Field Application of Sensor Technologies

Field applications of sensor TECHNOLOGIES (FAST)

August 19th – 23rd, 2019

YBRA is offering a new course to help you deploy the most advanced commercial sensing technology in the world.   The need for field professionals who understand remote sensing imagery is increasing rapidly.   Drones have emerged as a galvanizing force for business intelligence and risk mitigation  — a 2017 study by PWC found the value of drone-powered solutions is more than $127 billion.   Gartner and Forbes have identified digital twin technology as one of the Top Ten Strategic Technology Trends for 2017.   

Field applications of drone-based photogrammetry, LIDAR, thermal imaging, and hyperspectral imaging are disrupting traditional field methods.  Drones paired with advanced sensor technology allow companies to produce 3D virtual models or ‘digital twins’ of assets and environments linking the physical world to the digital world.   Environmental remediation companies use drones for wastewater monitoring, asset managers use drones to inspect forest fire risk, pipeline operators use drones to inspect pipeline safety, and construction management companies use drones and 3-D imaging to create “digital copies” of projects to verify contractor work.   Enroll in a YBRA FAST course today and elevate your organization.     

The YBRA certificate in Field Applications of Sensor Technologies (FAST 101) teaches cutting-edge field applications of advanced photonics, imaging, and semi-autonomous aerial systems.   Participants learn through hands-on experience with the latest photonics sensor and imaging technologies that are revolutionizing field work in the earth resource, energy, environmental, and agricultural industries.   The course is focused on practical applications of technology which stimulates business market entry, business development projects, public-private research projects, and team-building with course peers and instructors.  


YBRA, the Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association, has been a leader in earth and environmental education since 1936.   Our scenic campus in Red Lodge, Montana is at the gateway to the Greater Yellowstone geo-ecosystem.  YBRA offers unparalleled access to classic alpine ecology in the Beartooth Mountains as well as historic precious metals deposits, unique fossil energy and renewable energy resources, paleontology sites, and historic farm & ranch operations of the Big Horn Basin.  The FAST course combine hands-on fieldwork in these unique outdoor labs with computer data processing and instruction at our rustic Montana campus.  Courses are taught at the YBRA field station in the Beartooth Mountains, the gateway to the Greater Yellowstone Geo-ecosystem.   For more than 70 years our award-winning YBRA field camp program have provided graduates with a unique professional and academic perspective.


There are no continuing education units (CEU) to be granted upon FAST 101 completion.


The FAST 101 course agenda is located here.   The dates are August 18th – 23rd, 2019.   

FAST 101:  Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) and Applied Photogrammetry – 5 CE Units.

Integrate cutting-edge small Unmanned Aerial Systems and Sensors into your professional work flow.  This five-day, fully immersive curriculum will provide instruction on UAS applications; FAA Part 107 regulations; UAS mission planning; flight training; aerial mapping and modeling; and business, operational, organizational, legal and risk management matters.  Increase your ROI by expertly and safely operating unmanned vehicles to acquire highest quality auditable data and deliver actionable analysis at lower cost and cycle time while reducing occupational and institutional risk.


The course enrollment form for both FAST 101 is located at this link.   Course capacity is limited and we will cap total enrollments at thirty (30) participants.  You may be placed on a waiting list. 


Colin Romberger is the Chief Flight Instructor for DARTdrones.  Colin has consulted and trained numerous Fortune 500 and government clients on the use of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) for various applications.  As an operator of commercial unmanned aircraft systems since 2014, Colin was one of the first individuals to secure a Section 333 Exemption from the FAA for unmanned aircraft operations in southcentral Pennsylvania and continues to operate an sUAS services company focused on aerial mapping and inspection applications. Colin received his M.S. in Unmanned Systems from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, where his studies focused on both commercial sUAS operations, as well as High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) systems.  Colin is also a licensed skydiver and former instructor with over 1500 recorded jumps, and he holds multiple FAA Airman Certificates for manned aircraft operations.

Chris French, C.E.G. C.E.G. has nearly four decades experience serving the public and private sectors in earth and environmental science with a present focus on site remediation and redevelopment in the Fortune 100 corporate sector. Previously, Mr. French worked in precious metals exploration and water resource assessment using aerial photogrammetry and remote sensing techniques. He holds a B.A. in Geology from Amherst College and an MS degree in Environmental Science from Rutgers University. He earned a certification in Geomatics and Remote Sensing from Rutgers and is a State of California Certified Engineering Geologist and Registered Geologist. He serves as an industry advisor to the Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association and is member of the Leadership Circle for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Ben Jarrett, is an accomplished UAS operator and experienced flight operations manager. Since its inception in early 2017, Ben has managed all UAS operations for Geomatix. He has personally logged hundreds of hours of fly time for multinational enterprise customers and has planned, managed and overseen hundreds more. With a focus on data quality and precision deliverables, Ben ensures that all Geomatix UAS work products are easy for clients to consume and contain data of the highest caliber.


Industry:      USD $4,395.   The price is all-inclusive, with exception of airfare.   

Academia:   USD $3,395.   The price is all-inclusive, with exception of airfare.   

PHYSICAL requirements

Your safety is paramount.  You must be heart-healthy and be able to walk and hike in outdoor heat and modest cold.  Temperatures may be as warm as 90 degrees Fahrenheit or as cold as 30 degrees Fahrenheit at night.   The average temperature in late August is high’s in the 80’s and low’s in the 50’s.   

English proficiency:  the language of instruction at YBRA is English.   Entry into the U.S. is the responsibility of the attendee.   

PhD’s, PhD candidates, and Master’s level students from accredited universities anywhere in the world are encouraged to enroll, including YBRA alumni.    The minimum age requirement is twenty-one (21) years old.   




1.  Who are the makeup of industry professionals at the course?

Industry professionals in the disciplines of civil and environmental engineering, geology and geotechnical engineering, mining and mineral exploration, oil and gas, agriculture and professional land surveying will benefit from the course.

2.  How much time must I invest to prepare for the field course?  

Approximately two (2) hours.  You must read the curriculum, arrange your own flight, and make necessary payment arrangements for the course.  

3.  Will there be internet connection?

Yes, there is a Wifi network at YBRA.

4.  Will I need to bring my own laptop?

We encourage you to bring a laptop computer and charger.   We will be demonstrating specialized, commercially available desktop and cloud-based software for which trial versions are available.

5.     How far is Red Lodge from the airport in Billings, Bozeman, or Cody?

Billings, Montana airport is approximately 1 hour from Red Lodge.   We will pick you up on Sunday, August 18th (the day before the start of training) and drop you off on Saturday, August 25 (the day after the training ends) at this airport.
6.  Are there other things to do in Red Lodge, MT?

Red Lodge is a unique community that blends a love for the Great Outdoors with a strong spirit of hospitality and open friendliness.  Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and hailed by Outside Magazine as one of the “30 Best Places to Live and Play,” local recreational amenities include golfing, horseback riding, trout fishing, hiking and white water rafting.  Red Lodge lies at the northeast gateway to the world’s outdoor playground of Yellowstone National Park via the breathtaking Beartooth Highway or via the historic rodeo town of Cody, Wyoming.”

7.     What should I pack?
An equipment list will be emailed to you around two weeks before the course starts.  


8.     Will I need to bring my own laptop?
We encourage you to bring a laptop computer and charger.   We will provide specialized software.   However, we do have laptops available for data processing and analysis.
9.     Where can we eat and drink? 
While you are at YBRA, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided to you at the camp’s lodge.   Alcoholic beverages will be available.  
10.     Can I use a cell phone?
Yes, cell phone service is widely available all over Montana and Wyoming.   Cell signals on Verizon are strong.  AT&T and T-Mobile are often roaming. 
11.     Will there be any outdoor camping?
No, the course group will return to YBRA each day.  
12.     What are the living arrangements at YBRA?
All attendees will be assigned cabins which are cleaned and prepared.  The bathroom facilities are shared with others.
13.  Will there be an orientation for field camp?
Yes, an orientation will be given on the first day.   All attendees are required to arrive at YBRA for the orientation.