Those of you interested in drones for research in plant ecology might find this useful:

Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Micro-Uavs, Drones) in Plant Ecology Author(s): Mitchell B. Cruzan, Ben G. Weinstein, Monica R. Grasty, Brendan F. Kohrn, Elizabeth C. Hendrickson, Tina M. Arredondo, and Pamela G. Thompson


Source: Applications in Plant Sciences, 4(9)

Published By: Botanical Society of America

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/apps.1600041

URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.3732/apps.1600041


On 9/17/2016 10:51 PM, Gregory Crutsinger wrote:
To clarify regulations in the U.S., academic use falls under commercial drone 
rules. The good
news is that, as of August 31, you can now legally teach and do research using 
drones under the
new license. Its a written exam only (no flight tests) with a $150 test fee 
(good for two years). If
you want more information on the process, 3D Robotics posted a decent recap of 
a Part 107
webinar.

Its free on Youtube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zygbga-E_zk&feature=youtu.be

Other good news is that student use of drones as part of an organized course 
fall under
'hobbyist rules'.  This was announced by the FAA back in May.  If you want more 
info on these
rules, here is a link to that announcement:

http://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/uas_regulations_policy/media/interpretation-educational-use-
of-uas.pdf

Taken together, the new rules allow for the use of drones as tools and I 
suspect we will see
widespread adoption in the near future.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mitch Cruzan
Professor of Biology
Portland State University
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207 USA
Web: http://web.pdx.edu/~cruzan/
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