Utilizing sUAS (drones) to enhance geology field camp

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm Student Union: Ballroom B
Poster Session Part of Wednesday Session


Gregory Baker, Colorado Mesa University
The use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS)—known to the general population as "drones"—in Earth Science is an obvious extension of remote sensing and geophysics. Geology field courses, or field camp, are typical capstone courses for undergraduate geology degrees (or often required "deficiencies" for graduate students) and thus should be constantly evaluated and improved upon where opportunities exist. Many successful examples exist of incorporating state-of-the-art remote sensing and geophysical techniques & data into geology field camps to provide valuable workforce skills as well as to enhance general understanding of complexities of geology in two- and three-dimensional space. Therefore, with the increasing advances in sUAS tools (both hardware & software) over the past several years, an obvious path is to evaluate potential improvements in field camp learning outcomes by incorporating sUAS techniques & data into field camp curricula. Examples of various sUAS field camp applications will be given with associated changes in learning outcomes.