UAV Technology Demonstrated for Potential Application in Conservation Biology and Global Health.


The Center for Global Field Study has begun incorporating demonstrations with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) into their annual field courses and community outreach education programs focusing on Conservation Biology & Global Health–at the Human-Environment Interface. UAV technology is evolving quickly and offers excellent opportunities for use in field research and application in global health notes Prof. Randy Kyes, Center Director. This past summer, aerial drone technology was included as part of the field course conducted in collaboration with the Institute for the Study for Natural Resources and Environmental Management at Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai, Thailand (July 2014), and more recently in Indonesia (Aug. 2014) as part of the annual field course held on Tinjil Island in collaboration with the Primate Research Center at Bogor Agricultural University ( Potential research uses of UAVs in conservation biology are wide-ranging and include examples such as habitat assessment; wildlife population surveys; monitoring protected areas/wildlife (i.e., illegal logging/poaching); etc. Similarly, applications in global health might involve natural disaster response including area assessment and victim search; delivery of medications in remote isolated areas; agricultural monitoring; tracking/ monitoring dangerous animals that threaten villages; etc. 
Prof. Randy Kyes demonstrating a UAV and its potential uses/applications in conservation biology and global health for Thai high school students from local villages in Chiang Rai, Thailand. This outreach education program was conducted
as part of a collaborative field training program with Mae Fah Luang University
in Chiang Rai. (Photo by Dr. Pensri Kyes, 24 July 2014).