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MBDH Digital Agriculture Spoke: All-Hands Meeting Presenters

2019 Session Presenters


Will Boyer
Extension Watershed Specialist, K-State Research and Extension

Will Boyer is an Extension Watershed Specialist for K-State Research and Extension. He works with livestock producers and other watershed stakeholders to identify and address water quality concerns in Northeast Kansas. Will has worked in the field agriculture and water resource education since 1990. He has Bachelor’s degree in Biology, a Master’s degree in Environmental Planning and Management and a Graduate Certificate in Grassland Management. Will has had his Remote Pilot Certificate since 2017. He enjoys using small unoccupied aircraft system (sUAS) and geographic information system (GIS) technologies to support watershed management in Kansas and rangeland management on the family ranch in Nebraska.


Madeline Cole
GIS Mapping Manager, Reagan Smith Energy Solutions

Madeline joined Reagan Smith Energy Solutions in July 2015 as an ArcGIS Specialist. Madeline graduated in the Spring of 2015 from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a double minor in Geographic Information Science and Sociology. Prior to working for Reagan Smith, Madeline interned for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in the Oil and Gas Conservation Division. Madeline worked on the development of the Oklahoma Historical Aerial Digitization Project by georeferencing historic aerial photographs and gained valuable experience working for a state regulatory agency. 

Madeline now uses her Geographic Information Science knowledge to graphically represent permitting, leasing, wildlife, federal lands, and environmental data while overseeing the mapping and database departments at Reagan Smith Energy Solutions. She is a member of the Oklahoma City Association of Professional Landmen, South Central Arc User Group, and Professional Petroleum Data Management.


Gregory Crustinger, PhD
Drone Ecologist, Scholar Farms

Dr. Greg Crutsinger is the founder of Scholar Farms, which specializes in using multi-spectral cameras & drones for vegetation mapping.  The company was founded from extensive experience in academic research and teaching, as well as the commercial drone industry. Prior to Scholar Farms Greg worked for some of the leading drone hardware and software companies. While serving academia, Greg was an Assistant Professor of Ecology at the University of British Columbia.  

van der Merwe

Deon van der Merwe, PhD
R&D Researcher, GD Animal Health

Dr. Deon van der Merwe currently serves as an R&D Researcher at GD Animal Health in the Netherlands, and holds appointments as adjunct faculty at Oklahoma State University and Kansas State University. He also serves the UAS community in the role of consultant. Prior to joining GD Animal Health, Deon was a practicing veterinarian and researcher in South Africa. He moved to the USA to continue graduate research and spent 12 years at Kansas State University with agricultural and environmental applications of UAS as a research focus. He helped develop applications based on UAS-borne multispectral and thermal sensors in crop evaluation, biomass assessment in grasslands, green roof monitoring, water quality assessment, air quality assessment, livestock health assessment and more. He received the K-State Research and Extension Services Team Award (Western Kansas UAS and Crop Canopy Imaging Team). As a consultant, Deon assists various clients in commercial UAS applications, research projects at universities, crop producers, agricultural service providers and remote sensing service providers. Deon holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Veterinary Sciences and an Honors degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Pretoria, and a PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences from North Carolina State University. He has mentored over 25 graduate students and has authored over 35 peer reviewed scientific publications, 14 book chapters and numerous scientific abstracts.


Alex Sherman
Lead GIS and Mapping Specialist, Reagan Smith Energy Solutions

Alex Sherman joined Reagan Smith Energy Solutions in May 2014. Alex is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2013 with a B.A. in Geography. Alex’s interest in cartography and Geographic Information Systems led him to Reagan Smith Energy Solutions where he utilizes those skills to graphically represent permitting, leasing, wildlife and environmental data. Alex communicates with GIS specialists in client companies and government agencies to collect and ensure the accurate transition of data.

Alex is a member of the Oklahoma City Association of Professional Landmen, South Central Arc Users Group, and the Professional Petroleum Data Management Association. In addition to those memberships Alex is also licensed by the FAA as a Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems pilot and executes the collection of up to date aerial imagery for a multitude of projects.

Nathan Stein
Agriculture Business Development - North America, Pix4D

Nathan is a 5th generation farmer from Iowa and holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Iowa State University.  He has been involved in precision ag since 2011, started with senseFly as an application engineer in 2014, pioneered the "Drone to Tractor" workflow with Pix4D in 2015 and “Aerial Scouting” workflow in 2018. He contributed to the development of the industry’s first mass produced multispectral camera for ag, the Parrot Sequoia.  Nathan has served as the chair of the Remote Sensing Working Group at Ag Gateway and led the PICS specification development. Nathan joined the Pix4D team this spring as their business development in North America.    


Kristin Weaver
Director of Business Development, Reagan Smith Energy Solutions

Kristin Weaver of Bristow, Oklahoma, focuses on building relationships and providing solutions for businesses across all sectors of energy. Her diverse knowledge of technology, oil and gas, safety, industrial products, and agriculture allows her to connect with her customers and quickly understand their needs. With over 15 years of business development and marketing experience, Kristin delivers excellent customer service, training and reliability to her clients. She studied Agribusiness/Marketing at Oklahoma State University and is currently enrolled in the Agriculture Leadership program.

Kristin is Reagan Smith Energy Solutions and Land Scout’s Director of Business Development. She is also a member of Professional Petroleum Data Management.


Trevor Witt
UAS Data Analyst, Applied Aviation Research Center
Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus

Trevor’s experience in the small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) industry started in August 2013 at Kansas State University Polytechnic to pursue an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Technology. In December 2016, he graduated from the program Suma Cum Lade, and in addition to his studies, Trevor worked in K-State’s Applied Aviation Research Center (AARC) as the sUAS remote sensing specialist. While a student, Trevor was actively involved in many of the AARC’s research projects including those in collaboration with Westar Energy, Bureau of Land Management, and K-State’s Department of Entomology.

Trevor now works full time at the AARC as the UAS Data Analyst and UAS Instructor Pilot. Currently, he plays an integral role in a multitude of projects for a variety of industries. This includes a UAS remote sensing comparison study for crime scene reconstruction funded by the National Institute of Justice, this NSF Ag big data project, and he teaches a 3-day professional short course on UAS remote sensing.

 2019 Poster Presenters


Maaz Gardezi, PhD
Assistant Professor, Sociology and Rural Studies, South Dakota State University

Dr. Maaz Gardezi is an Assistant Professor of Sociology & Rural Studies at South Dakota State University. His research focuses on building sustainable human-technology-environment partnerships in areas such as digital agriculture, climate change adaptation, and food security. A recent project of his (supported by NSF grant #1929814) will allow him to study the potential risks and benefits of precision agriculture technologies to future work, workforce, and technologies in South Dakota and Vermont.


Mike Rawitch
Senior Consultant, Ramboll

Mike Rawitch has six years of experience as a geologist and geographer specializing in the implementation of geospatial technologies to optimize environmental problem solving. As a Senior Consultant at Ramboll, his focus is on remotely sensed data analysis, collection and visualization applied to environmental site characterization. Mike is an Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) team member and is a co-author on the ITRC Chapter for Advanced Site Characterization Tools. He is also a certified FAA Remote Pilot and is a senior Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) operator within the Ramboll Environment & Health Drone Program. Currently, Mike serves as the Operations Director of Ramboll SiteSee. Born out of the Ramboll Innovation Accelerator, SiteSee uses drones and image analysis to understand environmental site conditions, reduce uncertainty, and help efficiently characterize and remediate environmental sites.