One Tree Planted Partners with Vets to Drones and Carolina Drone Lab
Veterans in the Forest Program
Tying drone technology to environmental sustainability to improve America’s workforce
Vets to Drones, One Tree Planted, and UNC Chapel Hill’s Carolina Drone Lab are proud to announce the creation of the Veterans in the Forest Program, a partnership to train veterans and provide on-the-job experience in drone-based forest monitoring technology. Using Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS; AKA drones) and advanced imaging technology, data will be collected from One Tree Planted reforestation sites across the United States and analyzed by the Carolina Drone Lab to enhance the site’s efficacy while providing development opportunities to veterans entering the workforce.
"I am proud to announce our partnership with One Tree Planted and the Carolina Drone Lab allowing veterans to field the skills learned in the Vets to Drones program while showing the effectiveness UAS technology can have on reforestation and environmentalism.” Chris Lewis, Founder, Vets to Drones
Vets to Drones is a nonprofit organization that helps military and first responder veterans learn how to use UAS technology professionally. Vets to Drones is committed to embedding its students into the monitoring efforts and data collection of One Tree Planted’s reforestation sites across the United States. This opportunity provides unparalleled experience for the field teams involved in these projects. Additionally, it provides critical data for One Tree Planted’s reforestation mission while also bringing analysis and interpretation of the data collected through our partnership with UNC Chapel Hill’s Carolina Drone Lab.
"At One Tree Planted, our goal is to provide transparency and accountability for the planting projects that we support while building the capacity of our partners. The Vets to Drones partnership will help build the technical skills of Veterans, preparing them for the workforce, while providing drone imagery that supports monitoring, verification and reporting for environmental and sustainability goals." says Breece Robertson, Director of Impact Assessment and Monitoring at One Tree Planted
The Carolina Drone Lab’s mission is to use remote sensing technology, primarily drones, to fill data gaps, answer questions about our changing environment, and inform decision making. Expanding the current use of drones and sensors to track, measure, and monitor One Tree Planted projects over time will improve quantification of environmental and societal impacts, as well as inform ways to enhance future projects. Involving the Veterans in the Forest Program in these efforts is paving new pathways for veterans and CARDNL looks forward to bringing their experience in training drone pilots for environmental applications.
"The Carolina Drone Lab is thrilled to partner with One Tree Planted and Vets to Drones. These organizations are doing amazing work and we look forward to contributing to their efforts in reforestation projects and bringing environmental and remote sensing career pathways to veterans.”Susan Cohen, UNC Institute for the Environment and Carolina Drone Lab
About Vets to Drones
The Vets to Drones program is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that prepares military and first responder veterans to enter the commercial drone industry. Our graduates are Part 107 Certified and tested to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) criteria. We started this program to introduce the opportunities within the commercial drone industry to the veteran community. Becoming a UAS pilot creates new and exciting career opportunities for veterans looking for more from the commercial sector. We have partners across communities, including UAS industry experts, natural disaster response agencies, humanitarian aid NGOs, and veteran founded businesses. We are proud to work with industry partners to train our veteran students to prepare for the future of flight! To learn more, visit their website.
About One Tree Planted
One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Our projects span the globe and are done in partnership with local communities and knowledgeable experts to create an impact for nature, people, and wildlife. Reforestation helps to rebuild forests after fires and floods, provide jobs for social impact, and restore biodiversity. Many projects have overlapping objectives, creating a combination of benefits that contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
About the Carolina Drone Lab
The Carolina Drone Lab, housed at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, Institute for the Environment, serves as a collaborative space and knowledge hub for the UNC community and beyond. The Lab facilitates innovative use of drones and sensors to solve environmental and societal challenges. The Lab maintains a series of unoccupied aerial vehicles, sensors, geospatial data collection tools, and field gear to support data-driven projects in a wide range of ecosystem types from forests to marshes. CARDNL keeps a schedule of workshops, technical support, and on-demand training opportunities to bring remote sensing technology and drone programs to broad audiences and end-users. To learn more, visit their website.