Remote sensing of geographic features has become increasingly important with the availability of affordable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAS), along with improved imagery and computing capabilities. These technologies have been used to enhance the assessment of natural disasters, ecosystem changes, sources of pollution, and general infrastructure challenges. In Hawaii, UAS is currently being used by several federal and state agencies to collect remote data for a wide variety of applications such as monitoring cyclone damage, volcanic eruptions, forest ecosystem health, sources of pollution and the integrity of the infrastructure. This local workforce need presents a significant opportunity to better prepare students to secure high paying jobs on the island of Hawaii. To accomplish this, a new technical education certificate program will be developed that focuses on skill development in geospatial agriculture technologies. Completion of the certificate will provide students with a foundation in aerodynamics, the skills to practice safe and responsible operations of unmanned aerial vehicles and the experience to be competitive for industry positions in the region.

The primary goal of this project is to create a new certificate program that focuses on preparing students to enter the workforce with skills in the collection and management of remote sensing data used in geospatial analysis. Three primary activities will be carried out to achieve this goal: 1) develop four new courses in geospatial agriculture technologies, 2) expand established partnerships with local high schools to create a dual enrollment program for pre-college students, and 3) share project results and resources both locally and with the geospatial community at the national level. Each course will be designed to provide opportunities for skill development through lab activities, field work and experiential learning projects. Additionally, relevant geospatial equipment used by many companies and government agencies in the region will be embedded throughout the program. Project results will include an increased number of skilled technicians for local partners in the geospatial industry and new course curriculum shared with the technical education community at the national level.

ATE Award Metadata

Award Number
Funding Status
ATE Start Date
October 1st, 2022
ATE Expiration Date
September 30th, 2025
ATE Principal Investigator
Orlo Steele
Primary Institution
Hawaii Community College
Record Type
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