Scientists have been looking at all angles of the Elwha River since deconstruction began on two dams just over a year ago. They’ve been testing turbidity, tracking river otters and conducting an ongoing salmon census.

And now they’re using remote-control planes to record high-definition video and thermal images. They’re securing a small camera to a 4-foot wide drone, which can flies as high as 500 feet over the river.

Footage provided by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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