Mapping with Drones Field School

Lidar drone and ground control point for Eastern Denali Fault survey (Photo by Roger Stephen)

When and Where

Please note, this field school is currently offered by the Continuing Studies department. 

For more information please visit the Continuinig Studies webpage. 


How to Apply

Applications closed for 2022. Stay tuned for future offerings!

Contact  if you have any questions.

Program Overview

For a full program description, see the Information Sheet.

Drones provide field scientists a rapid platform to acquire multi-view imagery to create high resolution 3D maps. This course introduces students to flight planning, ground validation survey using RTK-GNSS, Structure from Motion (SfM) processing, and geospatial analysis. Common datasets derived from SfM processing include high resolution orthomosaics, DEMs and 3D point clouds. SfM outputs are useful for analyses and applications including but not limited to forest mensuration, environmental monitoring, change detection, and geomorphic surveys.

Students will take part in field and lab exercises exposing them to various sensors, platforms, and field equipment necessary for a photogrammetric SfM survey.

During the field camp portion of the course taking part at Cowichan Lake, a final group project will provide students an opportunity to take part in planning, acquiring, and analyzing drone imagery for their selected field site.


• Students must have second-year standing, and have completed GEOG 222 and GEOG 228 (or equivalent).
• This field school consists of both classroom and outdoor field-based activities. At times this course will be physically demanding. Applicants must mention if they have any accessibility needs that may affect their ability to participate in these activities.
• Must be a UVic student. Non-Geography students are invited to apply.

If you have any further questions, please email Roger Stephen at .


This field school is comprised of one course worth 1.5 credits.  Successful applicants will be registered in the course through special registration by the Department of Geography (students will not register themselves).

1. Geog 391 – Topics in Geography: Mapping with Drones

Field School Fees

For field schools, students pay regular UVic tuition plus field school fees.

Fees can be paid by cheque, money order, counter cheque, or cash ONLY. Cheques should be made payable to the University of Victoria. Payment can be dropped off at the Geography main office (David Turpin Building, room B203) or mailed (cheques only).

Field school fees*:

  • $100 deposit paid at time of application, plus:
  • $300 paid within one week of acceptance into the field program

*All field school fees are subject to change between program offerings. 

Field school fees include:                   

  • Accommodation (bunkhouse-style at Cowichan Lake Education Centre) from May 6 – 8, 2022
  • Prepared meals (dinner, May 6 – lunch, May 8)
  • Transport to & from field site

 Field school fees do not include:

  • Tuition
  • Breakfast and lunch on Friday, May 6 (Please pack a lunch; however, we will stop briefly in Lake Cowichan for last minute food)
  • Other expenses such as any personal gear (sleeping bags, day packs, etc.) required/recommended for the course (equipment list provided upon acceptance into the field program)

Financial Support

This field school has been directly subsidized by the Faculty of Social Sciences Field School Support Fund. No application is necessary to receive this support, as it has already been built into the field school fees.