Drones are quickly becoming an invaluable resource for teachers and researchers using the Duke Forest.  If you wish to pursue projects and activities that involve drone technology, please complete the following steps: 

  1. Submit and receive approval for drone use from Duke University administrators via this website: Drones at Duke.  You will be asked to indicate one of two approved drones areas in the Duke Forest.  Note: Blackwood Field is the primary drone location during the fall semester, but it is farther away from Duke’s main campus.  The Couch Field site becomes more widely available during all other seasons.  Indicate your preference on the form, and then work out details with the Office of the Duke Forest.       
  2. Once you have approval from Duke administration for your drone flight(s), complete a Duke Forest Teaching Registration or Research Registration (as appropriate for the primary purpose of the project); be sure to indicate the total duration of the project and note that specific flight days and times can be provided to ODF later.
  3. Once you have approval from ODF for your teaching or research activity that involves drone use, begin your project and give ODF 48-hrs advance notice of any planned drone flights if you did not provide these in the registration.  ODF will reply to each planned drone flight date as needed. 
  4. At all times, follow Duke University’s Drone Policy and Duke Forest’s conditions for teaching and research use.

Please note: Hobbyist drone use is not permitted within or above the Duke Forest without expressed, written, and exceptional permission. Please refer to Duke University’s Drone Policy.

Two Approved Drone Sites – Maps

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