Drones for Participatory and Community-Based Sciences

A special issue of Drones (ISSN 2504-446X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2022) | Viewed by 1359

Special Issue Editors

1. Department of Sociology, College of Sciences GIS Cluster, University of Central Florida
2. UCF Burnett Honors College, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
Interests: citizen science; community geography; participatory GIS; sense of place
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, San José State University, San José, CA 95192, USA
Interests: cutting-edge technologies in GIS and remote sensing, including machine learning and AI in GIS, UAV remote sensing, coastal ecosystem monitoring, wildfire mapping, urban heat, urban crime, and urban transportation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD 4870, Australia
Interests: remote sensing; coral reefs; unmanned airborne systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Geosciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
Interests: GIScience; remote sensing; UAS; water; environmental applications
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite submissions to the MDPI Drones Special Issue on “Drones for Participatory and Community-Based Sciences”.

The growth of low-cost, consumer-quality drones (i.e., unoccupied aerial/aircraft systems (UASs) or unoccupied/unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)) have enabled additional stakeholders from community organizations, citizen/community scientists, non-governmental organizations, students, and K–12 educators to engage in community-based and/or participatory uses of drones across the globe. Such community-based and/or participatory examples aim to expand the drone user community and the utility of drone imagery, videography, and products to the broader public, beyond the conventional academic and policymaking audiences. With these points in mind, now is the ideal time to theorize, conceptualize, and contextualize the growing body of literature on community-based and participatory drones. To date, no single Special Issue has addressed such issues and brought together a community of scholars around such a timely set of topics. This Special Issue aims to synthesize a diverse set of articles highlighting global research and education efforts occurring across disciplines, across geographies, and with multiple user groups. We aim to understand the challenges of and opportunities for expanded community-based and participatory uses of drone technologies.

The Special Issue expands upon the work of several of the Guest Editors, who have worked at the intersection of drones, GIS, science communication, K–12 education, and community-based and participatory methodologies for years. The Special Issue also expands upon the important synthesis article outlined in a 2019 Drones article by Vargas-Ramírez and Paneque-Gálvez—“The Global Emergence of Community Drones (2012–2017)”. We welcome contributions from a wide variety of scholars across multiple fields and across the globe. We have particular interest in creating a Special Issue that centers diverse voices and teams working with diverse stakeholders, particularly those scholars/practitioners from (and those scholars/practitioners working with) underrepresented populations in the drone technologies field specifically, and STEM disciplines more broadly.

With these points in mind, we are pleased to solicit expressions of interest to this Special Issue on “Drones for Participatory and Community-Based Science”. Papers are solicited in areas directly related to these topics, including papers that are conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and/or practical in nature. Topics may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

  • Participatory mapping with drones;
  • Citizen/community sciences with drones;
  • Training models/frameworks for diversifying drone user groups;
  • Open-access data models and platforms for sharing and distribution to diverse drone user groups;
  • K–12, higher education, and informal education lessons, activities, models, and/or products highlighting participatory or community-based uses of drone technologies;
  • Privacy, safety, memorandum of understanding, and ethical considerations for participatory and/or community-based drone utilization;
  • Knowledge construction, representation, validation, and ownership issues for participatory and/or community-based uses of drones;
  • Integration of drone technologies into complementary mixed-methods workflows and methods (i.e., participatory mapping, sketch mapping, interview, focus groups, participatory modelling);
  • Comparisons/contrasts between drone technology platforms for low-cost yet effective implementation in community and/or participatory settings.

Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne
Dr. Bo Yang
Dr. Karen Joyce
Dr. Stephanie R. Rogers
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Drones is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • UAS 
  • UAV 
  • Drones 
  • Community 
  • Participatory 
  • Science communication 
  • Education

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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