Drones in the Coastal Zone 2024 Meeting

The Drones in the Coastal Zone (DITCZ) meeting was hosted on February 6th – 8th, 2024, in Beaufort, North Carolina.

About the Meeting

Image credit: Duke Marine Lab Lifelong Learning Program

Meeting Objectives

Participants will:

  • Network with colleagues in the U.S. Southeast and Caribbean with common interests in using unoccupied aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, for coastal and ocean research and management
  • Learn about the use of drones in the Beaufort area
  • Discuss and troubleshoot the use drones
  • Interact with drone technology through equipment tables and an airshow
  • Discuss the future of the Drones in the Coastal Zone Community of Practice

Meet Our Sponsors

Participant Agenda

View the participant agenda below, or download the pdf here for a more detailed agenda.

Tuesday, February 6th

Time Activity
1:00 PM Meeting check-in begins at Beaufort Hotel (Network with Sponsors, Sign-up for Wednesday Carpools to Pivers Island)
1:30 PM Welcome & Vision for Drones in the Coastal Zone (DITCZ), Meeting Objectives & Agenda Review, Plenary: Using Drones to Manage the Rachel Carson Reserve, Icebreaker Activity
2:45 PM Networking Break with Sponsors
3:15 PM Brainstorming Gallery Walk & Discussion Groups (Participants will brainstorm and prioritize topics for facilitated small group discussions)
5:00 PM Adjourn for the day
5:30 PM Evening Reception with Sponsors
7:30 PM Dinner on Your Own

Wednesday, February 7th

Time Activity
8:00 AM Breakfast at Beaufort Hotel
8:30 AM Carpool to Pivers Island – 101 Pivers Island Rd, Beaufort NC 28516
9:00 AM Tour of NOAA Beaufort Lab & Duke University Marine Lab -- Organize into groups
9:20 AM Groups Red & Blue tour NOAA Beaufort Lab, Groups Yellow & Green tour Duke University Marine Lab
10:30 AM Groups Red & Blue tours Duke University Marine Lab, Groups Yellow & Green tour NOAA Beaufort Lab
11:30 AM 15-Minute Break
11:45 AM Lunch at Duke Marine Lab Dining Hall
12:30 PM Equipment Showcase - Duke University Marine Lab Auditorium
1:15 PM Safety & Logistics Briefing for Airshow
1:25 PM 20-Minute Break & Get Ready for Airshow
1:45 PM Airshow - Duke University Marine Lab
3:30 PM Travel Back to Beaufort Hotel
4:00 PM What do we want the Drones in the Coastal Zone Community of Practice to be? How do we move forward?
4:50 PM Action Items, Next Steps & Closing Remarks
5:00 PM Adjourn

Thursday, February 8th

Time Activity
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Optional, space-limited trainings at Duke University Marine Lab (Registration required) -- See below for details

Photogrammetry Activity, meet at Duke’s Bookhout Building: Participate in the whole workflow for focused photogrammetry of target organisms. From the field to the screen, this activity will include hands-on experience conducting mission preparation, data collection, and image analysis. Participants will learn about camera setting considerations, practice collecting imagery over targets, and use freely available software tools to make measurements.

Mapping Activity, meet at Duke’s South Point: The exercise will have participants engage in the various parts of conducting a UAS mapping survey. We will cover the distribution and surveying of ground control, mission planning, data collection, processing the imagery, and analysis of the products. During the exercise, participants will experience some of the different tools that can be used during the UAS mapping workflow.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Certification Training: Meet at Duke’s South Point

Boxed lunch for training participants, pick up at Duke University Marine Lab Dining Hall

Meeting Overview

Meeting Kickoff

The meeting began with Megan Shaw, SECOORA Office and Events Manager, providing a warm welcome to all of those in attendance before jumping into an overview of the vision for this year’s meeting. This included an overview of the 2020 virtual Drones in the Coastal Zone workshop, the Community of Practice mission statement, and the objectives set for the meeting by the Steering Committee.

Building Relationships

Meeting the Sponsors

Sponsors set up tables to showcase their equipment and distribute informational flyers. Attendees were encouraged to network with the sponsors during our coffee and snack break, hearing from Wingtra, Duncan Parnell, Frontier Precision, and GeoOwl representatives.

Breakout Groups

After the meeting adjourned, we reconvened with everyone during the evening social. This event provided the space for participants to network with each other and have more one-on-one time with sponsors.

Day 2 of the DITCZ Meeting

As the day wrapped up, the group made their way back to the hotel for the wrap-up discussion. During this time, participants and steering committee members discussed the future of the Drones in the Coastal Zone Community of Practice, including future meetings, improvements to communications platforms such as the website and listserv, and developing mechanisms for data sharing within the group.

Additional Trainings

As an optional add-on to the meeting, participants were able to choose one of three training programs to attend out at Pivers Island: Photogrammetry, Mapping, or NIST Training.