2018 GeoTEd-UAS Faculty Institute

 Hey GeoTEd-UAS Cohort!
 
The GeoTEd-UAS Institute is kicking off soon! We are geared up, and ready to fly, and we are excited that you will be joining us for the GeoTEd-UAS Institute (May 20-25)! 

This letter contains a lot of important information concerning the GeoTEd-UAS Institute, so please read it carefully (or else you might not know the gate code to get into the parking lot, or you might not know about YOUR presentation on Sunday, May 20!). The 2018 agenda can be found here.

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Day 1: Mission Planning


1. What work should be done prior to attending the Institute?  
One person from each community college will be asked to briefly share a presentation (no more than three minutes) about sUAS activities at their college / institution since last spring. This is an opportunity for all of us to learn from the successes (and challenges) from each other. I encourage you to draw from your documented outcomes associated with the 2017 Institute expectations (that you have provided to your mentor). 
 
Just to clarify, this is one presentation per institution (not one presentation per person).  Feel free to provide handouts (25 copies). If you have a couple of PowerPoint slides that you’d like to share with the group, then feel free to email those to me by Wednesday, May 16.
 
If it has been a while since you have operated a sUAS, then please review FAA regulations and safety protocols prior to your arrival. And go out and practice — manually operate a  sUAS if you are feeling a bit rusty!
 
2. What is the location of the Institute?
We will be meeting (on Sunday) in 315 Cheatham Hall (same place as last year).
 
You can set your car navigation system to these coordinates:
N 37° 14’ 24.73”
W 089° 25’ 21.28”
 
…or you can set your navigation system to the following address:
310 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
 
Keep a look out for the Engel Parking Lot (a great place to park, note that the Gate Code is 1328#). Cheatham Hall is located towards the back of the lot.
 
3. When and where is registration for the Institute?
Registration for the GeoTEd-UAS institute starts on Sunday, May 20th from 11:00 – 12:00. Institute registration will be held outside of 315 Cheatham Hall. Campus maps (both .pdf and WebMapper versions) can be accessed from here: http://www.maps.vt.edu/
a. Note that you will receive your VT Visitor Parking Pass at the registration desk.
b. I would advise you to park in the Engel lot (again, the gate code to the parking lot
      is: 1328#).
 
4. Where should I park?
a. On Sunday:  You do not need a parking pass to park on campus on Sunday when you arrive. Keep in mind that on weekends, you can park in just about any in Faculty, Staff, or Student (R/C/G) parking space if the space is not restricted by signs (avoid handicap, service vehicles, carpool spaces, etc.). I would recommend parking in the Engel Lot (Faculty lot) or the Wallace lot (see parking maphttp://www.maps.vt.edu/).  Do not ‘invent’ a space, or you will receive a ticket.
b.      On Monday – Friday:  Just be sure that your visitor parking tag is properly displayed. With a visitor pass, you can park in just about any parking space (even Faculty/Staff) as long as the space is not restricted by signs. Students are gone, so finding a parking space should be relatively easy.
 
Note that the parking police on campus are very aggressive (even when students are gone and there are plenty of spaces available).  Parking tickets are expensive.  Some infractions are in the $150 range (but most are in the $40 range), so do not forget to hang your parking pass!
 
5. What time will the workshop begin on Sunday?
The workshop itself starts at 12:05 (315 Cheatham Hall) on Sunday, May 20. Note that we will have a working lunch on Sunday, so please bring your appetite.
 
6. What about the dorm accommodations?
For those of you (non-commuters, folks who have not made other arrangements) who are staying in a dorm, you will be staying in the New Hall West dorm (https://www.vt.edu/about/buildings/new-hall-west.html ). New Hall West is just a stone’s throw from where the workshop will be held (Cheatham Hall). The closest parking lot is just in front of Cheatham Hall (also known as the Engel lot).
 
Each of you will enjoy a single occupancy room (with a private bath.  This is a relatively new building, and the dorm has A/C. I suspect that you will pretty much have the entire building more of less to yourselves (basketball / tennis camps will not have started yet).
 
The front desk is open and staffed 24/7, and you can check-in to your room at the front desk anytime on Sunday.
 
7. What do I need to bring to the dorms?
Read this one carefully…
In your New Hall West dorm room, you will be provided with a pillow, pillowcase, two flat sheets, blanket, two towels, a wash cloth, 1 trash bag and a cup.  So ‘no’, you technically do not need to bring linens.
 
HOWEVER, participants from previous institutes have suggested that folks bring their own linens (and pillows).  Apparently, the linens/pillows provided are a bit “rough”. These beds are called “extra-long” twin beds (I guess for the athletes), so bring sheets that will fit appropriately… You will each receive a card that will serve as your key to get into the building and into your room.
 
Otherwise:
· Dorms have great wireless internet access (and we will provide you with a guest account).
· Note that there is a tv in the lounge.  You are also welcome to bring a small tv and a cable for your room if you want to have some personal tv space! 
 
8. What is the dress code for the week? 
This is a super casual workshop.  Tie dye t-shirts, Birkenstocks, and shorts are just fine.  Just keep in mind that the temperatures inside the building can fluctuate, so you might want to bring a light jacket / polar fleece / etc. 
 
Also note that we will be spending some time in the field.  I would like to encourage you to bring a foldable lawn chair and shoes that might be appropriate for grass and gravel.  Sunscreen, a hat, and sun glasses are probably a good idea. THE WEATHER WILL COOPERATE THIS YEAR (everyone repeat that together…), but bring an umbrella just in case. Bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for some sun protection.
 
9. What are we doing for meals? 
We’ve got lots of variety. Some of your meals will be catered, and some (dinners) will be ‘on your own’ (we will reimburse you for the ‘on your own meals’ per state guidelines). 
 
We will also enjoy some great meals at the D2 dining hall (breakfast and some lunches).  D2 has a lot of variety (it is kind of like ‘cruise ship style’, you just go from one ‘station to another’) and offers healthy, vegetarian, and “moderately healthy” options. You will each receive a preloaded meal card that you can use for meals at D2. More info. on campus food is here: http://dining.vt.edu/about/awards_honors.html  
 
10. What is a ‘typical day’? 
We’ll typically start around 8:30 or 9:00, break for lunch, and will wrap up around 5:00 or 6:00. Some evenings we will have a guest speaker. We’ll send out the draft agenda soon!  We will be inside and outside. 
 
11. This seems like a long day, what about a break? 
That’s why we have a break room! Keep your expectations low (no sofas or cushy chairs), but we’ll have a truckload of caffeine for your enjoyment in our break room that will also sport desk copies of text books, posters, magazines and other resources highlighting various products and projects. You might even learn something while on a break!
 
All materials in the break room will be distributed at the conclusion of the workshop to workshop attendees in some kind of a pseudo-orderly fashion.
  
12. When does the Institute end? 
The Institute will wrap up around noon on Friday, May 25th.
 
Other notes:
· Travel to and from the Institute – Keep in mind that you / your institution is responsible for covering transportation related expenses to and from the Institute.
· Make sure that you can access your email from a computer that is not your ‘normal computer’ or your ‘normal tablet’ while at the workshop (some folks have stored usernames and passwords).
· Feel free to bring a laptop if you have one.
 

Do you have additional questions?  Please contact me (John McGee) or your mentor!

Cherie Aukland – AuklandC@tncc.edu

Chris Carter – cxcarter@odu.edu

Fred Coeburn – fcoeburn@mecc.edu

David Webb – dwebb@jtcc.edu

 
 
John McGee
Virginia Tech
Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
307C Cheatham Hall
Blacksburg, VA  24060
(540) 231-2428