Maria Uriarte, a professor in the department of ecology, evolution and environmental biology at Columbia University, is trying to understand how Hurricane Maria in 2017 altered plant life in Puerto Rico.

But trying to identify which species of tree survived and which was destroyed over acres of rainforests by looking at aerial photographs is a near-impossible task for the human eye.

"The challenge with ecology as a field and climate change as an area is that the world is highly variable," Uriarte said. "You can learn something about what happens in one place, but then the question is: How applicable

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