Minn. College Offers Program on Analyzing Images from Drones - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Minn. College Offers Program on Analyzing Images from Drones

Email


by Associated Press


DroneTHIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. ― Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls is offering a program teaching students how to analyze images from unmanned military aircraft.

It offers a one-year Imagery Analysis certificate and a two-year associate’s degree in Geospatial Intelligence Analysis, according to Minnesota Public Radio News.

In a recent training session, 19-year-old student Emily McGrath used a computer-simulated video to fly over a tiny island off the coast of Spain. As she manipulated a joystick, the landscape unfolded on the screen in front of her.

“I kind of view it as a huge I-spy hunt,” McGrath said. “You could look at this imagery for like hours and hours and still not find everything that you need to. It’s fun, but it’s also nerve racking.”

School spokesman, Jason Trainer, said the school has the first two-year program in the nation offering the certificate and the program.

Many of the analysts scrutinizing the images transmitted by drones have received military training.

The program teaches students how to use various computer systems that could prepare them for a military or civilian job. They learn complex geospatial computer programs that require math skills. They also hone writing skills and study privacy laws.

Imagery analysis is part of a new drone focus at Northland Community and Technical College. Two years ago the school started an unmanned aircraft maintenance training program.

When the first class started last spring, there were 52 students. Only 21 remain, but instructor Sterling Williams expects most of them to complete a two-year year degree next fall. Many of the students are recent high school graduates. But a few have college degrees. Williams said a couple of students hold doctorates.

Trained as an imagery analyst in the U.S. Army, Williams has 20 years of experience working in military and defense industry jobs.

Although their course of study is relatively new, the students could be helped by the federal government, which is developing a process to certify imagery analysts.

Williams said all students who complete the program will meet federal standards.

The military won’t be the graduates’ only option.

The Federal Aviation Administration is developing rules to regulate how unmanned aircraft share the nation’s airspace and once they are in place a number of fields could use them. Drones carrying sensors and cameras could be used in precision agriculture, emergency management or jobs that have yet to be created.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
“Achieving the Dream’ ID’s Student Issues NASHVILLE — Advancing equity, strengthening advising and improving pedagogy and curriculum were among the issues explored this week at the annual meeting of Achieving the Dream.  Dr. Karen A. Stout, president of Achieving the Dream, addresses...
Mississippi Universities Seek More State Funds, Outline Budget Woes JACKSON, Miss. — Leaders of Mississippi's eight public universities are ringing alarm bells about state funding, saying they could lose their ability to compete if funding cuts from recent years aren't restored. In presentations Monday to legi...
The Role of Analytics in Studying the Hiring of Black Coaches in College Football   In the dizzying merry-go-round that is the hiring of head coaches in college football, Willie Taggart is an island of one. He is the only Black head coach to serve four Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) major-college programs: Western K...
Student-Athletes Share Perspectives at Intercollegiate Athletics Forum  Giving student-athletes opportunities to achieve academic excellence was a recurring theme at this year’s Intercollegiate Athletics Forum held in New York City this week.  How do colleges and universities make sure that student-athletes are havin...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *