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Advantages of Using Drones for Environmental Site Assessments in Remote Locations

Tuesday, August 25
11:15–12:00 PM PT
 | 2:15–3:00 PM ET

About the Session

With the accessibility and lower cost of drones, utilizing drones in reaching remote locations for visual evaluations of environmental site assessments has many benefits. The goal of this session is to outline cost benefit analysis selling points, improvements in accuracy and quality of visual evaluations, improved safety advantages for field staff, and enhanced liability protection for challenged environmental site assessment results. The presenter has extensive experience in lone-worker field investigations and is actively promoting drone use for field investigations within their agency. Interwoven with the session goals will be real world experiences the presenter has had conducting lone-worker field investigations in rural western Colorado and in the Four Corner area. Regulatory limitations on drone activities, such as vertical elevation limits and crossing mines or other protected jurisdictions, will be covered in the session too. 


  • Planning and Permitting

About the Speaker

 MRutheyi Thompson Photo

MRutheyi Thompson
Civil Environmental Engineer
US Bureau of Reclamation

MRutheyi Thompson, CESCO, a semi-professional speaker on STEM and Native American education topics, currently works as a Safety Specialist for the Bureau of Reclamation, 14 prior years as an environmental engineer for the agency. She has over 25 years working in the hazardous materials and environmental fields, with 12 years of field investigations and site assessments. She is an alumna of Brigham Young University. She has designed and built several universal accessible design recreation features, taught numerous workshops, and on the team that designed a Gold LEED Certified building. She won the 2003 American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Oral Research Presentation competition and is a repeat STEM speaker at AISES national conferences. She enjoys nature walks, travel, armored medieval mixed martial arts and being the reigning Queen of the Grand Junction Renaissance Faire. She has two daughters and two cats, though only the cats still live at home.

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