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Jeff Best

Ph.D. student


My research focuses on the practical application of remote sensing and unmanned aerial systems (UAV) to support various humanitarian and environmental projects. The development of models for incorporating UAS technology into varying multi-use scenarios has the potential to provide low-cost and timely solutions to problems across a spectrum of possible applications. I have earned a considerable amount of experience working in challenging environmental conditions as well as in dynamic combat-oriented locations in order to solve problems and collect imagery. My current research involves using commercial drones to supplement the monitoring of threatened and endangered plant species in the Imperial Dunes desert, CA. I’m a FAA licensed remote pilot and aircraft mechanic, additionally, I’m a 26-year veteran of the United States Air Force.


  • M.A., History (2018), University of Nevada, Reno
    • Concentration:  East Asian History, Disaster History
    • Thesis: "Disaster, Technology, and the Military: The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and the Impact of the Environment on Cultural Perceptions of the Military”
  • B.A., Military History (2010), American Military University
  • Community College of the Air Force
    • A.S., Computer Applications Technology (2002)
    • A.S., Aircraft Systems Maintenance Technology (1998)