Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, also known as "drones", are increasingly used in many types of environmental analysis, from monitoring forests and wetlands, to evaluating changes in rivers and shorelines, to 3D modeling of urban settings, and much more. This class is an introduction to the methods for capturing and integrating drone imagery into the geographic information system (GIS) workflow for map creation and geospatial analysis.
Students will learn photographic principles while using Evergreen's drone instruments. Drone flights will be conducted by Evergreen's FAA certified drone pilot, with student participation. Students will learn how to edit the resulting aerial photographs using Evergreen's scientific computing facilities. Students will learn mission planning best-practices and be introduced to the safety and practice regulations required by the FAA Part 107 drone pilot rulebook.
All students will be granted a software license to Esri ArcGIS and Esri Drone to Map software (at no cost) for conducting the image processing workflows that generate aerial maps from drone image collections of hundreds of aerial photos. The resulting orthoimages and elevation models can then be integrated into ArcGIS Pro and other GIS platforms for map-making and creation of story maps. Each week students will create maps and 3D models of the landscape in a fully hands-on learning experience. No previous GIS knowledge is required to take this course.
Covid note: In the event that in-class learning is constrained by the ongoing pandemic, this course will conduct the outdoor socially distanced drone flight activities during the Saturday classes, supported by online class meetings over Zoom, for the lecture and data-processing modules.
Course Reference Numbers
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Environmental Modeling, Habitat Restoration, Forestry, Hydrography, Land Management