Emma Estabrook: I Can’t Believe I’m a Drone Pilot

Suffield’s Women in Math & Science Lecture Series continued in Tisch Auditorium on February 8. The series features a guest speaker working in a field relating to math or science each term.
Emma Estabrook is a research technician and drone pilot in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont (UVM) Spatial Analysis Laboratory (SAL). During her talk “I Can’t Believe I’m a Drone Pilot,” Emma shared with students and faculty the many facets of her environmental work. A native of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Emma majored in environmental sciences in the Rubenstein School at UVM and minored in both geospatial technologies and soil science. She was hired in 2017 as the lab’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team lead and now flies drones to collect mapping data for the SAL’s many contracted projects with the federal government, municipalities, and private companies. She manages nearly 10 student employees involved in the team.
She commented, “As a young student I was always pretty average and not very good at any particular thing or subject. It wasn’t until I entered my sophomore year at UVM when I discovered a passion for environmental science. I never expected to be doing what I am now, and that is a very exciting part of education. My advice to you is to say yes to any opportunity that can increase your set of skills and interests. I am constantly learning in and out of my job. Learning does not stop when you leave college. There are countless advantages to working with drones and the data we collect is remarkable. I love my job.”
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