This project has concluded.

LSAMP: A Bird’s Eye View of Geology: Evaluating the use of UAVs in Environmental and Geoscience Research and Classrooms
Project Summary
The field of geodesy, or the study of the size, shape, and mass of Earth and their changes with time, has advanced substantially over the past decade. Remote sensing is currently the fastest growing area of geodesy, and advances in Global Position System (GPS), radar, lidar, photogrammetry, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, commonly referred to as drones) have revolutionized how scientists document changes in the Earth. The potential use of UAVs in geoscience and environmental research is great, and they have become the preferred platform for Remote Sensing data acquisition due to their small size, low cost, and ease of operation. Structure from Motion (SfM), a program that takes 2D photographs and uses an algorithm to convert them into 3D images, is another useful geodetic tool. This program allows realistic 3D models to be created from images collected by a variety of methods to be integrated into geodetic research. All of these tools and methods also make valuable educational tools as they can be used to conduct student-led, real-time monitoring, field mapping, and aerial surveys.

This project will combine UAV surveying, GPS measurements, and SfM methods to create a variety of products that will be incorporated into environmental and geoscience courses, as well as preliminary site evaluations for geology and anthropology research projects. The Research Assistant would be expected to familiarize themselves with the technology, computer programs/applications, and methodology used in geologic and environmental UAVs site surveys, as well as assist as needed in the field. This student would also assist their mentor in processing the raw data and using various computer programs to create final maps and/or 3D models that will aid in synthesizing the data.

Applicant must be LSAMP eligible.
The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program at Rutgers University-New Brunswick is a non-medical science program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The program is designed to increase the interest, retention, graduation, and success of students from racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in non-medical (STEM) fields (i.e., Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/Alaskan, Pacific Islander).

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