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DMF Talks: Engineers for Exploration
Sandra Hoyle | Mango Way

from left: Ryan Kastner, Matthew Epperson and Nikko Bouck
Photo Bill Morris.
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DMFTalk speaker Professor Ryan Kastner, who leads the Kastner Research Group spoke at a recent DMFTalks about his current research interests: hardware acceleration, hardware security, and remote sensing. Graduate students Matthew Epperson and Nikko Bouck, members of the Engineers for Exploration Program, joined him. The program believes in engineering solutions that extend beyond technology itself to drive the future of exploration. Their projects span aquatic, terrestrial and aerial environments.

For this DMFTalk, they focused on three applications the program is currently working on: Understanding the harpy eagle habitat (in partnership with UNC Wilmington), long-term monitoring of Baja mangroves and large scale spatial and temporal data collection of coral reefs (both in partnership with UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography). By engaging with international collaborators in ecology, conservation and archaeology, they apply remote image technologies to extend the current data knowledge. Their goal is to support research scientists to collect needed data, measure the collection, and assist in evaluating so that there can be better understanding of the issues. With all three applications, they utilize technology to better understand the ecosystems. Kastner believes strongly that there is a desperate need for technology in scientific applications.

Ryan, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, received a PhD in Computer Science at UCLA after completing his masters degree in engineering at Northwestern University. He is the co-director of the Wireless Embedded Systems graduate program, a specialized Masters degree targeting individuals working in local industries, and co-directs the Engineers for Exploration Program which pairs undergraduates in research experiences with domain scientists in archaeology, conservation, and cultural heritage.


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