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Staff Train to Fly Drone, Test for License

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Thursday, August 31, 2017

Three members of the ANHC staff recently attended a training workshop at the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH) headquarters taught by Brandon Guillot of Unmanned Aerial Solutions of Arkansas. Staff members from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP) and the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH) were also in attendance.

DAH owns an unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly called a drone. The ANHC hopes to use the drone to inspect and evaluate large remote tracts of land, inspect contract work and timber thinning operations, evaluate damage to historic resources following natural disasters, provide a valuable aerial perspective for documenting and evaluating land features, and provide photos and video for promotional and educational purposes. The workshop was the first step for staff in becoming licensed to fly the drone.

Brent Baker, botanist; Bryan Rupar, chief of Acquisitions and Stewardship; and Michael Conway, GIS/Database Analyst attended the workshop earlier this month. Later in the month, they practiced flying the drone with the instructor at Murray Park in Little Rock. Next, the participants must take and pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s aeronautical knowledge test.

By training to use drones to assist with our mission, ANHC is providing yet another example of how science and technology can work together to preserve our natural heritage. Using drones for tasks on our natural areas increases our agency’s staff efficiency, in line with Governor Hutchinson’s goals for Arkansas state government.





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