recommended reading

Video: How Drones Can Help Save the California Coast

Trent Lukaczyk, an unmanned aerial vehicle engineer who builds and flies drones to monitor changes in the ocean environment, controls a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced drone to take photos and videos over the coastline in Pacifica, Calif.

Trent Lukaczyk, an unmanned aerial vehicle engineer who builds and flies drones to monitor changes in the ocean environment, controls a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced drone to take photos and videos over the coastline in Pacifica, Calif. // Jeff Chiu/AP

Are you a drone pilot who wants to help the environment? The Nature Conservancy is looking for you.

The organization needs volunteers in California to fly their drones over the shore to take pictures.

"We want to know what are the impacts of sea-level rise on our coast line," said Kirk Klausmeyer, climate change scientist at the Nature Conservancy. "So, we're asking people to go out, take pictures and then send it to us so we can use it to help predict and prepare for impacts of climate change."

Crowdsourcing these photos helps researchers specifically study the effects of El Nino, which, among other things, is contributing to erosion of California's coastline.

"They do capture metadata, like specifically GPS location," said drone technologist Eric Cheng, who currently participated in the project. "So, even a picture that's GPS tagged that shows a coastline somewhere is useful data. But I think what's really powerful is mapping from the air."

Interested pilots can use the app Drone Deploy to automate the mapping process.

To learn more, check out the video below from CNET

By Caitlin Fairchild March 10, 2016

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov