Introduction to unmanned aerial vehicle systems for field research

Monday, September 11, 2017 (Clients' Day)
Time and location: 9 AM to 1 PM - Agassiz
Free, but limited to 25 participants

Organizers: Michael Shafer and Kellan Rothfus, Northern Arizona University


This short course will be an introduction to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS) and their associated systems. The focus will be on lowering the barrier to entry to field researchers who want to incorporate unmanned aerial systems  into their toolset. The Colorado Plateau is a expansive region, and UAV systems hold the promise to help collect data on scales much larger than has been possible in the past for the same cost.

The field of UAS topics is wide, but this course will cover many that span multiple UAV systems. In addition to topics that span the vehicle, its software and control systems, we will cover two payload systems. Cameras are often deployed for field studies on UAVs and their use in flight will be discussed. Additionally, speakers will introduce a UAV payload system developed at NAU that has been designed to received wildlife tag VHF signals for tracking and localization purposes. A UAV flight simulator will be brought to this session. Participants will be able to try manually flying a simulated vehicle using a standard handheld controller using a flight simulator software. 

Putting LANDFIRE to use in your research

Monday, September 11, 2017 (Clients' Day) 
Time and location: 1-2:30 PM (workshop) and 2:30 to 5 PM (one-on-one meetings) - Doyle
Free, but limited to 20 participants

Organizers: Randy Swaty, The Nature Conservancy, and Kristen Ironside, Northern Arizona University

Abstract and appointment form

LANDFIRE, also known as the Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools Project, delivers vegetation and fire data plus ecological models for the entire United States. Want to learn more? Are you thinking of using LANDFIRE products for your research project but would like some feedback on your proposed approach?  Have you ever wanted the undivided attention of two scientists who want to help you make the most of LANDFIRE products?  If so we’ve got a great day planned for you.

On Clients Day, join us for a presentation on LANDFIRE products by Randy Swaty of The Nature Conservancy’s LANDFIRE team in the morning, then sign up for an appointment with Drs. LANDFIRE and LANDFIRE.  No they are not attorneys, but are interested in helping you leverage LANDFIRE in your research.  If interested fill out this short form to sign up for 30 or 60 minutes with Randy Swaty and Kirsten Ironside, who will give feedback, answer your LANDIRE questions, and demo use of LANDFIRE data and models for you.  

Introduction to SCENIC: climate data access, analysis and monitoring tools for natural resource scientists and managers

Monday, September 11, 2017 (Clients' Day)
Time and location: 1:30-3 PM or 3:30-5 PM - Agassiz
Free, but limited to 20 participants to each session

Organizer: Britta Daudert, Western Regional Climate Center


SCENIC is a web-based climate data application under development at the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) as part of WRCC¹s contribution to the Southwest Climate Science Center (SWCSC). Its purpose is to support the research and decision making efforts of resource managers and scientists in the face of a changing climate. SCENIC delivers data and analysis tools for point data from weather stations across the United States as well as a number of gridded datasets (PRISM) and downscaled climate projections (LOCA). Via Google’s Earth Engine cloud-computing platform, SCENIC allows users to analyze and interact with remote sensing (Landsat/MODIS) in real-time at unprecedented speeds.

The purpose of the workshop is to introduce interested parties to SCENIC, to demonstrate its capabilities, and to show by example how this tool can be used to incorporate climate information into resource management. This workshop is suitable for people who are required to or are interested in incorporating climate information into natural resource decision making and planning. 

Tribes and drought: adapting to a changing climate 

Monday, September 11, 2017 (Clients' Day)
Time and location: 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM - Doyle
Free, but limited to 20 participants

Organizers: Nikki Cooley and K. Cozzetto, Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) – Tribal Climate Change Program, Northern Arizona University


Although tribes in the southwestern United States have made their way of life on the mostly hot and arid landscape, they have long maintained their culture while adapting to the constant changes of the environment. A complicated combination of urban/western encroachment and development, climate change and drought have brought increased pressure upon tribes to respond and take action. Native people have an innate and deep spiritual, emotional and physical connection to the environment, which are intertwined in prayers, ceremonies and songs. This unique connection is one factor that makes tribes more vulnerable to the impacts that stem from changes caused by humans and the climate. In addition, many tribes still live in small, close-knit communities within government mandated reservation boundaries that have created geographic isolation from and decreased access to basic infrastructures and services. This also creates increased vulnerabilities to the challenges that climate change brings upon affected people and communities.

This half-day workshop will provide an introduction to planning for climate change impacts, in particular drought, with examples from Colorado Plateau tribes that have developed drought contingency plans. Topics of discussion will include climate change projections for drought in the southwest, drought monitoring and declaration, mitigation strategies, and the inclusion of traditional knowledge in drought planning. The workshop will involve a combination of presentations and interactive work sessions and is intended for tribal environmental and natural resource professionals who expect to be involved in climate change adaptation and drought planning.

Improving science communication among and between researchers, managers, and the general public

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 
Time and location: 11:30 AM to PM - Ponderosa
Free, but limited to 25 participants

Organizers: S. Miller, B.M. Stevens , and D.R. Revillini, Northern Arizona University

The war on science and acceptance of ‘alternative facts’ has already begun to affect the lives of Americans and beyond. Scientists and science enthusiasts have begun to voice concerns about the direction of our society, particularly the inability to accept scientific conclusions and subsequent abandonment of evidence-based decision making. To create a well informed society, critical, evidence-based thinking that is inherent to the sciences should be communicated to each other and the public effectively and simply. To accomplish this goal, strategies to enhance the ability of scientists to communicate their research, passion, and experience are necessary. Attendees will gain a deeper appreciation of scientific communication and improve methods of conveying complex ideas for effective understanding, collaboration, and management decisions.