The Monterey Bay DART 501 c 3 corporation was established in January 2019 as a public-private non-profit organization to advance the Monterey Bay Drone, Automation & Robotics Technology (DART) initiative. The goals of Monterey Bay DART are to:
- CONNECT: Convene stakeholders to coordinate action, advance projects, and establish productive cross-sector partnerships
- FUND: Identify, pursue and secure public and private funding to support research & development, infrastructure improvement and venture creation/growth
- EDUCATE: Host industry and educational forums. Contribute to regional workforce development. Promote curriculum development and education.
- ADVOCATE: Safe, appropriate market, facilities and airspace access
Andrea Pesce is the Director of Industry Alliances & Licensing at UCSC. She serves all divisions of campus by creating new and strengthening existing corporate partnerships for research sponsorships and collaborations, in addition to other faculty and student engagements with industry. She also oversees the licensing operations which include marketing IP, identifying licensing partners and negotiating licenses to realize the best value for UCSC intellectual property. Before joining the Industry Alliances & Technology Commercialization team, Andrea worked in the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University for over seven years, and before that she in-licensed university IP for a biotechnology company. Andrea holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of New Hampshire and a M.S. in Biology from San Diego State University, as well as professional certificates from Stanford.
Brad Barbeau, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the CSU Monterey Bay College of Business and Executive Director of the CSUMB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (iiED). As a faculty member, he teaches courses in entrepreneurship and new venture formation and finance, and is faculty lead for the entrepreneurship concentration for the College of Business. As Executive Director for the iiED, he devotes his efforts to building the entrepreneurial ecosystem and developing and accelerating entrepreneurial ventures in the Monterey Bay region.
Dr. Barbeau holds an undergraduate degree in economics and history from Michigan State University, and holds an MBA, M.A. in economics and Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He has published articles on business model development and is currently working on projects on the process of new business formation, entrepreneurial strategy development, and marketing theory and practice in the internet age.
Brad works with startup companies both in operating capacities and as an outside advisor. He is currently on the board of California Coastal Rural Development Corporation, a lender to agriculture and small businesses.
Chris Bley is a Santa Cruz-based serial entrepreneur and co-founder of drone innovation hub, Airspace Integration. Chris has been active in the wind energy industry for 19 years since founding Rope Partner, a rope access service company located in Santa Cruz. Rope Partner currently has 10 supporting staff and 90 technicians that use rope access on utility scale wind turbines throughout the world for inspection, maintenance and repair. In 2012 cofounded InspecTools, to apply emerging drone, database and software capabilities in solving wind energy, solar and utility industries problems. Following years of InspecTools was acquired by PrecisionHawk in September of 2018,, who continues to develop unique solutions in the Monterey Bay region. Chris is currently focused on several additional drone related projects including Monterey Bay DART (a non-profit focused on supporting and connecting drone innovators), Insight Up Solutions (drone and sensor resale) and AirSpace Integration (provides shared work spaces, air spaces and training). These companies are located in the Monterey Bay region, La Selva Beach and the Marina Airport. Chris holds a BA in Biology from UC Santa Cruz.
Josh Metz is the Executive Officer at the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA). In this role, Josh works with multiple public and private sector partners to advance regional recovery from the economic impact of the 1994 Fort Ord base closure. The FORA Economic Development program builds on regional economic strengths in agriculture, tourism/hospitality, higher education and the military mission; engages with regional partners and stakeholders; develops and provides information resources; pursues new and works to retain existing good-fit businesses; and measures and reports progress. Josh has been instrumental launching the Drone, Automation & Robotics technology (DART) initiative through partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders. He holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from UC Berkeley, and completed post-graduate research in spatial data systems and remote sensing at UC Santa Barbara.
Board Chair, Director, Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation
Managing Partner, Agile Meta Partners, Inc.
Thomas M. Atchison is and entrepreneur, educator and technologist. He is the founder and chairman
of the Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation, a 501(c)3 California nonprofit he started in 2007 focused on enabling the personalization of access to space by the common man, through STEM education, university and civilian research.
With over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and technologist in Silicon Valley, Thomas has
pioneered new technology and ventures in the semiconductor, mobile computing, enterprise software,
medical device, healthcare information technology, security, aerospace, and defense industries.
Most recently he joined with the founders of Astra Space Inc. to help them build a new generation
orbital space services company in Alameda California with a focus on Agile Engineering, Model based
systems engineering, design and product lifecycle management.
Some of the inventions and technology innovations he worked on are exhibited in The Tech Museum in
San Jose. He has worked for NASA, Hewlett Packard Research Labs, Intergraph Corporation, Navitel
Communications, and Measurex Corporation, and he has consulted for Eli Lilly & Company, Compaq
Computers, Fujitsu Microelectronics, Exxon, Kodak, DuPont, and Ford Motor Company.
Mr. Atchison has successfully started four technology ventures, and raised over$30 mm in angel, corporate, and venture capital commitments. While at Navitel Communications as VP of Engineering and GM, he was responsible for architecting and the development of the first Windows based screenphones and smartphone platforms, which were acquired by Microsoft in 1999, and became the
Windows Mobile smartphone Microsoft sells today. Early in is career, he worked with the team at HP
Labs that revolutionized semiconductor manufacturing through automation, he moved on to push the
personal computer on to the factory floor in the 80’s, brought to market mobile services which provided clinical order management services to physicians using their smartphones and later worked to commercialize full-body imaging technology to improve airport, public institutions, and defense installation security after 9/11.
Media coverage of his efforts have been documented in Wired Magazine, Rockets Magazine, Make, and
he has been interviewed on the Canadian Broadcast Network, CBS, and has two nationally broadcast
documentaries on his work produced by PBS and Discovery Communications for the Science Channel,
one of which won an Emmy Award, on civilian space exploration and STEM education.
Thomas mentors and has guest lectured on entrepreneurship at Stanford University Graduate School of
Engineering, UC Davis’ Graduate Business School, and also Singularity Universities 10^9+ Impact
synthetic biology SynBio Start—up Launchpad. He has also been a guest speaker for the University
of California’s CONNECT program, the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance,, the New Space
Frontier Foundation and provided business advisement to the UC Davis Medical Center and NSF Center for Biophotonics. In 2013 he was SolidWorks keynote speaker in STEM education and next generation manufacturing at SolidWorks World in Orlando Florida in 2012 and Siemens keynote speaker in 2019 on product life cycle management and next generation manufacturing in Las Vegas and San Antonio.
Thomas holds Level 1,2,3 & Experimental rocketry certifications with the TRIPOLI rocketry
association, an FCC Technicians license, a USC Chapter 40 Explosives License, and California
Radiations Technicians license, and holds certifications under the United States / Canadian Defense
Logistics Information Services.
Thomas completed undergraduate education in chemical engineering, and a second degree in
radiochemistry, and completed graduate studies in engineering management. His current interests are civilian space exploration, STEM Education, synthetic and systems biology, and next generation manufacturing technologies.
Sean Hogan is the founder and Director of the IGIS Drone Service Center. He has extensive experience in a wide range of UAS drone mapping and data collection projects, and is an expert on several drone platforms. He is also the UC ANR designated authority for drone operations. Sean developed the IGIS drone workshop model combining theory, equipment familiarization, regulations, hands-on flight practice, and data processing and analysis. Sean received his PhD in Geography at UC Davis. He was also a member of the UC Davis Center for Spatial Technology and Remote Sensing, providing GIS and remote sensing support for interests in precision agriculture, monitoring natural resources and calibration of NASA’s airborne imagers. His favorite drone is the eBee Plus.
Dr. Rodrigo Nieto is a geostrategist and defense futurist focused on the consequences of the accelerating pace of change in homeland security and policing environments. He is a research professor at the National Security Affairs Department and at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School and he is also a certified facilitator for the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and an instructor at the Executive Academy of the Emergency Management Institute. He is also a faculty member of Singularity University.
Dr. Nieto has a Ph.D. in Geopolitics from the French Institute of Geopolitics of the University of Paris. He holds a J.D. from the State University of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
For a decade, Dr. Nieto has taught hundreds of high ranking law enforcement, military, and homeland security leaders how to create and execute strategies to transform their agencies to meet the requirements of rapidly changing environments and threat profiles. As an innovation expert and an academically trained geostrategist, he has built a reputation as an expert on future threats to national security and policing and how to confront them.
Dr. Nieto has multiple publications describing the adaptation capacities of global organized crime, the public policy challenges of innovation and entrepreneurship in government and homeland security, asymmetric warfare and cybersecurity.
Dr. Nieto has been recognized as one of the top 5% performing faculty members at NPS and had the honor of winning on two occasions the NPS LCDR David L. Williams Outstanding Professor Award.
His native language is Spanish and has bilingual proficiency in English, full professional proficiency in French and elemental knowledge of German.
As an aviation enthusiast, he holds a private pilot certificate.
Michael A. Houlemard, Jr., is the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) Executive Officer (Retired). FORA is a broadly representative agency located on the Monterey Bay, responsible for former Fort Ord conversion to civilian reuse program – which was declared a military base reuse national model by the Department of Defense. Mr. Houlemard also oversees a $100 million munitions and explosives cleanup of 3,400 former Fort Ord acres.
In 2004, the Association of Defense Communities bestowed on Mr. Houlemard the award of Local Reuse Authority Executive of the Year. Mr. Houlemard received the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Ruth Vreeland 2012 Public Official of the Year award. In 2019 the Association of Defense Communities awarded Michael the John Lynch Lifetime Achievment Award.
Mr. Houlemard’s professional career spans 30 years in community planning, real property development, business training, and economic forecasting including managing several successful multi-interest partnerships to complete regional and larger-scale projects. Prior to assuming his current post in 1997, Houlemard served as Executive Assistant to the Chancellor and as Director of Community Planning and Land Development for the University of California at Santa Cruz.
In earlier career positions, Mr. Houlemard received a gubernatorial appointment as a Deputy in the California Department of Housing and Community Development. He served as Project Manager for the Pasadena Redevelopment Agency, Executive Director of the Southern California Urban Coalition, Deputy Director of the Pasadena Urban Coalition, and Assistant Dean/Director in the University of California at Santa Barbara Office of Veterans’ Affairs. In his professional capacity, he has provided a full array of topical testimony in public hearings and before Congress. In addition, Mr. Houlemard has been a columnist for local weekly publications and has written articles for several (regional & national) publications.
Mr. Houlemard was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and spent his formative years in Pasadena, California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a Master of Arts in Urban Studies from Occidental College, and is a graduate of the prestigious CORO Foundation Fellowship Program. He continues his long-time service as an active participant and/or officer on many public and private boards and commissions, and is a certified Special Districts Administrator (SDA). Past activities have included appointments to statewide councils and memberships in several professional associations. Mr. Houlemard was appointed to represent the State of California on the National Governors Association “Federal Facilities Environmental Cleanup Working Group.” In 2009, he was elected president of the Association of Defense Communities and served in that capacity until 2012.
Kate Roberts is the President of the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP), a regional nonprofit, membership organization consisting of public, private and civic entities located throughout the counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz. MBEP’s mission is to improve the economic health and quality of life in the Monterey Bay Region.
Prior to joining MBEP in September 2015 , Ms. Roberts spent seven years running her own independent management consultancy, The Wired Woman, that helped organizations solidify strategies and accelerate growth. Over her 25 years in the high-tech industry Ms. Roberts held leadership positions in sales, marketing, partner management, and corporate social responsibility. She spent a decade at Cisco Systems, Inc. leading strategic initiatives and creating successful partnerships with the United Nations, USAID and other global partners to further tech education and workforce development in the developing world.
Kate’s varied nonprofit board experience spans both the social and environmental spectrum at the regional and national level. As a volunteer ambassador with Save the Children, she led a women’s empowerment delegation to Ethiopia and Uganda, and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with CARE to raise funds and awareness for their community-based programs in Tanzania and Zanzibar. She is an active community member, supporting a number of social and environmental causes.
Kate graduated with honors from the University of California at Irvine and received a post-graduate certificate in cross-sector partnership from Cambridge University in England. She is an avid traveler, speaks 4 languages, is an award-winning photographer, an accomplished knitter, and an intrepid hiker. A native Californian, Kate lives in Santa Cruz, California with her husband of 29 years, Buz Roberts.
Dr. Andy Lyons is Program Coordinator for the Informatics and GIS Statewide Program in the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In this role he supports IGIS drone projects through flights, data analysis, teaching, and development of open source tools for data management and mission planning. An alumni of UC Berkeley, his research background is in wildlife ecology and he has taught classes at Berkeley and Stanford in spatial analysis using open source software, GIS, environmental problem solving, population modeling, cryptography, African studies, social justice, and sustainability.
Dr Lawson serves as Dean of the College of Science at California State University, Monterey Bay. Our programs combine solid foundational work in the disciplines with hands-on field and laboratory skills that prepare graduates for work in various science and technology fields or for success in graduate and professional schools. It is an exciting time for the College as we add new degree programs and expand our offerings in existing programs. Our faculty are dedicated to the success of every student and inspire and challenge students through a wide range of experiences, from connecting with community partners through service learning, to engaging in world-class research, to placing students in valuable internships with leading industry and agency partners.
CSUMB and the Monterey Bay region offer students incredible opportunities to engage with our local community, our diverse environment and a wide range of clubs and activities. I encourage all of our students to embrace these opportunities, and challenge themselves with new experiences – to allow curiosity to drive them to explore new fields, and to dive deeply into a few. Because science and technology careers change so quickly, our goal in the College is for all of our graduates to be passionate, lifelong learners who will adapt, innovate and lead the way for the next generation.