My interests lie in applied research throughout the fields of GIS and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), studying topics such as predicting forest fires in national parks through suitability modeling, vegetation health and species differentiation in community gardens, and LULC change in forested regions due to fire, among many others. My real passion, however, is using new technology such as UAS in a geographic setting to stretch the limits of geographic research. In the past, this has included volumetric analysis at aggregate mines, air quality testing around FRAC mines, surveys for new construction, 3D modeling and vegetation health analysis of golf courses and crops to name a few. Currently, my thesis research focuses on the use of UAS imagery and Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA) to explore the present state of the Duck Lake Fire area in the Northern UP. The identity OBIA or individual object detection of jack pine saplings in this study again demonstrates a new application of UAS in a geographic setting.
As a geographer, I have always felt that we need to make use of all available tools to study and gain a deeper understanding of the world around us. My use of UAS is a direct result of this idea, and I hope my research helps others see the usefulness of new technologies, inspiring them to also push the boundaries of Geographic research.