His teaching approach is to introduce his students to aviation as a vehicle for learning marine science, and to prominent coastal researchers who become their mentors, and involving his students while conducting ongoing coastal research together.


Teacher and CTE Project Facilitator, Lincoln County School District

Lincoln City Career Tech High School- Coastal Drone Academy

Grade levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Content areas: Career & Technical, Science, STEM


He is a licensed pilot, teacher, and marine scientist-researcher. He co-developed a coastal sensitivity mapping method used by agencies including the United Nations, NOAA, and in many countries today. Dr. Getter has taught at universities, colleges, and high schools while conducting coastal research publishing 3 books, 30 articles based on his flights in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Massachusetts.


Coastal Drone Academy is an aviation educational organization that utilizes student drone (sUAS) pilots who are training and working to attain nationally certifications and licenses to successfully carry out community service projects and who complete projects for tribal, government, and NGO (non-governmental organizations) agencies (collaborators) in several economic sectors typical for the Oregon coast. We are one of the CTE programs in Lincoln City Career Technical High School which is a small public charter school. Our school has articulated with the aviation program at Central Oregon Community College (COCC) since 2015. Together with COCC and Oregon State University (Professional and Career Education), we have helped other high schools and community college teachers use drones in their classrooms. Our program’s purpose is to take a student with little or no experience in aviation through the process of gaining knowledge and proficiencies thus allowing them to safely and legally enter US airspace with an sUAS to conduct useful work for, and under the direction of, our network of collaborating marine scientists, foresters, mariculturists, and natural resource managers. Our sponsors provide a classroom/workshop space, a local air-park and an armory for indoor training, and the use of an FBO (fixed-base operator) at a local airport for training in airport operations. The drone fleet we use for services and course offering was purchased and is maintained under Perkins CTE grants; MWEC (Mid-Willamette Educational Consortium) has sponsored software and technology that allows curriculum development focussed on agriculture and natural resource management; we have numerous grants sponsoring our flight simulators including FTP and Oculus technology. Students carrying out local project-service-based approaches have gained real-world skills. We have developed a dramatically successful dropout prevention strategy that keeps students on track to graduate, and we have significantly increased their college-level opportunities that offer a head start on higher education. Students run a career and technical service organization called Starfleet Academy where “dronies” gather on Fridays to view aviation movies and plan drone racing events. Over the last decade, some of my students have begun careers in aviation; I have taught or mentored pilots who now work with tribal, university, aircraft manufacturing, and armed forces organizations. Many of them stay involved with the Academy as collaborators giving feedback from their jobs in ways to improve and update our program. Several of them have mentored our pilots in moving forward in aviation careers.

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