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Episode 11 Dolphins Drones and Microadventures and Four Tips to get involved in a social innovation project.
Facebook Live Stream by Alicia Amerson
We discussed Dolphins, Drones, and Microadventures. How does this relate to your drone business? You can find out here or listening to the replay. This week Michael L from the DroneDeploy community reached out to ask about “out of the box” lessons I've learned when I fly drones. To find out more about my community post and our discussion click here.
Did you know that in 2002 a new subspecies of dolphins was identified off the coast of Taiwan? Ok… so that is only 16 years ago. In 2002 I graduated with my BS in biology and had no idea we were still discovering dolphin species. As a marine biologist, I now know there are many genetic and speciation difference among whales and dolphins that we are slowly finding out and genetics testing is one way to reveal a whole new world when it comes to biodiversity.
I want to go back to the Taiwanese white dolphin. This specific dolphin is called a humpback dolphin. I encourage you to take a look at these amazing dolphins with their large dorsal fins. This specific population is a subspecies of dolphin that only lives in the central east coast of Taiwan and they live in shallow waters. In 2009 and 2010 researchers did a population assessment. And they found 54 individuals the first year and 74 the next. Do you know towns with a population of 54 to 74 people? Yes this population is small.
A recent threat of off-shore wind development has been proposed. And almost all documented individuals have injuries from being entangled in fishing gear. The area they live in is a high use area so there is acoustic noise, and along the edges of the water industry is polluting water, which leads into their habitat.
We’ve only recently began to know this population, they do not move out of this area seasonally like some other dolphin species. When we look at issues where wildlife and humans come into contact along the coast there are ways for drone pilots to help.
Here are a few ways: spatial use and distribution studies, transect surveys, construction monitoring, watershed monitoring, ship speed and movement, dolphin behavior to human impacts like ships and fishing, dolphin behavior in pods, identify nursery areas, breeding and feeding behavior.
Drones helping to capture photographs, video, and surveys can help identify where additional monitoring or best practices can be implemented to reduce stressors to this population.
QUESTION: I am curious to know what you think about using drones for coastal monitoring and protecting dolphins? Would you use your drone to help with a project like this? Do you already?
Perhaps this seems like a far away place and perhaps you’re only looking for jobs that make you tons of money. Well I want to bring this back to the conservation culture and drone flight planning that I’ve been discussing in the last ten episodes.
You may not go to Taiwan and work on dolphin project. And that’s ok. Let me just point out that as entrepreneurs we are looking for ways to solve problems for our clients and when you think outside of the box to help them look better and also get the product they want - well then you create a better relationship with your client. Conducting safe, ethical, and green flights shows our commitment to our business, the industry, and our clients.
To answer Michael L’s question about out of the box lessons - I mentioned redundancy - bring all the equipment you need and tools so that you’re making less trips across the landscape. I do believe there are small lessons each one of us would be able to share that would make a drone flight operation more eco-friendly.
Drones for Social Innovation
If the idea of social innovation, working in remote locations, flying drones for good is something that really interests you, perhaps you start looking for interesting topics that need solutions.
Most likely you will not find a contract for drone flights as a specific solution to a project. So how are you going to work as a drone pilot doing good in the world?
Here’s a few tips on what you can do to demonstrate your skills and interest in a topic or project.
Tip #1 Do the research (personal and business)
What are you most passionate about? What projects would bring you joy? When you are working within an area with your drone that fulfills your personal values, then you will care more about the quality and environmental awareness of what you are doing.
Research the area and project from both sides. In the environmental world, we love stories with the villian. I highly want to encourage you to look at both sides or ALL the sides of an issue. Where you can typically do the most good is listening and strategically working to help everyone.
I am not naive that big corporations and black markets exist - I know that some of the people behind these are genuinely trying to survive. So dive deep and take a look before you make judgements.
Tip #2 Connect with the people via social media or LinkedIn
Join their podcast, social groups, and start contributing value to their community. Show support by sharing their work.
Tell them what you really like about what they are doing. Make sure you join their email list. Perhaps if they are close by you can provide images or be a resource to them for their community.
Tip #3 Ask questions
Show your interest in their topic. Understand what challenges they have. Yes you may want to go fly in a cool new location, but really understand the needs of the issue they are trying to solve.
Tip #4 Propose to work with them
Once you have completed this list ask to work with them. They may have already asked you to work with them by this time, but if not put together a proposal that aligns with their needs and your services.
Let’s say you get the opportunity to bid on a contract for flying your drone in a remote place. Where do you start? There are many drone pilots out there who get to this step and start searching Google for flight planning, mission planning, flight operations, contracts, etc.
This is why I started The Social Innovation Drone Tribe It’s a FREE Facebook group for drone pilots - I’d love to welcome our newest members! Rosa Maria L. Cañedo, Wade Leonard, Veronica Pachulski, Miloš Petričević, Scott Campbell, Brendan O'Neill.
WHAT IS A MICROADVENTURE.
Microadventure is something you do that is short-term, low cost and over night. The inexpensive trips do not require training or a lot of extra equipment.
I love creating microadventures for myself so much that I decided to create them for women entrepreneurs. Examples: A coffee date on a train with your strategic planner to work on your business, an overnight in a wonderful house nearby neighborhood you've been dying to explore, or reflecting on your business while paddle boarding over a few ocean waves - even seeking out a piece of wilderness to sleep under the stars.
Here are the basics - It’s a get away from the desk to have fun and create a day away to work on your business instead of in it. It’s a CEO Day where you can join a few other women on an adventure to check in personally and explore all the possibilities or go SOLO.
Microadventures are adventures that are close to home, cheap, simple, short, and yet very effective. When you think microadventure think of the last adventure you took - yes it may have been a big one - think about all the good you got out of it, now let’s condense that into a weekend, or a shenanigans day (that is of course well intended) midweek escape from the office. No matter where you are you can find that these adventures are not far a way - even those in big cities have wilderness close by.
You can experience it by yourself or a group of women in your area. You may want to create this for your colleagues or team from the office. You can seek out short, interesting, rewarding adventures right on your doorstep.
If you are too busy, too stressed, too broke, too tired or too unfit for an adventure, then you definitely would benefit from a microadventure.
Paddle board the bay, hike the local lake, meditate under a canopy of trees. It’s all up to you.
When we think of our drones we think adventure, new perspectives, and creativity. We see growth for ourselves and potential to create something that others may be compelled or inspired by. Do you have a business that is a social innovation business and you find yourself working hard in your business to get noticed?
A microadventure can be anything that feels fresh, new and challenging for you. Time, money, skill or (lack of) talent are no excuses.
They may be small, but microadventures can still be challenging and rewarding. Each one is designed to inspire others to set their own challenges, challenges which may be short but which grasp the spirit of adventure.
Adventure is everywhere, every day and it is up to us to seek it out.
If you want to create a microadventure or join one you can find Microadventure on Alimosphere website. It will take you to our services!
QUESTION: What type of adventures do you seek? How often do you take CEO days to work on your business?
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