In light of recent devastating wildfires in California, many public agencies, municipalities and landowners are actively pursuing new tools for vegetation management and fuel-load monitoring, particularly in the urban-wildland interface where the greatest threats occur. UAVs, or drones, are an emerging technology for high-resolution aerial mapping and provide a powerful new tool for monitoring local vegetation and fire risk throughout the growing season.

This workshop is cohosted by Greg Crutsinger (PhD) from Scholar Farms and Todd Dawson (PhD) from the University of California, Berkeley. The workshop will provide two days of hands-on training for vegetation mapping with UAVs, sensors, and software. The target audience is members of Cal Fire, local fire agencies, counties or municipalities, relevant NGOs (e.g. conservancies, camps, open space), or land owners seeking to learn drone technology for monitoring wildfire risk in California.

Topics covered will include:

  • Drone hardware and sensors
  • Mission planning with mobile apps
  • Best practices for data capture and mapping
  • Data processing on the desktop (Pix4D) and cloud
  • Additional complimentary data tools for visualization using drones
  • Rapid response damage assessment with UAVs post-wildfire

Housing and meals will be included in this workshop at the Blue Oak Ranch (University of California Research Station), an ecological reserve and biological field station in Santa Clara County, California. It is located on 3,260 acres in the Diablo Range, northwest of Mount Hamilton.

No drone experience required prior to the workshop.

Further details and questions can be directed to Greg Crutsinger ([email protected]).

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By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.