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Extension AgTech and Drone Instructors

Andres Anderson

Andreas Anderson

Avaiation Specialist

Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)

University of California Merced

Email: aanderson29@ucmerced.edu

Andreas Anderson joined UC Merced in Fall 2013 as a transfer student. Already a private pilot and remote control hobbyist flyer, he joined UC Merced’s Mechatronics, Embedded Systems, and Automation (MESA) Lab, which focuses on unmanned airborne research. At MESA he gained experience building and testing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly referred to as drones. He also regularly piloted drones for agricultural and environmental research projects, and functioned as a flight instructor for new lab members.  Having graduated in from UC Merced in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering, Andreas now works as an aviation specialist at the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, where he flies UAVs for watershed research and collaborates with other UC campuses on joint research projects.

Professor YangQuan Chen

YangQuan Chen

Associate Professor

School of Engineering

University of California Merced

Email: ychen53@ucmerced.edu Website:  https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=RDEIRbcAAAAJ&hl=en

YangQuan Chen joined University of California, Merced in summer 2012 with a vision to promote the wide-spread use of low cost scientific data-drones in precision agriculture, environmental monitoring and digital heritage preservation. His unmanned aerial systems (UAS) team at UC Merced has been pursuing research and educational excellence in innovative use of data-drones. He received Ph.D. from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 1998. Areas of research interest: applied fractional calculus; distributed measurement and distributed control of distributed parameter systems using mobile actuator and sensor networks; mechatronics; multi-UAV based cooperative multi-spectral “personal remote sensing”. He is an Associate Editor for both Mechatronics and Control Engineering Practice, Fractional Calculus and Applied Analysis, IET Control Theory and Applications, IEEE Transactions of Control Systems Technology, ISA Transactions, Cogent Engineering; Topic-Editor-in-Chief in “Field Robotics” for International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, Senior Editor for International Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, an associate editor for Journal of Intelligent Service Robotics. He serves as the co-chair for IEEE RAS TC on Aerial Robotics and UAV, IEEE-USA CTAP, and Program Co-chair for ICUAS 2016, Washington, DC, and General Co-Chair for ICUAS 2017, Miami, FL. Dr. Chen is a member of ASPRS, AUVSI, AMA, IEEE, ASME, AIAA, and ASEE.

Brandon Stark

Brandon Starks

Director

UC Center Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft System Safety

University of California Merced

Email: bstark2@ucmerced.edu

Brandon Stark is the director of the University of California’s Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft System Safety, where he provides system-wide UAS expertise to all 10 of its campuses, cooperative extensions, research centers and the UC’s Natural Reserve System that totals over 750,000 acres across the state of California.  The rapid growth of unmanned aircrafts has manifested across a multitude of domains, from engineering programs and education to facility management, campus promotion and student clubs, has necessitated the implementation of a UAS Safety Management System as an infrastructure to support and train UC staff, faculty and students for regulatory compliance, risk assessments and the safe operation of unmanned aircraft systems, while providing efficient centralized management and enabling innovative research and use. Brandon Stark is the chief policy writer for Unmanned Aircrafts for the UC system and campuses and architect for UC UAS training programs and fleet management.  He is an expert on Unmanned Aircraft Systems technology, their use in research and commercial operations, UAS regulations and policy, specializing in higher education.

Joshua Viers

Joshua Viers

Director

Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)

University of California Merced

Email:jviers@ucmerced.edu

Joshua Viers joined the CITRIS leadership as the Director at UC Merced in August 2013. Prior to joining UC Merced, Dr. Viers served as the Executive Associate Director at the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis, which is California's premier think tank on California water issues. His expertise in the use of geospatial technologies and informatics is used to improve decision making in coupled human and natural systems. He now serves as an Associate Professor of Water Resource Management in the School of Engineering at UC Merced. When not developing databases and algorithms to address issues related to water, energy, and the environment, he can be found chasing water and wine across the globe in places like Chile and South Africa.