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a tad melioristic) and curious people who love adventure and value the environment.
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In Episode 14 we cover seeking advice from wildlife experts. Alicia walks you through four steps to finding and working with wildlife experts in your planned flight area.
Let us know what steps you incorporate, and which ones you are going to start using in your business.
by Alicia Amerson
Project management skills are essential for successful drone flight planning and implementation.
How many of you are in drone businesses that really want to just fly the drone and not worry about the rest of the project components? As wonderful as this thought is, project management is an essential skill for conducting successful drone projects.
I spent over 12 years as a project manager working on environmental remediation projects and the skills I learned have helped my conservation research projects and my drone flight planning. I have also seen how the Triple Constraints cause managers to take short-cuts that might have heavy impacts to the quality of a deliverable. In the case of a drone flight, shortcuts may cause serious harm to wildlife or the environment.
Triple Constraint: A framework for evaluating competing demands. Project managers often talk of a “triple constraint” – project scope, time, and cost – in managing competing project requirements. (PMI, 2004, p377).
The scope refers to content. It's easy to understand that the more content we are required to obtain by the client the more time and cost will be added to the project. I like to think of the triple constraint simple like making a bowl of ice cream. What do I need to do so that everyone STILL wants to eat the ice cream at the end. So what goes into it. You may also think of your drone photos or maps as that yummy delicious media that people are waiting to consume.
As with many of life's plans - it's the planning that takes place that allows us to imagine what the end product will look like, how it will feel, or how it will be experienced.
Drone flight planning is no different.
by Alicia Amerson
Go to the beach to save the ocean! We are actively working on ways to help others Stand Up For What We Stand On. In effort to promote the various ways we can work together and make an individual efforts towards conservation it seemed perfect to start with our coastline. So let's go to the beach!
It's spring time here in San Diego and much like a bear waking up from hibernation, I feel the spring weather taking over. Spring cleaning, growth, and prospering are on the horizon for this season. So I've decided to dedicate the next few blogs to specifically discuss movement and stretching into our year, how we can move with the waves, climb a mountain, and how we can use this momentum to save our ocean.
As we move into launching our first online course about drones and conservation, it's with excitement, but also intense curiosity about the stories that will be generated by the pilots who take the course.
Who will we impact and how will they protect wildlife by using the STRIVE Plan?
I can't wait to find out.
This blog is the start of a few that will discuss ways we can save our ocean and of course I'll throw in a few ways to fly drones with conservation in mind.
I hope you enjoy the efforts the Alimosphere team has put into researching ways you can GREEN your lifestyle to help save our big BLUE ocean and all the wildlife that live in it and along it’s shores.
by Alicia Amerson
As part of your preflight plans do you make time to set up a control station that has minimal environmental impact?
The control station is an established area to support all drone operations and equipment in the field, along with the Remote Pilot-In-Command and supporting crew. Simply put, the control station is where you plan to take off and land the drone during field operations.
One question we are most often asked is "How do I to set up a control station to reduce the ecological footprint my drone operations?"
Here's a few ways you can go about creating a control station that is also environmentally friendly.
by Alicia Amerson
Rare Tricolored Blackbirds begin to nest throughout the state of California around this time of year.
Why are they rare?
In the 1930s, Tricolored Blackbirds still numbered in the millions, but today there are only about 178,000. Found almost exclusively in California, Tricolored Blackbird breeding colonies can teem with more than 20,000 birds, sometimes all settled into a single 10-acre field or wetland to raise their young.
There is a major effort by the Audubon California, California wildlife officials and other partners to protect rare bird. So how are these conservation research partners accomplishing this challenge?
They try to locate the birds’ colonies when they’re on agricultural fields and then work with the landowner to ensure that the young birds safely fledge. "We save tens of thousands of birds this way every year". Michael Lynes, Audubon California
Although these efforts increase the rate of hatched birds taking flight, the uniquely beautiful species still struggles to survive.
The California Fish and Game Commission is considering placing Tricolored Blackbirds on the state Endangered Species List. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended that the species be listed as Threatened and given full protection under California law.
Why are they still declining?
The are many reasons for this decline. The primary cause of the decline is the loss of marsh and nearby feeding habitats along the coast and in southern California and the Central Valley. With the loss of native habitat, the species has become dependent on agricultural lands, with most of the largest colonies nesting in grain fields.
A real dilemma develops because Tricolored young typically have not yet left the nest before the time farmers harvest their crop, and harvesting destroys Tricolored Blackbird nests and young.
by Alicia Amerson
I am really excited to introduce The STRIVE Plan, a course online to help drone pilots plan flights that will reduce impacts wildlife.
Before I get to far into the details of the plan I wanted to share the importance of building a plan to reduce wildlife disturbance when we fly our drones.
Over the past few years I’ve been researching impacts to wildlife caused by humans. After I returned home in 2015 from Australia where I was researching humpback whales using Splash Drones I noticed an uptick of drones flying on the California coast. (want to see what we did? Here’s the publication - hot off the press)
Question: I am curious to know if you've seen a rise in drones in your area? Let me know on the bottom of this post.
You may have noticed the same in your area, to be honest I started to think about the robust conservation regulations to protect marine mammals from harassment and knew that drones can impact behavior and potentially cause stress. So I dove into the topic, gathered research papers, conveyed a task force to talk about it, and started a business to help conservation of wildlife by providing key tips to the everyday droner to reduce disturbance.
It’s been three years and I want to say that I am excited to bring a new online course to you that discusses how we can implement flight skills and tips to reduce impacts to wildlife. I reviewed a lot of marine mammal conservation projects that use unmanned and manned aircraft to survey wildlife around the world.
*I actually found over 1200 published articles of marine mammal research using manned aircraft to survey whales, seals, dolphins, dugongs, and polar bears from all around the world. And that’s just manned aircraft. The rise in UAS for research has increased and so have the publications.