Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in Research Information Session 23-24 July 2018



Adam Fenech, University of Prince Edward Island

Andrew Clark – University of Calgary

Paul Nesbit – University of Calgary



  • How to purchase a UAV, the various models
  • How to plan drone flights, and operation options
  • Options and procedures for image processing
  • How to establish ground control points to increase the precision of data captured
  • Understanding scale considerations for answering research questions
  • The Department of Transport rules and regulations for operating UAVs
  • How to operate UAVs safely


Monday July 23

0830      Introduction to UAVs

0900      UAV for Coastal Monitoring on the Canadian Coast

1000      Geologic Mapping using UAV at Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta

1030      Break

1100      Spec’ing a UAV System

1200      Lunch

1300      Presentation by Roger Smith from Transport Canada on rules and regulations governing the application of drone technology to research activities, as well as the ins-and-outs of applying for a Special Flight Operating Certificate

1430      Break

1500      Flight Planning, Scale, Ground Control

1630      End of first day sessions

Tuesday July 24

0830      In Field Drone Flight Demonstration and Data Collection – Belle River, PE

1200      Lunch

1330      Structure from Motion

1400      Image Processing

1430      Break

1500      Data Visualization and Interpretation

1600      Final Questions and Discussion

1630      End of Final Day Session

Wednesday July 25

Rain date for Field Drone Flight Demonstration


Biographies of Instructors

Dr. Adam Fenech, University of Prince Edward Island – Dr. Fenech has been engaged in climate change research for thirty years starting with the 1988 Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere which launched the climate change issue into the international policy agenda. Dr. Fenech was an inaugural member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group that shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Fenech has written policy speeches for Canadian Environment Ministers, represented Canada at international environmental meetings, and teaches regularly at universities across Canada and around the world. Presently, Dr. Fenech leads the UPEI Climate Research Lab where his graduate students use drone technology in their climate change research.

Andrew Clark, University of Calgary – Mr. Clark is a PhD student at the University of Calgary. Mr. Clark is the main programmer of the internationally-recognized sea-level rise visualization known as CLIVE (CoastaL Impacts Visualization Environment). CLIVE has won numerous awards including one from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Mr. Clark is the main pilot of the UPEI Climate Lab drones, and leads research in their application in the environmental sciences.

Paul Nesbit, University of Calgary – Mr. Nesbit is a PhD student at the University of Calgary. Mr. Nesbit’s research focuses on the application of UAVs and processing solutions. He holds a Masters of Science in Geographic Information Science and Geography  from California State University-Long Beach.