UNDER THE DIRECTION OF UAF UPWARD BOUND INSTRUCTORS AND IN COLLABORATION WITH ACUASI, STUDENTS WILL LEARN BASIC SCIENCE AND MATH AS WELL AS UNDERTAKE A SPECIALIZED COURSE OF INSTRUCTION TO INCLUDE:

In a larger sense, the curriculum will teach students ways to “extend their senses” beyond visual capacity, to expand their situational awareness of interconnected systems, and to use a holistic, ecosystem-based approach to problem-solving.

UAV capabilities,
benefits and limitations;
UAV and aviation safety; weather knowledge;
flight physics;
cartography;
UAV payloads,
mechanics and electronics;
and GIS topics, including raster methods and tool, shapefile and geodatabase editing.

This classwork will be paired with field trips to the Alaska Satellite Facility and GINA, both located at UAF, to learn more about remote sensing and mapping. Students will also make more extended field trips to Poker Flat Research Range outside of Fairbanks, UAF’s UAV test site. Poker Flat has more than two dozen UAV’s, ranging from a 2.5 quad-rotor helicopter up to a 40-pound fixed wing. 

Students will gain experience with the specific type of quad-rotor UAV that will be purchased through this program, and will also take part in learning activities with other types of UAV’s, from balloons to fixed-wing aircraft. Students will learn how to assemble, configure, calibrate and safely fly their UAV’s, and will also receive instruction on flight modes, navigational tuning, mission planning and analysis, recording and playing back missions, and geotagging images. All students in the program will learn all techniques necessary to pilot UAV’s and will have multiple opportunities to do so, both during the summer sessions and the academic year.


Quantum GIS
(Geographic Information Systems)

The Modern Blanket Toss students all took a GIS course during their six-week time on the UAF campus. By the end of the course, all students had to complete a final project. This project included working with a UAV team to acquire images and then georeferencing the images in QGIS to create a final map product.