Drone interest group

A Drone Interest Group is forming. It’s a discussion group for those interested in drone technology, and is meant to connect the interested individuals, as well as to educate the campus on what drones are, laws surrounding them, and more. The group meets biweekly at 5 p.m. in MAC 212, and discusses topics selected by group members. Discussions are led by student Cody Becker. E-mail your interest to becker30@uwgb.edu.

Cody Becker flying drone camera

Student inventor and ‘tinkerer’ facilitates drone research at UWGB

With a combination of his own inventiveness and ingenuity, and support from UW‑Green Bay faculty, sophomore Cody Becker is using high-impact experiences to uniquely tackle a local problem (invasive plants) while preparing himself for the evolving demands of the contemporary workplace.

Cody Becker flying drone
Cody Becker

UW‑Green Bay sophomore Cody Becker is a self-proclaimed tinkerer and inventor with an entrepreneurial spirit. At 15, he modified a bicycle to make it motorized. By the time his was 17, he built a generator that splits water into its component gases, hydrogen and oxygen.

It should come as no surprise then, that when called on, the UW‑Green Bay sophomore from Sheboygan, Wis. was able to research and modify a drone to help UWGB Prof. Bob Howe and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity with vegetation and invasive mapping of the University’s natural areas.

Becker is an Environmental Science and Geoscience major (with a minor in Physics) at UW‑Green Bay. He is also pursuing an Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) integrated master’s degree.

His college accomplishments are already earning him praise and some financial acclaim. He is a recipient of the Natural and Applied Science Chad Moritz and Beth Meyerand Annual scholarship, and was selected to show his research, “Aerial Surveying and Vegetation Mapping Using Drone Technology at the Point au Sable Nature Reserve” at the 2016 Posters in Rotunda session at the Capital in spring.

“Cody impressed me right away,” said Howe, who met Cody just a little over a year ago when he interviewed for a summer research opportunity at the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. “I was intrigued by his interests and experience in applications of new technology, such as the use of remote controlled drones for scientific research. He has exceeded even our initially high expectations.”

Although he has worked on a variety of projects, including mammal
surveying and vegetation mapping, it’s the drone research at Point au Sable that others seem to take an immediate interest in.

Point au Sable is a well-mapped natural area owned by the University just a few miles from campus. Becker and his team evaluated the area by using a Quadcopter drone and a GoPro camera to take high definition wide-angled videos. The drone is used to fly in a grid pattern to obtain high resolution video of Point au Sable. (See sidebar for details.)

Aerial surveying is an important tool in identifying invasive species, in particular the aggressive grass Phragmites australis, because the low altitude drone video allows scientists and Geographic Information System (GIS) specialists to visually identify areas requiring treatment and management. This means less time spent identifying and mapping the invasive species and more time directly managing them.

Becker also assisted the University’s Risk Management Committee by submitting his written “Drone Code of Ethics,” which provides rules for all new drone pilots to follow.

Becker said others tend to recognize and comment on his ability to both engineer, and also communicate — a rare right-brain, left-brain combination.

“To get to the point of obtaining the drone, I would have to explain the technical aspects of the drone to those who are considering the environmental side of the issue and how we could best get the information we needed.”

Becker transferred to UWGB from UW-Milwaukee where he started out in a mechanical engineering program. In a robotics lab at UWM he studied, designed and built a kite-based multispectral imaging system that could rapidly assess the growth of near-shore algae in Lake Michigan and a large radio-controlled pontoon boat for plankton sampling

“I decided that mechanical engineering would be a great hobby, but not a great career for me.
I was familiar with UW‑Green Bay because of prior visits. I’m an outdoor-type person and the campus setting is a great fit for me.

I explored my first semester here for research opportunities and ended up in the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. UWGB Professors Steve Meyer and Bob Howe and others have been incredible to work with.”

Becker also worked on other projects — with teams of student researchers studying mammal populations at the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot in the Nicolet National Forest in northern
Wisconsin; helping with vegetation management of university-owned natural areas in Lower Green Bay and participating in a field inventory of remnant natural habitats in the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern.

In summer of 2016, Becker will work for a company helping with GIS mapping, but he will be back to work with the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity next fall, and hopefully until he graduates (first with his undergraduate in May of 2018 and as a ES&P graduate in May 2019). He and his faculty members have their sites on new technologies and modifications that can aid in further research such as integrating thermal imaging or infrared technology into the drone research.

Drone Video: From Collection to Desktop

During the drone flight, the onboard Pixhawk flight controller automatically creates flight logs which store all onboard sensor information. This information includes altitude, pitch, yaw, velocity, battery health and many other sensor data. The altitude at which the video was taken varies from 50 to 100 meters. The GoPro has a 170 degree wide angle, which allows a large field of view to be seen in the video. However, the nature of the wide-angled lens creates a fish-eyed distortion. After each flight, the 1080p video is post-processed. GoPro Studio Software is used to remove the fish-eyed effect from the video and to extract still images from the video and Windows Movie Maker is used to edit and create publishable videos for YouTube.

2016 Posters in the Rotunda

UW-Green Bay at Posters in the Rotunda 2016

Congratulations to the nine UWGB students nominated to discuss their research to State legislators and UW System and institutional leaders at the 13th annual “Posters in the Rotunda,” in Madison on Wednesday, April 13. The annual research symposium brings students and faculty from UW System campuses to Madison to share their research findings on a variety of important topics with legislators, state leaders, UW alumni, and the public inside the historic Capitol Rotunda. This year, the UW System and institutional leaders welcomed 140 students and nearly 90 faculty mentors to the event. The event puts special emphasis on the importance of undergraduate research and educational support at state and national levels. Pictured with the students from UWGB are Chancellor Gary Miller, Provost Greg Davis, Associate Chancellor Ron Pfeifer and Assistant Vice Chancellor Mathew Dornbush. The following are UW-Green Bay students participating in the event, their hometowns, and the titles of the research projects.

  • Cody Becker, Sheboygan (Prof. Robert Howe) — “Aerial Surveying and Vegetation Mapping Using Drone Technology at the Point au Sable Nature Reserve”
  • Kortney Krajewski, Little Suamico (Assistant Prof. Sawa Senzaki) — “Cultural Competency: Before and After Studying Abroad”
  • Noel Craig, Green Bay (Prof. Kevin Fermanich) — “Determination of Water Extractable Phosphorus for a Northeast Wisconsin Soil Quality Index”
  • Jeremiah Shrovnal, Green Bay (Associate Prof. Patrick Forsythe) — “Growth Rate Analysis of Coastal Wetland and Near Shore Great Lakes Fish Using Otolith Dating”
  • Matthew Nichols, Wausau (Assistant Prof. Ryan Holzem) — “Manure Lagoon Additive Performance Evaluation”
  • Kyle Marshall, New Franken; Kayla Hodorff, Malone (Associate Prof. Gaurav Bansal) — “Moral Beliefs and Organizational Information Security Policy Compliance: The Role of Gender”
  • Zachary Ashauer, Hortonville (Assistant Prof. Ryan Currier) — “The Lashly Mountains of Southern Victorialand, Antarctica: Investigating a Possible Ancient Volcano”
  • Kelli Hutchinson, Trevor (Associate Prof. Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges) — “Timing and the Influence of Visualization on Sports Performance”

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Posters in the Rotunda 2016

– Photos by Avery Garcia, Office of Graduate Studies and Office of Grants and Research

Record number of scholarship funds presented to science students

GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay honored some of its top science scholars Friday, Jan. 29, with more than $32,900 in scholarship funding presented to 30 recipients. Flanked by parents, faculty members and donors, students were recognized for high grades, outstanding scholarship, innovative research and overall academic excellence. Receiving awards:

Cody Becker (So. Environmental Science and Geoscience major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Chad Moritz and Beth Meyer Annual Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Worked in the robotics laboratory at UW-Milwaukee, where he studied, designed, and built a kite-based multispectral imaging system to rapidly assess the growth of near-shore algae in Lake Michigan and a large radio-controlled pontoon boat for plankton sampling. In Spring 2015, he presented his research from UW-Milwaukee at the UW-System Undergraduate Research Symposium and won the Most Outstanding Poster Presentation Award for his aerial imaging research. He has since worked with Prof. Bob Howe at the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity on a multitude of projects, including vegetation mapping, mammal surveying, and the creation of a drone program. Based on his drone research experience and summer aerial imaging work, Becker has become involved with UWGB’s Risk Management Committee to aid in creating a UW-Systemwide policy on drone use.

Krystal Clark (Sr. Environmental Science major, Menominee, Mich.) receiving the Alfred O. and Phyllis E. Holz Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: An active member of the Public and Environmental Affairs Council (PEAC), Round River Alliance, American Fisheries Society (AFS), SLO Foods, and the Geology Club. She was elected President of PEAC this year. Served a summer 2015 internship as a research assistant for the Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Lab where she assisted with a Sea Grant project on quantifying coastal wetland in the area. Recently returned from the travel abroad course to Panama. She is interested in a career involving environmental consulting, pollution control/prevention, and waste management.

Molly Dederich (Sr. Mathematics major, Menomonee Falls, Wis.) receiving the Todd and Julie Bartels Annual Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Extensively involved in the Green Bay Optimist Club and serving her third year as co-president for the organization. Lead staff member with the Greater Green Bay YMCA’s school age childcare program. Volunteer with Terror on the Fox, Kid’s Autumn Adventure, the Center for Childhood Safety, the Brown County Library, the Neville Public Museum, and Green Bay Preble High School helping students prepare to take the math portion of the ACT. Member of the UWGB Pep Band. Her goal is to teach math at the middle school level.

Amy Deringer (Fr. Environmental Engineering Technology and Business Administration major, Ringle Wis.) receiving the Faith Technologies, Inc. Annual Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Participated in a porcupine ecology study conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In high school she was part of the Wisconsin Youth in Government program sponsored by the YMCA. Currently, she is working 10 hours a week as a drafting intern for a window and door manufacturing company. Her plan is to pursue a law degree in either environmental or corporate law.

Stephanie Hermans (Jr. Animal Biology major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Herbert Fisk Johnson Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Active volunteer at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary for the past five years. In summer 2015 interned with Trees for Tomorrow in Eagle River, Wis. Worked with graduate student on researching and collecting data on mushrooms in Door County. Was a resident assistant for Residence Life last year, and now serves as a community advisor. She is vice president of Student WEA, and is active in other organizations including Healthy Choices Task Force, Residence Green Life Committee, and Phi Eta Sigma. Her goal is to work with animals in a wildlife sanctuary or zoo prior to becoming a science teacher.

Elisabeth Hidde (Fr. Environmental Science major, Appleton, Wis.) receiving the Carol R. De Groot Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: For a class project, she observed and noted the effects of a controlled prairie burn. Has had multiple opportunities to observe and study an entire pond ecosystem at her high school. Faculty member noted that her essays are easily among the best in class. She is interested in the NAS integrated bachelor’s to master’s degree program.

Dessiray Koss (Jr. Mechanical Engineering Technolgy, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Susan Finco and Ed Kralovec Endowed Scholarship, and the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance Future All-Stars Annual Scholarship.

Accomplishments: In May 2013 received and Associate’s Degree in Mechanical Design Technology from NWTC as well as a Parametric Modeling and CAD Certificate. Was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa while attending NWTC. Has worked full-time as an engineer designer at Essco Inc. for more than two years.

Allison LeMahieu (So. Mathematics Statistics major, Franklin, Wis.) receiving the Herbert Fisk Johnson Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Serves as a resident assistant. Is vice chair for SUFAC, and the secretary of “Love Your Melon.” An active member in Public and Environmental Affairs Council, Habitat for Humanity and Oxfam America. Is involved with various committees including the Dining RFP Committee, Inclusivity in the Workplace Subcommittee, and the Childcare Alliance. Intends to pursue a career in actuarial science.

Faith Lindermann (Jr. Chemistry major, Cleveland, Wis.) receiving the Nancy Sell Memorial Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Serves as a resident assistant. Completed a research project with Dr. Mike Mcintire in studying the oxidation rate of iron. Will be working with Dr. Franklin Chen in the area of polymer chemistry soil research. Will be joining Tutoring Services next semester as a tutor for Chemistry.

Haley Lucas (Jr. Environmental Science major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Brown County Waste Transformation Team Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Developed a volunteer internship through the Richard Mauthe Center, in which she researched, engineered, and constructed an aquaponics system, consisting of a 350-gallon fish tank and a 100-gallon grow bed. Has launched and maintained several projects including community composting, vermicomposting and a vegetable garden. Summer 2015, she interned for the Green Bay Botanical Gardens as the invasive species manager. Active member since 2013 of the UW-Green Bay Phoenix women’s swimming and diving team. Made the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll and also received the Team Leader Award in 2015. She has been inducted into the Phi Eta sigma National Freshman Honor Society. She is looking forward to continuing research in sustainable land management, and receiving her master’s degree at UW-Green Bay.

Matthew Malcore (Sr. Environmental Science and Environmental Policy and Planning major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Alfred O. and Phyllis E. Holz Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Active member of Public and Environmental Affairs Council since Fall 2012, and managed the budget as the PEAC treasurer since Spring 2013. In Spring 2014, he received an EMBI internship with Zeus Recycling, and established a plastic film recycling program on campus. He is considering graduate school for Environmental Science and/or Policy. He is interested in renewable energy and in pursuing a career in nuclear power or the solar photovoltaic industry.

Samuel Mantel (Sr. Cellular and Molecular Biology major, New Berlin, Wis.) receiving the Nancy Sell Memorial Scholarship.

Accomplishments: In summer 2015, was given a fellowship in the lab of Dr. Andrea Sweigart at the University of Georgia, where he worked with a graduate student on a portion of his dissertation research investigating the effects of transmission ratio distortion on the maintenance in a 2-locus Dobzhansky-Muller Incompatibility in Mimulus. He is currently conducting research with UWGB Prof. Uwe Pott on developing a size standard of the human D1S80 VNTR. Inducted into Tribeta, the National Biological Honor Society, is president of the Newman Club and has worked for the grounds crew at UWGB for three years. He is planning on a career in genetic research and is pursuing admission to several Ph.D. Programs in genetics for next fall.

David Maruszczak (Sr. Mechanical Engineering Technology major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Beth and Richard Gochnauer Scholarship.

Accomplishments: His interest in mechanical engineering blossomed during his youth on a farm and helping his father maintain the farm machinery. His acquired knowledge about mechanics which has fueled his interest in mechanical engineering technology. His dedication and persistence is noted by UWGB faculty.

Brianna Messner (Sr. Mathematics and Spanish, from Seymour, Wis.) receiving the Science and Mathematics Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Member of the Phoenix soccer team, Spanish Club, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the freshman honor society Phi Eta Sigma, and Phi Kappa Phi — the academic honor society dedicated to the recognition and promotion of academic excellence in all fields of higher education. As a freshman she presented at the Academic Excellence Symposium after working closely with Prof. Greg Davis on a study regarding math and sports.

Ashley Morin (Sr. Animal Biology and Ecology and Conservation Biology major, Niagara, Wis.) received the Herbert Fisk Johnson Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Worked with a graduate student through electrofishing of Green Bay tributaries, performing seine hauls, and conducting fyke net surveys. Assisted the DNR with duck banding at the George W. Mead Wildlife Area. Volunteered to restore the Keith White Prairie on campus, and assisted with the prescribed burn last November. She has worked for the USDA-Wildlife Services on research related to wolf depredation on livestock for the past two years. Inducted in 2014 to the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

Joshua Moyer (Sr. Cellular and Molecular Biology major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Ganga and Elizabeth Nair Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Working with graduate student Samantha Nellis on performing research looking at microbial populations in nectar. He was inducted into the TriBeta, Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Societies. He volunteers with his church’s confirmation program. He plans on finishing his undergraduate degree in Biology, and then pursuing higher education in graduate or medical school.

Matthew Nichols (Sr. Chemistry and Individual major, Wausau, Wis.) receiving the Northeast Wisconsin Engineering Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Interned for the past two summers at the Marathon County Health Laboratory where he performed bacteriological and chemical laboratory testing on private drinking water, sewage effluent, hotel pools, and hotel whirlpools. Volunteered for the DNR as a lake water quality monitor in Lincoln County for the past two summers. Currently working on a research project with Prof. Ryan Holzem to provide the company ProfitProAG with a performance evaluation on their Manure MasterTM product. Member of UWGB Nordic ski team, serving as captain for three years. His goal is a career in environmental engineering or environmental science, focusing on water quality.

Kenzie Ostien (Fr. Environmental Science major, Appleton, Wis.) receiving the Carol R. De Groot Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Passionate about environmental topics such as agriculture, alternative energy resources, and hydrology. Immersed in many organizations like the Camping and Climbing Clubs, Ballroom Dancing Club and intramurals. Volunteer for Good Times Programming (GTP).

Eric Short (Jr. Environmental Engineering Technology major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Dykema Family Endowed Scholarship and the Superior Diesel Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Has balanced work in a construction company for five years, and in a bakery for two years, while taking classes at NWTC. Aspirations for a career in environmental engineering technology.

Jeremiah Shrovnal (Sr. Ecology and Conservation Biology major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the James E. Casperson Memorial Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Actively engaged, and current president of UWGB’s American Fisheries Society, which has provided him many opportunities such as assisting in a Manitowoc based pre-restoration, working at the Strawberry Weir fishery, catching and documenting returning Chinook Salmon, sampling larval Lake Whitefish on the Menominee River, monitoring Northern Pike populations in the Green Bay wetlands, and attending the Wisconsin state chapter conference of the American Fisheries Society. Involved with Round River Alliance on campus, along with HIVE, and SLO. Last summer he researched the spider communities in Phragmites in Green Bay, and volunteered for Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey. Inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor society. Has plans to apply to graduate school to study terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems’ ecology, conservation, and restoration.

Angela Smet (Jr. Environmental Science major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Katie Hemauer Memorial Scholarship and the Herbert Fisk Johnson Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Volunteered this past summer 230+hours as a National Park Volunteer for Pictured Rocks in Munising, Michigan. Taught as a graduate mentor for the TRIO and Precollege Comparative Anatomy students this past summer. Working with Dr. Franklin Chen in researching the effects of the polymers on sand soil nutrient retention property using EDTA titration route. Inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Societies in 2015. Hopes to use her background in Environmental Science to understand the negative health effects to humans at home and across the globe.

Benjamin Stratman (Fr. Pre-engineering major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Northeast Wisconsin Engineering First Year Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Contributed to the Einstein Science Expo by building and testing models present at the expo, and helped build a pitching machine and a billiard ball machine. Was a state championship qualifier for Bay Port High School. Active member of church functions at Celebration Church and St. John the Baptist parish. Will participate in a 10-day mission trip to India this spring. His goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Sahara Tanner (Sr. Environmental Science major, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Morgan/Macaluso Family Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Represented the Wisconsin Farmers Union in the National Famers Union Washington D.C. Fly-In in fall 2013. Was a teaching assistant for Prof. Patrick Fosythe’s Introduction to Environmental Science course. Worked with Prof. Mathew Dornbush and graduate student Brianna Kupsky on the Cat Island/Duck Creek Habitat Restoration Research Project. Managed UWGB’s organic garden as co-president of Sustainable Local Organic (SLO) Food Alliance. Works with Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, helping with events such as the prairie burn, and organizing/consolidating data from numerous Green Bay research projects. Recently returned from a study abroad trip to Panama.

Emily Vandersteen (Jr. Ecology and Conservation biology major, De Pere, Wis.) receiving Moose Lodge Rod and Gun Club Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Worked for the Door County Soil and Water Department as a conservation LTE, where she managed and controlled terrestrial invasive plant species. Currently serves the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and its campus natural areas. Tutors biology and environmental science students. Active volunteer at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. She hopes to acquire a position with the DNR or U.S. Fish and Wildlife after graduation.

James Vasquez (Jr. Mechanical Engineering Technology, Green Bay, Wis.) receiving the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance Future All-Stars Annual Scholarship and the Lee and Kathy Anderson Endowed Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Worked full time in manufacturing for more than five years at Krueger International in Green Bay. Is s transfer student from UW-Milwaukee and aspires to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering technology. Said a faculty member, “James’ engineering judgment, while still developing, is at the top of his class.”

Touhue Yang (Sr. Humanistic Studies and Ecology and Conservation Biology major, Suamico, Wis.) receiving the Bradford L. Cook Memorial Scholarship.

Accomplishments: Worked as a student intern for the Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Lab at UW-Green Bay. Currently assisting a graduate student on looking at the distribution of larval fish in Green Bay and is organizing, enumerating and identifying the larval fish samples. Currently working with Prof. Patrick Forsythe examining the distribution of zooplankton in Green Bay. Active volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay. Has plans to pursue a master’s degree.


Droning message

Already emailed campuswide but repeated here for the record:  UW-Green Bay’s Office of Public Safety is advising students, staff and faculty to be aware of the general FAA regulations governing so-called “drones.” (The unmanned aircraft are expected to go mainstream this Christmas with thousands, millions or more of the remote-controlled devices sold to amateurs nationwide.) Long story short: Keep them a prescribed distance away from the Cofrin Library or any halls, buildings or outdoor events. See the summary at http://www.uwgb.edu/publicsafety/documents/Unmanned%20Aircraft%20Campus%20Use.pdf