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Puget Sound Chapter Meeting
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When: Thursday, February 16, 2017
Where: Pyramid Alehouse
1201 First Ave S
Seattle, Washington  98134
United States
Contact: Taryn Sparacio

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Thursday, February 16, 2017 - AEG Dinner Meeting

TOPIC: Drones and Structure from Motion in the Geosciences

SPEAKER: Tait Russell, AeroScan

TIME: 5:30 pm - Social Hour; 6:30 pm - Dinner; 7:30 Presentation

PLACE: Pyramid Alehouse, 1201 First Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, 206-682-2277. There is free parking in front and back of the building (ignore the pay for parking signs).

DINNER: A selection of Pizza, Caesar salad, Nanaimo Bars, and Cookies.

RSVP: Register at by 4 PM Friday, February 10, no exceptions. Registering by the deadline assures you get a meal and a seat.

COST: $40 for members; $45 for non-members; $15 for students. Non-members always welcome! Note that the pay at the door option is ONLY if you CANNOT use a credit card. If you are paying at the door, please pay by cash or check (check payable to AEG).

Our gracious sponsor, Holt Services, has made it possible for the AEG Puget Sound Chapter to provide meals at a reduced rate for AEG Student Members. Please go to for more information about Holt Services.

Student membership in AEG is free. Please follow this link and click on the "Join AEG" tab if you are interested in becoming a member of AEG.

PRESENTATION ABSTRACT: Drones and Structure from Motion (SfM), a form of photogrammetry, can be effective tools in the geosciences. The first radio-controlled drone was the 1016 Ruston Proctor Aerial Target. The technology and popularity of drones have skyrocketed in the century following the Ruston, especially in the last five years. The aerial photographs acquired by drones can be used for mapping and f3D modeling by running them through a SfM program. Drones and SfM are helpful for the suite of services in the geosciences. My University of Washington colleges and I monitored the glacial ice-mass balance of the Easton Glacier terminus on Mount Baker by employing a drone and applying SfM. I also used a drone and SfM to map a rockslide, creating a photomosaic and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with resolutions of <1cm2/pixel and 4cm2/pixel, respectively. Cunliffe et al. (2016) used a drone and SfM to model and monitor dryland biomass. They were able to create a DEM with a resolution of <1cm2/pixel, which resolved individual biomass stocks as small as a few cubic centimeters. Casella et al. (2016) mapped coral reefs by flying a consumer-grade drone and applying SfM. Their photomosaic and bathymetric DEM of the coral have resolvtions of 0.76cm2/pixel and 1.56cm2/pixel, respectively. Many other studies in the geosciences would benefit from adopting drones and SfM. 

SPEAKER BIO: Tait Russell has lived in the Puget Lowland for over two decades. While working on his Bachelor's degree in Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, he studied the glacial geology of the Puget Lowland under the advisement of Dr. Terry Swanson. Tait also began studying the ice-mass balance of Mount Baker using a variety of remote sensing techniques as an undergraduate. The results of the study were presented a the 2014 Geological Society of America (GSA) Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. He concluded the Master's in Earth and Space Sciences - Applied Geosciences (MASSAGe) program in March of 2016 by completing his capstone project "Calculating the Uncertainty of a Structure from Motion (SfM) Model, Cadman Quarry, Monroe, Washington." After graduating with is Master's degree, Tait opened his own company, AeroScan, LLC, which specializes in aerial imagery and 3D modeling Services.

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