Prairie Restoration Drone View

The Missouri Drone Journalism program partnered with the Columbia Audubon Society to provide an aerial documentary of the group’s prairie restoration project at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary within the Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary in Columbia, Missouri. More than 15 acres of a former cow pasture were seeded with Missouri native grasses and wildflowers. In 2016, the Native Plant Society helped plant 147 pounds of seed containing 86 species to restore the prairie. Now in its second full growth season, the prairie is an explosion of color.


Drone Flight Labs — Spring 2017

Students maneuver DJI Phantom 1 quadcopters through the drone obstacle course on the final flight lab of the Spring 2017 semester as part of the “Drone Issues, Applications and Flight” class at the University of Missouri.  With FAA Part 107, this is the first year that outdoor operations are permitted. The course training includes a series of six hands-on exercises that introduces basic maneuvers and then advances to skilled exercises such as “yaw” and “orbit” techniques.  The “Marching Mizzou” band graciously provided their practice lot for training use during the semester.  The class is affiliated with the Missouri Drone Journalism program and promotes safe, responsible and legal use of unmanned aircraft.

Drone flight vests

Drone vests for Missouri Drone Journalism.

Missouri Drone Journalism acquires vests to improve safety, clarify identity and heighten pilot visibility during flight operations.

The vests help counter a lot of discussion and questions that would interrupt the pilot during flight controls.  It also provides authorities and law enforcement with immediate validation and transparency.

The vest are paired — one labeled for the remote pilot and another for the visual observer labeled as crew.

Drone Policy Adopted by Missouri School of Journalism

The first comprehensive guidelines for the use of unmanned aircraft was passed by the Policy Committee of the University of Missouri School of Journalism on December 14, 2016.

The action sets “safe, legal and responsible” protocol for students, faculty and staff who wish to fly drones for stories with affiliated School of Journalism news organizations or for classes.  The procedures are intended to ensure that the Missouri School of Journalism takes full advantage of the new regulations enacted by the Federal Aviation Administration in June 2016.

The core standards exceeds FAA rules by requiring practical flight experience, as well as an understanding of the concepts under Title 14 CFR, Part 107.
This includes:
• Direct supervision by a pilot holding an FAA Remote Pilot Airman license.
• Completion of an approved study guide for the FAA Part 107 Knowledge Test.
• A minimum of six hour of hands-on flight training, through an intermediate skill level.

“The goal is to promote a culture of constructive attitude and pattern of behavior that demonstrates a commitment to safety,” said Richard Shaw of the Missouri Drone Journalism program.

The Missouri Drone Journalism program is an interdisciplinary partnership at the University of Missouri dedicated to helping students understand and use small, unmanned aircraft systems in service to society.

Sacred Sites to Building Boom

Drone’s dramatic storytelling power contrasts our past and present ways of life.

An ancient Native American burial mound is discovered on the bluffs above Perche Creek in Missouri during planning for a new housing development.
(Published in The Missourian, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016)

New construction of multi-story luxury student apartments continue to change the skyline of Columbia, Missouri.
(Published in Vox Magazine, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016)






Missouri Drone Workshop covers broad topics: FAA Part 107, cinematography & flight

Missouri Drone Journalism hosted a day-long workshop on the campus of the University of Missouri that attracted more than 45 participants, including students, television news photojournalists, visiting faculty and realtors.  The program covered the FAA’s new Part 107 regulations, reviewed the necessary study topics for the Remote Pilot exam, demonstrated classic cinema techniques and three hours of flight training during the afternoon on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016.




Drone Journalism Workshop Oct. 8

The Missouri Drone Journalism program offers a drone workshop on Saturday, Oct. 8 that provides the latest issues, regulations and trends on the use of unmanned aircraft for journalists. The one-day seminar includes presentations on videography techniques and the steps to earn the Remote Pilot License to legally fly for journalistic purposes, plus an afternoon of hands-on flight.

The public is welcome to attend with a $195 workshop fee collected at the door prior to the start of the workshop.
Student registration is free.

Click here to register via the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute website

See the page link below for more information:

Autel Robotics drone arrives

Autel's X-Star quadcopter makes its inaugural test flight with the Missouri Drone Journalism program on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016 at the Rock Bridge High School athletic fields. Coordinating the flight is, from left, Bill Allen, Kris Corbett, Muhammad Al-Rawi and Rick Shaw.

Autel Robotics’ X-Star quadcopter makes its inaugural test flight Aug. 21, 2016 in Columbia, MO. Coordinating the flight are, from left, Bill Allen, Kris Corbett, Muhammad Al-Rawi and Rick Shaw.

Students and faculty with the Missouri Drone Journalism program test fly an Autel Robotics X-Star Premium quadcopter Aug. 21 in Columbia.

The drone, a gift to the program from Autel Robotics, will be used as part of drone journalism classes and projects involving students from the Missouri School of Journalism and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

From left to right: Bill Allen, assistant professor of science journalism; Kris Corbett, Forestry and Fisheries and Wildlife student; Muhammad al-Rawi, electrical engineering student; and Rick Shaw, of the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Thanks, Autel Robotics, for helping us educate safe, responsible and creative drone journalists of the future!