Becca Fenwick

Position: UC Santa Cruz

Dr. Becca Fenwick is the founding Director of the UCSC CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research (CIDER). This program brings together diverse students, researchers, and industry partners from many sectors to fuel research and innovation and develop a diverse drone workforce. CIDER trains a cohort of diverse undergraduates annually to fly drones, process and interpret drone data. The students gain experience flying a variety of missions, an understanding of drone safety and privacy, and prepare and take their FAA Part 107 exam. CIDER also supports student and faculty research, partners closely with industry, and accepts external drone contracts employing the trained student workforce. She and the CIDER Team are working closely with UCSC partners, Hartnell Community College, Digital Nest, Monterey Bay DART, and many other regional partners to develop multiple pathways to develop the varied drone and automation workforce that will be needed around the region. Working with drones unites Fenwick’s varied skill sets: her geospatial expertise from a marine geology and geophysics doctorate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography UC San Diego, her land conservation expertise from almost a decade as a reserve director for the UC Natural Reserve System, and her 15 years of environmental IT, tech and sensor network experience as the director of environmental IT for the UC Natural Reserve System.