of coral reef processes and dynamics Honours Thesis, University of Queensland.
  • Phinn, S. R., D. T. Neil, K. E. Joyce and W. Ahmad (2000). Coral Reefs: A Multi-Scale Approach to Monitoring Their Composition and Dynamics. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Hawaii.
  • Phinn, S. R., D. T. Neil, K. E. Joyce, C. M. Roelfsema and W. Ahmad (2000). Coral reefs: A multi-scale approach to monitoring their composition and dynamics. Ninth International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali, Indonesia.
  • Phinn, S. R., C. M. Roelfsema and K. E. Joyce (2000). Visible sensors: What’s up there and what can we measure in relation to coral bleaching? NOAA-AIMS-GBRMPA-Satellite Oceanography and Coral Bleaching Workshop, Magnetic Island.
  • Joyce, K. E. and S. R. Phinn (2000). Coral Reefs: Hyperspectral and Multiple View Angle Approaches for Assessment of Coral Structure and Dynamics. 10th Australasian Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Conference, Adelaide.
  • Roelfsema, C. M., S. R. Phinn and K. E. Joyce (2004). Evaluating benthic survey techniques for validating maps of coral reefs derived from remotely sensed images. 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, Okinawa, Japan.
  • Roelfsema, C. M., K. E. Joyce and S. R. Phinn (2004). Evaluation of benthic survey techniques for validating remotely sensed images of coral reefs. International Coral Reef Symposium, Okinawa, Japan.
  • Joyce, K. E., S. R. Phinn, C. M. Roelfsema, D. T. Neil and W. C. Dennison (2004). “Combining Landsat ETM+ and Reef Check classifications for mapping coral reefs: a critical assessment from the southern Great Barrier Reef.” Coral Reefs 23(1): 21 – 25.
  • Joyce, K. E. (2004). A method for mapping live coral cover using remote sensing. Ph.D, University of Queensland.
  • Joyce, K. E., B. Boitshwarelo, S. R. Phinn, G. J. E. Hill and G. D. Kelly (2014). “Interactive online tools for enhancing student learning experiences in remote sensing.” Journal of Geography in Higher Education 38(3): 431-439.

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