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UW Symposium on Drones Features Experts, Demonstrations

May 10, 2016

Keynote speeches by two experts on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones, and demonstrations of the devices are among the highlights of an upcoming symposium at the University of Wyoming.

The Wyoming UAV Symposium is scheduled May 17-18 at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, hosted by UW’s Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC). The event is for people interested in learning about the opportunities and constraints concerning the use of UAVs.

“Great potential exists for UAV applications in Wyoming, not only in research and education, but also for natural resource development and management, precision agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, and law enforcement and emergency response,” says Jeff Hamerlinck, WyGISC director. “The goal of the symposium is to raise awareness and educate attendees on a wide range of UAV topics, including platform and sensor technology, data processing techniques and regulatory considerations for legal drone use.”

The symposium begins Tuesday, May 17, with opening remarks and a keynote address by Bruce Quirk, Unmanned Aircraft Systems liaison for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Reston, Va. He has more than 30 years of experience using satellite and aerial remote sensing to monitor natural resources in the United States and around the world. The USGS is testing and evaluating UAV systems to see how the technology supports the mission of the agency and the Department of the Interior.

Keynote speaker for the second day is Jim Campbell of Virginia Tech University, a geography professor and co-director of the Virginia Tech Center for Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing. He will discuss UAVs in the context of remote sensing, which means the use of satellites and aircraft to study the features of the planet’s surface.

The symposium will include policy overviews, scientific talks and issue-specific panel discussions involving experts from academia, government and the private sector. The symposium will conclude the afternoon of Wednesday, May 18, with a series of technology demonstrations scheduled for the UW Indoor Practice Facility and UW intramural fields.

For more information, the complete agenda and to register, go to

Additional information also is available by emailing Hamerlinck at or Ramesh Sivanpillai at

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