NEW Workshop!

Location:  Virtual (Zoom)!!!

What: 2-day workshop. Mapping with Drones. This workshop prepares individuals to take the FAA’s Part 107 test.

Who:  Extension agents / specialists, Private industry, Natural resource professionals, Planning professionals, Local/State govt. employees, Public safety professionals, Agricultural operators, Educators (high school, community college, university), Realtors, Inspection teams, etc.  This is an introductory workshop… No previous experience or knowledge is necessary.

Topic: Mapping with Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)

Online Registration:  Online registration is available from . Online registration is required with a registration fee of $250 (credit card accepted via VT’s secure site). There are a limited number of discounted registrations available for Virginia Cooperative Extension and full time high school teachers ($175).  Due to university regulations, VT employees and students are unable to use a P-card for payment.  Note that online registration typically closes ~1 month prior to each workshop date to provide time to mail workshop material.

When*:  This is a 2-day workshop.  Several workshop options are available including:

  • Workshop #1:  January 3-5, 2023  – Registration is closed
  • Workshop #2:  May 31 – June 1, 2023  – Registration is closed
  • Workshop #3:  August 14 – 15, 2023 – Registration is closed
  • Workshop #4: December 14 – 15, 2023 – Registration is closed
  • Workshop #5:  January 4-5, 2024

*General agenda: Day #1, 9:00 – 5:00 (FAA regulations) | Day #2, 9:00 – 5:00 (Regulations, ancillary knowledge, basic flight planning) with scheduled times for breaks &  lunch

Participant Testimonials:

This was by far one of the best training programs I have attended in my 30+ years of Extension work. The instructors were extremely well prepared and knowledgeable.                         -VCE Agricultural Extension Specialist

This workshop was of tremendous value. The content was all-encompassing and took me as a student from the understanding of bare basics to feeling confident in my ability to take the Part 107 and utilize a drone for mapping purposes…          -Local Government Employee

This workshop was exactly what I needed to help me think through the details of operating a drone with Virginia Tech undergraduates to help support urban temperature mapping in Roanoke. I was primarily interested in learning about how to operate safely, how to identify risks and how to mitigate them, and what kind of equipment would be best for my needs. All of these topics were well-covered in this workshop…               -Higher Education Faculty member

I am glad to have gained this knowledge as it will make me more professional, a safer sUAS pilot, and almost certainly get longer use out of my drone…                  -Private Sector Employee

Cost: General registration for the 2-day Mapping with Drones Workshop is $250.  Since books and other handout material will be mailed to each participant (via USPS), participants are encouraged to complete the registration process (and payment) at least 1 month in advance of each workshop. Major credit cards are accepted via Virginia Tech’s secure online system.  VT faculty/students can pay via a personal credit card  (not with a P-card) and then apply for a reimbursement.  Receipts are provided via email after payment has been submitted.

2-Day Workshop Summary: Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) are permeating many sectors of industry, and are increasingly being employed as data collection platforms to support of an array of applications. Applications span disciplines and industries and can include: planning, natural resource management, marketing, inspection of structures, agricultural production, permitting, and public safety. Specific sensors can be used to tailor application needs. Flights can be scheduled and conducted under short notice to accommodate weather, and temporal considerations. sUAS operations support efficient workflows and provide opportunities for ‘data on demand’. This is an intensive, yet introductory level workshop, and can be considered a ‘drone boot camp’. No previous knowledge or experience with drones, sUAS, or GIS is required. This 2-day workshop will provide participants with the following:

  • An understanding of FAA and sUAS lingo;
  • An in depth review of the FAA’s Remote Pilot Knowledge Test (aka Part 107);
  • Other discussions (basic introduction to sensors, data, and flight planning as time allows).

Workshop Outcomes At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will:

  • understand the many of the general terms associated with sUAS (including parts, regulations, etc.)
  • be prepared to take (and pass) the FAA’s Remote Pilot Knowledge Test (aka Part 107);

Registration: Online registration is available from here (major credit cards & e-check are accepted).

  • Workshop registration closes ~1 month prior to each workshop.
  • After you submit your online registration & payment, you will receive payment confirmation and further information about the workshop (login information, etc.).
  • All workshop options are conducted through ZOOM.
  • Workshop material will be mailed to you 3-4  weeks prior to the workshop.
  • Space is limited.
  • Questions associated with the workshop should be directed to John McGee ( or Daniel Cross (

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.
If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact John McGee (307C Cheatham Hall, Blacksburg, VA) at (540) 231-2428 /TDD*or during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations at least 5 days prior to the event.
*TDD number is (800) 828-1120