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

OFFICERS

Chris Bley

Position: Airspace Integration

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.

Chris Bley

Airspace Integration

Chris Bley is a Santa Cruz-based serial entrepreneur and co-founder...


ADVISORY BOARD

Sean Hogan

Position: UC Ag & Natural Resources

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.

Sean Hogan

UC Ag & Natural Resources

Sean Hogan is the founder and Director of the IGIS...

Rodrigo Nieto

Position: Naval Post Graduate School

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.

Rodrigo Nieto

Naval Post Graduate School

Dr. Rodrigo Nieto is a geostrategist and defense futurist focused...

Kate Roberts

Position: Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

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.

Kate Roberts

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

Kate Roberts is the President of the Monterey Bay Economic...

Josh Metz

Position: Fort Ord Reuse Authority

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.

Josh Metz

Fort Ord Reuse Authority

Josh Metz is the Executive Officer at the Fort Ord...

Andrew Lawson

Position: California State University Monterey Bay

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.

Andrew Lawson

California State University Monterey Bay

Dr Lawson serves as Dean of the College of Science...

Andrea Pesce

Position: UC Santa Cruz

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.

Andrea Pesce

UC Santa Cruz

Andrea Pesce is the Director of Industry Alliances & Licensing...