The GeoTEd-UAS Faculty Institute was  hosted by Virginia Tech on May 20 – May 25. The Cohort of 20 faculty returned for a second year of UAS training. They developed skills and knowledge in operating small UAS and learned how to analyze data to make decisions. Attendees gained extensive hands-on experience in flying manual and autonomous missions to support real-world projects.

GEOTED-UAS Drone Repair Class

Students at Thomas Nelson Community College learn to repair and maintain drones in the UMS 177 (Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Components and Maintenance) class. The UMS 177 class is one of three courses that lead to a Career Studies Certificate in Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Flight Operations Technician. Thomas Nelson is the first community college in the Commonwealth to have three students complete a pathway in sUAS.

GeoTEd-UAS helps to map TNC Nature Trail Project in Community of Oyster. On Friday, April 20 the GeoTEd-UAS team led by Virginia Space Grant Consortium and faculty and students from Thomas Nelson and Eastern Shore Community participated in several student service learning UAS missions to support a community project. Students and faculty gained hands-on experience mapping with drones and the use of a thermal imagery camera while conducting  missions on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. 


The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Virginia Coast Reserve and the community of Oyster are working together to design, implement and maintain a shoreline nature trail along the eastern tip of the village. The Eastern Shore Community Foundation is providing funding for the trail, which will allow public access and recreation with unobstructed views of southern barrier islands off the Virginia Coast. The trail project is scheduled to be completed by fall 2018.


The student service learning project is part of the GeoTEd-UAS project in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.

GeoTEd-UAS members visited The Nature Conservancy’s Brownsville Preserve on the Eastern Shore in November of 2017. This was the beginning of an initiative to work with TNC on service learning projects projects throughout Virginia.

GeoTEd-UAS faculty visited the NSF ATE Conference in Washington, D.C. in October of 2017.

The first GeoTEd-UAS Faculty Institute was held on May 21-26, 2017 at Virginia Tech. The second institute was held in spring of 2018.

GeoTEd-UAS Faculty Institute, 2014. Photographs by Stacy Kuhar.

The first GeoTEd Institute in 2013 was held at Virginia Tech.