News

Researchers rent helicopter to conduct studies in remote areas

Researchers at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science are running up against an unusual problem – how to conduct research in hard-to-reach areas, like remote islands or swamps.

The solution, however, is simple: a helicopter.

The Batchelor Foundation issued RSMAS a $700,000 challenge grant earlier this month to help the school purchase a research helicopter. The foundation is a Miami-based organization that supports projects that benefit the environment.

Acquiring a helicopter will allow for many new research opportunities, including taking aerial photographs, carrying and deploying equipment, and measuring different components of the atmosphere.

“It will put the university at a competitive advantage,” said Kenny Broad, a professor of marine affairs and policy.

Currently, RSMAS occasionally rents research helicopters, but it is better for the school to have its own, Broad said.

He has previously used helicopters to conduct research and finds that the major problem is an inability to carry scientific instruments. Space for these types of devices must be created when the helicopter is being built.

Cost is also another problem. According to Bravo Helicopters, where RSMAS Dean Roni Avissar is a regular client, a Bell 206 JetRanger III, which seats five, rents for $900 to $995 per hour.

When Avissar was at Duke University, he helped the school develop its own helicopter. However, after Avissar left, the helicopter was dismantled because it was outdated.

Broad hopes to use the helicopter with students to study climate change. He also anticipates that students who are certified to fly can serve as co-pilots during certain projects.

The deadline for the challenge grant is in March, but faculty and students remain optimistic.

Senior Ian Chambers, a marine science and biology major, is excited for the possbility of a helicopter.

“It’ll allow us to get to all sorts of place that we couldn’t get to before,” he said. “It’s a huge advantage for the school.”

March 8, 2012

Reporters

Kevin Sands


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.