Becca Fenwick

Becca Fenwick is the founding director of the UC Santa Cruz CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research (CIDER). This program brings together students, researchers and industry partners from many sectors to fuel research and innovation and develop a diverse drone workforce. CIDER trains a cohort of diverse undergraduates annually to fly drones and process and interpret drone data. The students gain experience flying a variety of missions, receive an understanding of drone safety and privacy, and prepare and take their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 exam. CIDER also supports student and faculty research, partners closely with industry, and accepts external drone contracts employing the trained student workforce.

Fenwick and the CIDER team are working closely with UC Santa Cruz partners; Hartnell Community College; Digital Nest; the Monterey Bay Drone, Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) initiative; and many other regional partners to develop multiple pathways to develop the varied drone and automation workforce that will be needed around the region.

Working with drones unites Fenwick’s varied skill sets: her geospatial expertise from a marine geology and geophysics doctorate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, her land conservation expertise from almost a decade as a reserve director for the UC Natural Reserve System, and her 15 years of environmental IT, tech and sensor network experience as the director of environmental IT for the UC Natural Reserve System.

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Research Areas