Close-up with Scott Hatcher, Geospatial Scientist at PrecisionHawk
Scott Hatcher has always been driven to answer tricky questions. In graduate school, he wanted to find out how the capital of Canada’s eastern Arctic could use their coast more sustainably amidst multiple environmental and social pressures. He worked with a team to integrate geospatial data into ongoing sustainability-planning discussions, giving community planners the data they needed to make informed decisions for the future. When the Geological Survey of Canada was revisiting coastal vulnerability from climate change, Hatcher worked on developing a vulnerability and sensitivity index layer for the entire coastline. In his latest role, he helped a New Zealand regional council better monitor one of the country’s coastal areas for marine activity by developing a GIS decision support system.
Not Your Average Workday
At PrecisionHawk, Hatcher is the technical lead for the data services analytics group, and one of the company’s foremost experts in thermal and multispectral sensors. He uses his passion for research to help enterprises solve big issues and increase efficiency with UAV technology.
Hatcher said his average workday consists of “designing and producing end-to-end workflows that go from data collection to information delivery, all using drone-based remote sensing.” His work is as complex as it sounds, which is precisely the reason Hatcher joined PrecisionHawk. “I took this role because the work is interesting and challenging, and I get to solve real world issues.”
The majority of Hatcher’s projects have been in the agricultural sector, ranging from designing crop damage algorithms to implementing existing algorithms in a toolchain. “I enjoy helping companies integrate UAV technology into their everyday operations. It gives me a view into their world,” Hatcher said.
Finding Inspiration in the Unknown
Hatcher finds inspiration in all aspects of his job. “I’m inspired by rigorous science that answers interesting questions.” He is also inspired by the impact his team makes. “Ultimately, we aim to make enterprises more efficient and investigate novel methods of data analysis. It’s an exciting time to work in this industry.”
Hatcher has found PrecisionHawk to be supportive in his quest for tackling big issues and discovering new ways of doing things. “I’m especially grateful for the joint research projects that the PrecisionHawk team brings to the table. When we engage in long-term projects, I’m able to monitor results over a period of time, see how my work makes an impact and note where improvements can be made. I think that long-term projects are critical for ironing out the major issues.”
Outside of his work-life, Hatcher contributes to the open-source geospatial world. He volunteered his time and geospatial expertise following Nepal’s 2015 earthquake, where he led workshops on using the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap tools to help disaster relief efforts, and has conducted two similar workshops since. He is also a member of the Canadian Remote Sensing Society and the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia.
“I attempt to use geospatial science and advanced sensors to find solutions to tricky problems. It’s a pleasure to be a part of the data services team at PrecisionHawk. We’re always looking to improve and learn, and that’s what it is all about,” Hatcher said.
Join Scott at PrecisionHawk
To learn how you can join Scott in finding solutions to tricky problems, visit precisionhawk.com/careers/.