Coastal Drone Academy students are currently employing mapping drones to assess coastal towns, forests, wetlands, bays, and beaches. In our first course, however students learn drone safety and film making. For example here we are aboard the OSU R/V Pacific Storm on station five miles off Newport, deploying a drone to monitor grey whale migration in the Spring of 2018 (click here for story).
Our training and certification program uses a curriculum accepted by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), endorsed by major aviation insurance providers, and evaluated and recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education. The program is built on a comprehensive ground and flight school using Unmanned Safety Institute curriculum with its aviation emphasis.
The four aviation courses in our state-approved program are:
- Aviation 101.1: Introduction & Drone Safety
- Aviation 101.2: Phantom Film School
- Aviation 102: Coastal Drone Mapping (Operations) (see details)
- Aviation 103: Natural Resource Management Using Drones (Missions) (see details)
All courses work through experiential, hands-on learning, and collaboration with local marine scientists, my pilots fly missions where they develop knowledge of the several key aspects of coastal resource management. Here is an example of technical education using research projects as we learn boating, fixed wing drone flying, and seagrass ecology in the Spring of 2018 with our entire Operations and Missions classes having a role:I use a research-based curriculum that involves students working on longer-term projects directly with industry and government collaborators, building on their knowledge of drones and how they apply directly to their coastal habitat missions. Advanced student pilots have acquired knowledge and can challenge the FAA Remote Pilot Certificate (drone license) test.