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License Requirements - Training Classes:

Shawn Lynch 

Shawn Lynch is an FAA Certified Advanced Ground Instructor (AIG), licensed Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) rated Remote Pilot, and civilian pilot with over 25 years of aerospace and aviation operations experience. He is a third-generation aviator, with civilian and military flying experience exceeding 2,500 hours. Shawn began his instructing career in aviation in 2010. Shaw began flying manned aircraft in 1996 and remote-controlled aircraft in 2012. He has been flying UAS (drones) commercially since 2016. His UAS experience includes several projects contributing to real estate, insurance, construction, agriculture, and for non-profit organizations.


Jamey Jacob

Jamey D. Jacob is the John Hendrix Chair and Professor in the School Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Unmanned Systems Research Institute at Oklahoma State University. He is the author of over 200 papers in the areas of unmanned systems, aerodynamics, plasma dynamics, and space travel. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1990 and his M.S and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and 1995, respectively. He was a National Research Council Summer Faculty Fellow in the Air Force Research Laboratory at WPAFB in both 2003 and 2004. He spent 10 years as a professor at the University of Kentucky in the Mechanical Engineering Dept. He currently serves on the Governor’s Aerospace and Autonomous Systems Council and as president of the Unmanned Systems Alliance of Oklahoma. He founded the OSU Unmanned Systems Research Institute in 2015 to support ongoing activities in autonomous systems across the OSU campus and throughout Oklahoma.

Case Studies:

James Grimsley

James Grimsley is a nationally recognized expert on policy and technology related to unmanned aircraft ("drones") and autonomous systems. Mr. Grimsley has appeared in numerous press outlets since 2007 speaking about technology policy issues and is a recognized speaker on the topic at international conferences and events.

Mr. Grimsley is currently the Executive Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Mr. Grimsley was also recently appointed to the Oklahoma Transportation Commission in May 2019 by Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall and currently serves as the Transportation Commissioner for District 2. Mr. Grimsley is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Mr. Grimsley was a Division Chief Engineer and later an Assistant Vice President with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Prior to SAIC, Mr. Grimsley was a civilian electronics engineer with the United States Air Force. Mr. Grimsley also previously served as a Manager of Unmanned Systems Research for the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute (OAI).

Mr. Grimsley has been active in a variety of state organizations and initiatives in Oklahoma and the region. Mr. Grimsley organized the Unmanned Systems Alliance of Oklahoma (USA-OK), now a state chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and served as founding president. Mr. Grimsley also organized and led Oklahoma’s first six Oklahoma UAS Summits beginning in 2009. In 2011, Mr. Grimsley was appointed by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to the Governor’s UAS Advisory Council and served through 2015. In 2016 Mr. Grimsley was appointed by the FAA to the FAA's Drone Advisory Committee - Subcommittee. In 2017 Mr. Grimsley was selected as a non-resident research fellow for the Noble Research Institute. Mr. Grimsley has also served on advisory committees for higher education, vocational training programs and secondary education. Mr. Grimsley is active in scholarly research in both technology and law, including co-authorship of a recent paper published in the William and Mary Law Review.


Richard Hammack 

Richard Hammack is a research physical scientist in the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Geological and Environmental Systems Directorate.  In this capacity, Mr. Hammack initiates and oversees multidisciplinary field research pertaining to the safe and efficient development of domestic oil and gas resources and to the safe, permanent storage of CO2 in underground reservoirs.  Mr. Hammack’s team partners with industry, state and Federal agencies, and academia to answer questions that the public has about the safety and environmental impact of unconventional oil and gas development that uses multi-level horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to release hydrocarbon resources from previously impermeable rock.  In addition, Mr. Hammack’s team is currently developing and demonstrating next generation geophysical tools to: 1) map CO2 in the sequestering formation and 2) provide frequent surveillance of underground drinking water sources for CO2 and brine incursions. Prior to joining NETL, Mr. Hammack worked as a research geochemist for the U.S. Bureau of Mines where he developed methods for treating a wide variety of wastewaters from the mining, metallurgical, and oil and gas industries. In his early Bureau of Mines career, Mr. Hammack worked as an exploration geochemist and performed mineral assessments on Federal and Tribal Lands.  Mr. Hammack holds a B.S. degree in geology and a M.S. degree in geochemistry from  West Virginia University.  

Joe Dancy

Mr. Dancy teaches Oil & Gas Law and Oil & Gas Environmental Law as an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, and has taught Oil & Gas Law and an Oil & Gas Practicum as an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, and Business Law as an adjunct professor at the School of Business at the University of North Texas at Dallas. Mr. Dancy has served as Interim Director at the University of Oklahoma College of Law Energy Center. He has a Metallurgical Engineering degree from Michigan Technological University, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and a Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University. Mr. Dancy was appointed to the Company’s Audit Committee in January 2013 and to the Compensation Committee in April 2016.  

Chris Hoidal

Chris Hoidal is a Senior Technical Advisor for PHMSA’s Policy and Programs Office.  Prior to this role he served for 20 years as PHMSA’sWestern Region Director.  The Western Region is responsible for carrying out and administering the federal/state pipeline safety program for the twelve (12) western states of the U.S. His staff conducted safety inspections of Hazardous Liquid (crude oil/refined products), LNG, Natural Gas, and distribution pipeline facilities, and when necessary responded to and investigated pipeline accidents.


Chris has worked for the United States Department of Transportation since 1990, and the Office of Pipeline Safety since 1993.  He has had the opportunity to work both in the DC headquarters and in field offices in Anchorage, Alaska and Denver, Colorado. Prior to working with the DOT, Prior to government service, Chris worked as a licensed consulting geotechnical engineer in Colorado, Maryland, DC, and Virginia from 1982 until 1990.  He has his BS in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Nevada, and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Colorado.

Tom Thompson

Tommy Thompson is a Drone Coordinator and GIS Manager for the Utah Department of Natural Resources in the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.  He’s constantly advocating for Geographic Information Systems (GIS), drones, and the use of geospatial data in our everyday lives.  He loves to demonstrate how spatial analysis and drones can be leveraged in ways that help us better understand and explain natural resource development.  He gained his undergraduate degree in Geography emphasizing in Bioregional Planning and Analysis, minoring in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He is a member of the Geography Honor Society (Gamma Theta Upsilon).  He also received the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources Legacy of Utah State Award. For the past five years, he has focused his time and effort on small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), commonly referred to as drones, and infrared thermography (IRT).  He received his master degree in Ecology and his research focused on using sUAS and IRT to detect and monitor sage-grouse.  He explored how temperature data can aid in classifying sage-grouse gender. His research has created a unique spatial dataset that wildlife managers and researchers can use in real world applications.  He has 11+ years of experience in conducting spatial analysis using various GIS and remote sensing software.  If you are not currently thinking of using drones and GIS for natural resource management, he will make you think twice about that.

Michael Shelton

Mike Shelton is a Senior Geologist with over 13 years in the State of Michigan’s Oil, Gas and Mineral Division (OGMD).  He oversees oil and natural gas exploration and development, karst feature mapping/research, natural methane seep investigations, outreach and is a licensed drone pilot for the State of Michigan.  He has had a deep interest in the geological sciences as well as nature since a child; which eventually led him to receiving a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Geology from Grand Valley State University.  He has active memberships in professional organizations related to the natural sciences. He resides in northern Michigan to be closer to family as well as to raise his two children with his wife in an area consisting of phenomenal access to uncongested natural settings.  His prior job experiences include bar tending, guiding white water rafting trips, pizza making, retail sales, a kids camp counselor, professor assistant and others.  He is also a fan of good porters and stouts.

Legal Issues:

James Grimsley

Marc Blitz

Marc Jonathan Blitz is the Alan Joseph Bennett Professor of Law and Oklahoma City University School of Law. He writes on freedom of expression and privacy law.  His scholarship has explored how emerging technologies raise challenges for courts applying First Amendment and Fourth Amendment doctrine.  His recent work has explored the implications, for constitutional law, of virtual and augmented reality, dissemination of fake news and deep fake videos, drone technology, public video surveillance, biometric identification methods, surveillance of Internet activity, and fMRI brain scanning. 


His key work related to drone technology and limits on recording, or a First Amendment right to record, include a 2015 article on drone regulation under the First and Fourth Amendments (co-authored with James Grimsley, Stephen Henderson, and Joseph Thai), a 2013 article on regulating aerial and other recording used to create Google Maps or other modern digital maps, and articles from 2004 and 2014 on Fourth Amendment limits on video recordings and other surveillance in public.


He has taught a wide-range of classes at the Law School (including classes on free speech and other constitutional law topics, administrative law, computer law, cybersecurity law, and evidence). He has twice been selected as Professor of the Year by the Merit Scholars association at the Law School (in 2007 and 2018).  


Prior to his teaching career, he worked as an attorney at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C.  He has a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

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