Jon Detka

Position: CSUMB Applied Environmental Science / NASA Ames

Jon is currently a post-doctoral research scientist with the Water, Agriculture, Technology and Remote Sensing (WATRS) lab at CSU Monterey Bay, working with other scientists at NASA Ames Research Center to enhance drone and satellite applications and computational models to improve crop yield forecasts. His current research focuses on the use of remote sensing technology and modeling to detect plant disease symptoms in strawberry and lettuce crops in the Salinas Valley.

Previously, Jon served as a Senior Drone Pilot and Pilot Instructor at the CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research (CIDER) at UC Santa Cruz. There, he managed an extensive drone survey project across several California State Parks aimed at documenting natural and cultural resources. He is proficient in the operation of a variety of drone aircraft and has designed enriching learning experiences related to federal licensing exam preparation, drone maintenance and repairs, flight operations, data processing, and imagery analytics. Jon is committed to advancing the adoption of drone technology in academic research, developing useful applications, enhancing data collection methods, and promoting a culture of innovation that is mindful to safety, security, and privacy.

Jon holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, an M.S. in Organismal Biology and Ecology from San Jose State University, and a B.S. in Earth Systems Science & Policy from CSU Monterey Bay. His career has been marked by significant contributions to science education, plant ecology, and habitat restoration where he applies his knowledge of local ecosystems with practical technological applications in both teaching and research.