This month’s featured mission and collaborator- Monitoring large-scale wetlands restoration project.

We met Evan Hayduk while he was running a public meeting, found a strong link between our pilots’ abilities and the missions that Mr. Hayduk at MidCoast Watershed Council needed flown. We also immediately recognized Evan’s teaching ability.

mcwc“We work in an area of nearly one million acres, including all streams draining from the crest of the Coast Range to the Pacific, from the Salmon River to Cape Creek at Haceta Head. With that much area to cover, we don’t go it alone; we foster collaboration and partnerships with a number of local, state, federal, and NGO organizations throughout the midcoast and are giddy with excitement thinking about the possibilities of working with you and your students.”  From our letter of commitment of the Midcoast Watershed Council.




Phase 1 Baseline Data Collection: Overflight video latest overflight Phase 1 (left)

3D, ortho, NDVI and topography of Phase 1.



Next up features our monitoring of climate change

We met Tony D’Andrea at his office in Newport, and discovered that his upcoming projects were a great match for our curriculum and our pilots abilities. Dr. D’Andrea guided us in developing the right technology for our future work with him.  It was a bonus that Tony is a gifted teacher.


“This is great opportunity for Career Tech students to pilot these types of UAS that should make them more competitive in the job market when they graduate. For ODFW, this provides a great opportunity to work with you and your students to explore the application and utility of fixed wing UAS relative to quad-copters we currently use and provide your students with a real world application of UAS technology for management of natural resources.” From our letter of commitment from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Missions are planned for an area of seagrasses almost 1000 acres in size in southwestern Netarts Bay (shown below).

SW Netarts Bay 920 acres = 4 flights.png


Environmental assessment of tribal lands

We met Ian Keene years ago when he was awarded the State of Oregon Outstanding Urban Forester Award while were his crew on forestry ecology and restoration projects. Mr. Keene is one our favorite guest lecturers, has a wide range of expertise, and uses our work in his fisheries management projects.


“We greatly look forward to this partnership moving forward in a collaborative environment that fosters learning, STEM educational opportunities for the youth in our area, and while providing highly advanced technological resources to help better manage our projects and the lands of the Tribe and everyone in our area benefit from.” From our letter of commitment from the Consolidated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

Through work with our collaborators, we are becoming pilots and technicians in coastal resource management through their expertise in the following areas:

  • Resource management & land (including forest) classification
  • Wetland restoration monitoring
  • Monitoring seagrass beds and other estuarine resources

The other collaboration is with organizations that require:

  • training in aviation using drones

These are done with our “Industry Champions”.  With these organizations we have items in general:

  • formed long term and sustainable relationships
  • have a pipeline of emerging workforce development opportunities
  • A letter of support (or formal MOU) to our program
  • Have written shared vision and goals

Specifically, we need to be provided:

  • Access to large, protected natural areas, keys to gates, with permission to enter
  • Experts with site knowledge onsite to accompany us during surveys
  • Copies of publications, slide shows, handouts, and other educational materials on these areas
  • Research vessels, research boats with drivers, trucks, vans with drivers
  • Safety equipment, briefings and handouts, including life preservers and radios
  • Letters on progress
  • Access to the data, findings, photos, results and permission us to publish our results in educational journals and conference proceedings