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The San Jose State University (SJSU) Geography Program collaborated with various universities for a comprehensive drone mapping project along the West Coast. The initiative aimed to assess eelgrass meadow health and extent, employing UAS technology and fieldwork to gather high-resolution imagery. Students utilized DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire drones equipped with RGB and multispectral capabilities, generating maps for analysis. With sites in Coos Bay, Newport, Friday Harbor, and Bodega Bay, the team collected data, faced weather challenges, conducted marine research, and honed their drone piloting skills. The project, facilitated by partnerships and supported by grants, offered invaluable hands-on experience and research opportunities for participants, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative mapping techniques. The fieldwork not only addressed scientific objectives but also provided memorable experiences and valuable skill-building for the participating students, shaping their perspectives on UAS applications in geography and environmental studies. For more information on SJSU Geography program involvement and future opportunities, visit sjsu.edu/geography or contact bo.yang02@sjsu.edu.

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