Estuary News

September 2020

Science-in-Short ~ Aquatic Weeds Podcast

Conversations with scientists actively doing research in the San Francisco Estuary. 

Wall-to-Wall Sampling of the Delta’s Aquatic Weeds Via Remote Sensing, an interview with Shruti Khanna. 

In this episode of the podcast, Estuary News reporter Daniel McGlynn talks to Dr. Shruti Khanna, a senior environmental scientist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Their conversation focuses on Khanna’s use of remote sensing technology to study the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Specifically, Khanna analyzes and processes remote sensing data, or high- resolution images collected by sensors mounted on aircraft, to study invasive plant species growing in Delta waterways. Researchers also use remote sensing to study the Delta’s water quality, fish populations, and overall change. While remote sensing will never replace on-the-ground research, the massive data set produced by collecting large-scale images over a number of years is helping scientists and managers model what the Delta’s future might look like.

About Shruti Khanna

Shruti Khanna has been tracking invasive plant species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta since 2004, when she was conducting research for her doctoral thesis at UC Davis. Since then, Dr. Khanna has used remote sensing technology to track the distribution of the Delta’s invasive plant species, better understand their ecology, and study the effectiveness of herbicide treatment. Currently a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Dr. Khanna is collaborating with researchers at the UC Merced Remote Sensing and Earth Observation Lab and with US Geological Survey scientists to explore the eco-engineering characteristics of water primrose, a floating invasive plant in the Delta. She also continues to collaborate with the UC Davis Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing (CSTARS) to monitor invasive species in the Delta using remote sensing imagery.

SCIENCE-IN-SHORT PODCAST WITH DAVID AYERS – How Fish Interact with Wetland Topography

SCIENCE IN SHORT is co-produced by Estuary News and Maven’s Notebook, with support from the Delta Stewardship Council. Music courtesy Joel Kreisberg & Art Swisklocki. We are experimenting podcasting. Bear with us while we learn!

Co-published here on Maven’s Notebook.

In an effort to make science more conversational, these podcasts include thoughts and opinions on the part of scientists that are occasionally personal or informal. As such, these podcasts do not reflect the opinions or goals of their employers, institutions, or funders. 

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About the author

Daniel McGlynn worked as an itinerant naturalist, trip leader, and wilderness guide before serving as an environmental educator with the Peace Corps in rural Nicaragua. Realizing that storytelling is a great educational tool, and productive way to inspire understanding and change, he then turned his attention to science and environmental writing. He is an alum of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and his work has appeared in a handful of national publications. He frequently writes about infrastructure projects and restoration work for Estuary News. Connect with him at

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