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.


The UVM SAL UAS team is one of the most experienced in the nation, having flown more 600 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 and have done aquatic invasive species mapping in both the Lake Champlain and Lake Tahoe basins, allowing them to apply the right technology to solve problems. Their record of success has garnered them a national reputation for excellence. Their team has assisted agencies in three separate states with their UAS integration plans and they’ve given over 20 invited presentations on UAS at local, regional, and national conferences, and their work in Vermont has resulted in a national award. The UVM SAL UAS team are part of a select group of organizations currently on the UAS/GIS retainer contract, authorizing them to provide UAS services to state agencies.

Safety is paramount during UAS operations and the team has developed a set of planning and flight checklists that have set the standard for safe and effective UAS operations. They also keep detailed records of flight operations that allows users to view the flight information, equipment used, and personnel involved.