Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne, M.A.

Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne is the Director of the University of Vermont’s (UVM) Spatial Analysis Laboratory (SAL). He leads a team that specializing in mapping the Earth from above using technologies ranging from satellites to drones. His work varies, from helping cities assess their tree canopy using 3D maps produced from lasers, to assessing damage following a natural disaster using drones. He received his undergraduate degree in Forestry from the University of New Hampshire and his masters degree in Water Resources from the University of Vermont.
Aiken Center, Room 205D

Adam Zylka

Adam is the UAS Team Lead at the SAL, bringing over a decade of UAS and geospatial experience. He leads UAS operations, training, and research projects, including an FAA-sponsored project investigating applications of UAS for disaster response and resiliency. His initial research at UVM as an undergraduate Environmental Engineering student focused on understanding the potential of UAS technology for disaster response in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Before returning to UVM, he was an early employee of Swiss UAS manufacturer senseFly, where he managed the customer support and service departments, in addition to serving as a technical trainer and consultant for federal agencies, research universities, and enterprise partners.
Aiken Center, Room 205E


The UVM SAL UAS team is one of the most experienced in the nation, having flown more 2000 UAS missions throughout the United States—from responding to floods in Vermont to mapping hillsides in Hawaii. They have been using UAS since 2012 for a broad range of environmental mapping, allowing them to apply the right technology to solve problems. Their record of success has garnered them a national reputation for excellence. The team has assisted agencies in five separate states with their UAS integration plans and they’ve given over 50 invited presentations on UAS at local, regional, and national conferences, as well as being recognized with a national award for their work in Vermont. The UVM SAL UAS team are part of a select group of organizations currently on the Vermont UAS/GIS retainer contract, authorizing them to provide UAS services to state agencies.

The University of Vermont is also a core member of the FAA’s Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence, or ASSURE, alongside 23 of the world’s leading research institutions and 100 industry and government partners. Consortium members together provide the expertise and infrastructure needed to help the FAA conduct the research and testing necessary to make laws that keep the skies safe. As part of the FAA’s Center for Excellence, the UVM SAL UAS Team researches the use of drones in disaster situations, providing the agency with data for their safe operations in times of disaster.