Course Listings

Environmental Science

ENVS 345 Aerial Methods in Field Research (4)

This course provides theoretical, practical, and hands-on instruction in the expanding field of drone-based aerial field research. The course will ground students in the history of aerial-based field research from the first images taken with camera-mounted balloons to hyperspectral datasets collected with satellite-based sensors. Students will learn how to pilot a drone and learn the protocols of responsible flight planning including developing an awareness of the rules and regulations of drone operations in the US and abroad. The course will cover the fundamentals of current technologies available as drone payloads and review their potential applications, limitations and important ethical concerns related to drone operations. Working with class-collected data, students will learn to use dedicated software to generate and edit point clouds to produce various products including digital terrain models, 3D photogrammetric models, and vegetation density maps. At the end of the course students will be equi[[ed with the skills necessary to carryout independent and problem-focused aerial-based field research. 


  • Prerequisite: ENVS 250 
  • Offering: Alternate years 
  • Instructor: Pike

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