Drone-based land management meeting set Feb. 4 in Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI – Technology is quickly developing to help ranchers, forage producers and others manage their resources with remote sensors mounted on drones and/or tractors, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists.

Drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. When sensors are attached they are known as UASs or unmanned aerial systems.

Michael Starek, launches

Michael Starek, an assistant professor of geospatial surveying engineering Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, launches a drone designed to assist in land management. (AgriLife Research photo courtesy of Dr. Jamie Foster)

To better collaborate in the development of this new technology, researchers and end-users alike are invited to attend Natural Resource Management with Remote Sensing, a meeting from 8 a.m-5 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Corpus Christi.  

The center is located at 10345 State Highway 44 in Corpus Christi.

“Technology is becoming ingrained in our daily lives, and in the case of land management, that technology is designed to make business better,” said Dr. Jamie Foster, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research forage agronomist in Beeville.

Foster said the meeting will provide information on “the cutting edge of a rapidly evolving field of research” to improve the efficiency of land management in the near future.

“But if we as scientists develop technology that is not usable, or doesn’t get the job done, then we as scientists have not done our jobs,” she said. “That’s why it’s important that farmers, ranchers and other AgriLife Researchers and AgriLife Extension specialists and agents attend this meeting to provide feedback and conversation about tools used to manage land: what’s needed, what works and what doesn’t.”

The meeting will be broadcast as a webinar at https://texasrangeclassroom.adobeconnect.com/coastalbend .

Those attending in person are asked to RSVP by Jan. 29 by contacting Foster at jlfoster@ag.tamu.edu or at 361-358-6390. Those unable to attend can also obtain a weblink to a recording of the meeting by contacting Foster.

Megan Clayton launches

Dr. Megan Clayton, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service range specialist in Corpus Christi, launches the eBee drone in recent test flights. (AgriLife Research photo courtesy of Dr. Jamie Foster)

The deadline to submit abstracts and poster presentations on current and future research and AgriLife Extension projects to Foster’s email address is Jan. 27

Speakers and their topics for the morning session on forage and grazing lands include:

—  Dr. Juan Landivar, director, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Centers in Weslaco and Corpus Christi, precision management of natural resources.

—  Dr. Michael Starek, assistant professor of geospatial surveying engineering at Texas A&M-Corpus Christ, technology for remote sensing applications.

—  Dr. Joshua Pittman, The Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma, mobile sensing systems.

—  Dr. Kevin Price, AgPixel, Johnston, Iowa, acquiring imagery from drones and small aircraft.

Speakers and their topics for the afternoon session on row crops include:

—  Dr. Jinha Jung, AgriLife Research, Corpus Christi, data analyses and interpretation.

—  Dr. Glen Ritchie, AgriLife Research, Lubbock, high throughput phenotyping.

—  Dr. Ruizhi Chen, AgriLife Research, Corpus Christi, geographic information system and remote sensing.

—  Dr. Yeyin Shi, Texas A&M University, College Station, application of remote sensing data.

This meeting is sponsored by the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation based in Corpus Christi. The meeting is funded by the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Sustainable Solutions for Beef Production Systems, College Station.

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