2023 Summit on Drone Geophysics


23–26 October 2023

The 2023 SEG Summit on Drone Geophysics will feature the latest science and innovation on the integration of drones into geophysical studies through a four-day, online international conference.

Attendees will:

  • Connect with leaders in the development and use of drones for geophysics;
  • Learn about recent advances in a wide range of drone geophysical sensor technology and scientific methods, including magnetic, electromagnetic, ground-penetrating radar, and seismic; and
  • Network with colleagues from around the globe to share information and meet potential new collaborators. 

In the last several years, drones (or small uncrewed aircraft systems, sUAS) have evolved from a novel idea to a fundamental tool in the geosciences. The workshop will provide attendees with an overview of sUAS state-of-the-art for real-world geophysical studies as well as insights into developments, trends, and issues impacting this rapidly growing field. The summit provides a valuable, interactive learning and networking opportunity for geophysics professionals at all stages of this work, whether you are already using drone-deployed geophysical sensors or just starting to explore how these technologies can help you meet your scientific mission. The event will include scientific talks, panels, community discussions, and more. Participants will include professionals from industry, academia, and government, and students are also invited.
The 2023 Summit on Drone Geophysics is our fourth annual multi-day online meeting. Originating as a daylong event at the end of the annual SEG meeting, the continued expansion of the event content and participation reflects the growing interest and demand for these new tools and technologies. For geophysical professionals, this is a premier opportunity to get the latest updates in a dynamic field where the science, sensors, aircraft platforms, and regulatory framework continue to undergo rapid change and evolution.


Registration opens on 1 July 2023 and closes on 26 October 2023.

Registration Fees

Professionals: US$200
Students: US$20 with proof of university student status emailed to [email protected]


Organizing Committee: Callum Walter and Cian Dawson, co-chairs

Technical Committee

  • Callum Walter, NASA/USGS
  • Cian B. Dawson
  • Laura Quigley, Seequent
  • Elizabeth Baranyi, Seequent
  • Jan Francke, GroundRadar
  • Johannes Stoll, Mobile Geophysics Technologies
  • Dan Bochiccio, Tetra Tech
  • Kanita Khaled, BHP
  • Nathan Campbell, EDCON-PRJ
  • Juan Ortega, Collier Geophysics
  • Adam Mangel, Haley & Aldrich
  • Kiyavash Parvar, Pioneer Exploration Consultants Ltd.
  • Ron Bell, Drone Geoscience LLC

Sponsorship Opportunities


  • Logo on website – large size with live link to sponsor’s website homepage
  • Logo on virtual program
  • Logo on break PPTs
  • Virtual Showcase on event webpage – promotional material in PDF and/or .mp4 video format is acceptable.
  • (No pricing or sales material should be submitted)
  • 10 minute program presentation slots. Availability limit one per platinum sponsor. There are eight openings and will be assigned on
  • a first come, first serve basis.

GOLD — US$500

  • Logo on website – small size with link to sponsor’s website homepage
  • Logo on virtual program
  • Logo on break PPTs

Keynote Speakers

Tim Archer

Tim Archer has worked as a commercial geophysicist for more than 25 years. He holds an Honors Degree in Geophysics from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Management Diploma from the University of Stellenbosch.

Tim worked for Anglo American from 1994–2001, mainly with their SPECTREM airborne electromagnetic system. From 2004–2014, Tim owned and ran a geophysical contracting business in the UK, specializing in near-surface hazard detection. In 2014, he joined Reid Geophysics, a company which he now owns and manages, as well as providing non-seismic geophysical consultancy to mineral and energy explorers worldwide.
He has a keen interest in drone technology for geophysical applications, and is a co-author of the recently released Drone Magnetic Guidelines published by the snappily-named Near-Surface Geophysics Inter-Society Committee on UAV Geophysics Guidelines.

Tim is an active member of EAGE, IAEG, PESGB, and SEG. He is also a technical reviewer for Geophysical Prospecting and the Journal of Applied Geophysics.

Esben Auken

Esben Auken is CEO at TEMcompany (former Aarhus GeoInstruments Aps), and adjunct professor at the Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University. He has been deputy director at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland and before that a full-time professor of geophysics at Aarhus University. He gained an MSc (1991) and PhD (1996) in geophysics from Aarhus University.

As professor he was heading a research group of about 30 participants dedicated to research on the highest level within electrical and electromagnetic instruments and processing algorithms for high-resolution imaging of the shallow subsurface. TEMcompany develops affordable, easy to use electromagnetic instruments for imagining groundwater resources. He co-founded three successful spin-out companies: SkyTEM Surveys Aps (2003), Aarhus GeoSoftware ApS (2015, since 2021 Seequent), and TEMcompany (2020).

Farzaneh Farahani

Farzaneh Farahani, MSc, P.Geo. is a Geophysicist with 15 years experience in mining exploration and applied geophysics. Farzaneh has an educational background in Physics and Geophysics. She started her career at the Geomagnetic observatory, Institute of geophysics, University of Tehran, Iran, measuring, processing, and interpreting the earth magnetic filed components contributing to the Geomagnetic and electromagnetic research and exploration as well as the tectonic and earthquake precursory research departments. Moving into exploration Geophysics, she has experience with airborne and ground geophysical data specializing in Potential Fields and Electromagnetic techniques. Farzaneh immigrated to Canada in 2014 and continued her journey in the geophysical exploration industry.

Farzaneh has been using Oasis montaj for over 10 years and is an active member of the Geophysical community and she is the current president of the Canadian Exploration Geophysical Society (KEGS). In 2022 Farzaneh joined Seequent and is based in Toronto, Canada. In her current role as project Geophysicist she contributes to training, project assistance, and supporting users in North America.

Mahta Moghaddam

Mahta Moghaddam is a Distinguished Professor and the holder of the Ming Hsieh Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, vice dean for Research at the Viterbi School of Engineering, and co-chair of the Presidential Working Group on Sustainability at the University of Southern California. Previously, she was at the University of Michigan (2003-2011) and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, 1991-2003).  She received the BS degree in 1986 from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas with highest distinction, and the MS and PhD degrees in 1989 and 1991, respectively, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Mahta has introduced novel methods for using airborne and spaceborne radar systems for studying the environment and especially for the purpose of observing all-things water: snow, surface water, wetlands, permafrost, soil moisture, and ground water. She works with ecologists, hydrologists, and climate scientists and practitioners to understand their observational needs for enabling better Earth system models and predictions. Mahta has been the principal investigator of many NASA, USGS, NSF, and other research projects on these topics. She served as the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine and as president of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society in 2020. She has served on various government panels and advisory boards and has authored or co-authored over 500 peer-reviewed publications. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Ryan North

Ryan North is an accomplished geophysicist boasting over two decades of expertise in near-surface geophysics. With a commendable proficiency in utilizing unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, he has amassed over a decade of experience in this dynamic field. Ryan’s insatiable appetite for knowledge has driven him to earn a remarkable array of professional designations, including being a registered professional geologist (RPG) in Mississippi, a registered professional geoscientist (RPG) in Texas, a professional geophysicist (PgP) in California, a GIS professional (GISP), and a licensed FAA Part 107 small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) pilot.

Ryan holds a BS in Engineering Physics from West Virginia Wesleyan College, a MS in Geophysical Engineering, and a PhD in Geophysics with a minor in geotechnical engineering, both from the Colorado School of Mines.

Ryan’s career has encompassed an extensive spectrum of surface and borehole geophysical methodologies applied in near surface characterization. His contributions encompass both military and civil applications of geophysics. His military involvement spans tunnel detection, detection of small compact targets, and laboratory measurements of earth materials’ geophysical properties. On the civil front, his expertise has been pivotal in the thorough assessment of structures such as levees and dams.

Bob Selfridge

Bob Selfridge had been a geophysicist for 40 years specializing in Innovative Technologies for DoD and DOE Environmental Cleanup. For the past 25 years, he has been chief geophysicist for Huntsville Center U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concentrating in Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) projects.  Selfridge has performed land based, airborne, marine, semi-autonomous and Small Unmanned Air Vehicles (sUAV) surveys for Munition and Explosives of Concern (MEC) and Chemical Warfare Munitions (CWM) Detection and Removal in 44 States in the United States, Guam, Okinawa, Poland, Germany, and Afghanistan.  Currently, he is involved in promoting increased use of robotic and sUAV operations on ordnance sites working with USACE contractors.

Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson. With 26 years of experience working at GEM Systems, Michael has extensive knowledge and experience with magnetometers. Beginning as an Electronics Technologist, Michael primarily worked on Proton and Overhauser ground based magnetometers. By 1999, he began to specialize in Optically Pumped Potassium magnetometer systems for ground and airborne applications.

In 2012 he spearheaded GEM’s UAV development team and co-created a number of products including AirBIRD, AirGRAD, AirVLF and Cardinal towed bird systems. He was also integral in the development of DRONEmag and DRONEgrad sling sensor systems.

Michael is currently the Operations Manager at GEM Systems Inc and head of UAV magnetometer development, testing and training. An avid RC airplane enthusiast who holds a Part107 Remote Pilot Certificate and is a member of Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC).

Dennis Woods

Dennis Woods, PhD was the founder of Discovery International Geophysics Inc. a full-service geophysical contractor and consultancy, specializing in low-frequency, B-field electromagnetics. Discovery is particularly focused on innovative techniques and scientific research to improve the application of geophysics to the discovery of new mineral resources.  While at Discovery, Dennis initiated a hybrid ground/drone TEM technique. Dennis now consults under Woods Geophysical Consulting Inc.

Dr. Woods has a long career in mineral exploration geophysics, which has included a tenured position as assistant professor of Applied Geophysics at the Department of Geological Sciences, Queen’s University in the 80s, chief geophysicist at Granges Inc., and later Vista Gold Corp in the 90s, culminating with Discovery Geophysics in 1996 until 2022.  He has been a consultant thorough most of his career and has founded a variety of geophysics contracting companies in Canada, the United States, and China.

Important Dates

Call for Abstracts closes:
18 August 2023