A drone flies above students during a demonstration

Stephen F. Austin State University graduate teaching and research assistant Victoria Williams demonstrates drone use to students and Mary Ann Rojas, executive director of SFA’s Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation.

A birdseye view of students taken from an overhead drone

Students and faculty have their image captured from above by a drone at the Stephen F. Austin State University Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture’s inaugural Drone Day. 

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture and the Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation hosted its inaugural Drone Day 2023 on April 27. 
The event, organized by the Student Association of Spatial Scientists under the guidance of Dr. David Kulhavy, the Lawrence C. Walker Distinguished Professor, featured multiple presentations and demonstrations on real-world drone applications from different entities.
In addition to the college, participating entities included the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, LeTourneau University, Arch Aerial, Raven Environmental Services, Hydrex Drone Division, and SFA’s Department of Biology. Participating entities flew equipment such as the Splash drone, the DJI Enterprise Dual drone and the DJI Mavic 3 CINE.
“Over 80 people attended Drone Day 2023 and shared in professional presentations on drones, field demonstrations, and questions and answers on use of drones now and in the future,” Kulhavy said. “Drone use is expanding in natural resources, and we need to continue to provide up-to-date information and use of the technology.”
Faculty members, industry professionals, and graduate and undergraduate students demonstrated how drones can be effectively used to gather valuable data in urban, rural and aquatic environments.