Adam Cohen

Position: University of California, Berkeley

Adam Cohen is a transportation futurist and researcher at the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Since joining the group in 2004, his research has focused on innovative urban mobility solutions, including urban air mobility, shared mobility, urban goods delivery, automation, smart cities, smartphone apps, and other emerging technologies. Cohen recently completed two exploratory studies of the opportunities and challenges of Urban Air Mobility using electric vertical take-off and land (eVTOL) aircraft for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Toyota Motor Corporation. He has also co-authored numerous articles and reports on innovative mobility in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. Previously, Cohen worked for the Information Technology and Telecommunications Laboratory (ITTL) at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). His academic background is in city and regional planning and international affairs.

Adam Cohen

University of California, Berkeley

Adam Cohen is a transportation futurist and researcher at the...

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...

Brandon Stark

Position: UC Merced

Dr. Brandon Stark is the director of the UC Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft System Safety, and the appointed systemwide UAS authority, where he provides UAS expertise to all 10 UC campuses, medical centers, cooperative extensions and field stations across the state of California.  He has led the integration of UAS within the University ecosystem, implementing the University’s UAS Safety Management System to support UAS research, classroom education, operator training, risk assessment and safety assurance.   He is a strong advocate for the safe integration of UAS into the university ecosystem, enabling innovative projects while balancing risk and campus safety.

Brandon Stark

UC Merced

Dr. Brandon Stark is the director of the UC Center...

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...

Dennis Donohue

Position: Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology

Dennis Donohue currently serves as the Director of Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology, a premier agtech startup incubator based in Salinas, California. In this role, Donohue drives agtech initiatives; bolsters innovation programming; facilitates relationships between start-up companies and growers; and spearheads business development at the Center. Donohue’s leadership in agriculture, as well as the agricultural technology industry, is extensive. He has played a key role in creating innovative business models, identifying new technologies and developing initiatives that integrate agtech and innovation into the business structure at organizations such as Cultiva Global, European Vegetable Specialties/Royal Rose, River Ranch Fresh Foods, Fresh Express Farms and Fresh Western Marketing. Additionally, his dedication to the community is unmatched. Donohue’s strong civic commitment includes his leadership as Salinas’ Mayor from 2006 to 2012 and serving on governing boards at the Grower Shipper Association of Central California, Salinas Chamber of Commerce and Steinbeck Innovation Foundation. Donohue holds a master’s degree from Gannon University in religious education and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of San Francisco. He currently lives in Salinas with his wife, Paula.

Dennis Donohue

Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology

Dennis Donohue currently serves as the Director of Western Growers...

Gerlinde Brady

Position: Cabrillo College

Gerlinde Brady is the Dean for Career Technical Education (CTE) and Workforce Development at Cabrillo College. Gerlinde has been at Cabrillo College for 20 years, first as an instructor and department chair in the Computer and Information Systems department, and since 2016 as the Dean of CTE. She is a leader in regional collaborative CTE and workforce development projects aimed at improving outcomes for students and employers. The Netlab+ datacenter hosted at Cabrillo is one example of a regional project. This information and communication technologies (ICT) lab facility serves ICT students from colleges across the Bay Area and provides in-demand hands-on skills training needed for employment in the ICT sector. Gerlinde also focuses on career pathway development aligned with industry needs. Gerlinde obtained a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and a CTE certificate in teaching Information Technology courses in Germany, and a Masters Degree in Translation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Gerlinde Brady

Cabrillo College

Gerlinde Brady is the Dean for Career Technical Education (CTE)...

Jacob Martinez

Position: Digital NEST

Jacob Martinez is the Executive Director of the Digital NEST, a non-profit in Watsonville and Salinas, that CONNECTS youth to a skill-building community that TRANSFORMS them into professionals who can CREATE successful careers, innovative solutions and prosperous communities. Prior to establishing the Digital NEST in 2014, Jacob Martinez spent ten years leading innovative computer-based programs in California, with a particular focus on encouraging Latina girls to enter high tech fields. He is a frequent speaker at technology and educational conferences, and has been honored by business, community, and educational institutions for his innovation and leadership. He spoke in 2015 at the first White House Tech Meetup and was named by Tech Crunch as one of 2014’s Top 10 Men in the Country Supporting Women in Technology.” In 2015 was named Santa Cruz County Entrepreneur of the Year by the Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce and in 2018. He currently sits on the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Council and actively looks for ways to engage UCSC alumni to opportunities. He received his undergraduate degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Cruz and a master’s from Cal State University, Monterey Bay.

Jacob Martinez

Digital NEST

Jacob Martinez is the Executive Director of the Digital NEST,...

Jeff Donohoe

Position: Grandsky Development Corp.

Mr. Donohoe has more than 25 years’ experience in the financial analysis of real estate development projects and small business operations. Mr. Donohoe has completed dozens of real estate market studies, financial feasibility studies, redevelopment plans and real property appraisals. He also has extensive experience in the analysis of land, buildings and utility systems associated with the redevelopment of several former military bases. His experience includes work on numerous military installations throughout the United States which have been closed under the Base Realignments and Closure Acts since 1988, including more than seventy different Army, Navy and Air Force installations. Mr. Donohoe was the lead consultant in evaluating the market and financial feasibility of the Grand Sky project. Grand Sky is a 217-acre business park focused on the rapidly growing Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, or “drones”) sector. Grand Sky is being developed on land at Grand Forks Air Force Base, leased from the Air Force by Grand Forks County, and then subleased to the Developer. The project was implemented via an Enhanced Use Lease (EUL), the first-of-its-kind unsolicited publicto- public EUL in the Air Force’s portfolio. Mr. Donohoe managed a team of subcontractors to evaluate legal issues, complete a survey of the property, conduct an Environmental Assessment on behalf of the Air Force, and to prepare conceptual site plans and development strategies. Mr. Donohoe also prepared market and financial information to support the County’s proposal to lease the property from the Air Force. As a licensed Realtor, Mr. Donohoe was subsequently retained as the exclusive broker for marketing Grand Sky.

Jeff Donohoe

Grandsky Development Corp.

Mr. Donohoe has more than 25 years’ experience in the...

John Louie

Position: Plant Tape

John Louie is the business development manager for PlantTape, which is an agricultural technology startup based in Salinas. John has been involved in the agricultural industry since he was a child as he grew up on a farm and started a career in farming after college graduation. After graduating from Middlebury College with a degree in Economics, John started in production at Tanimura and Antle, a large vegetable producer in Salinas, CA. For three years, John was involved in every aspect of the vegetable farming process from planting to harvest with a focus on new technologies.  With a thorough understanding of the  process of vegetable farming, John moved to PlantTape. This agricultural startup has developed a robotic transplanting system that reduces labor and increases planting efficiency for vegetable farmers. Starting as the manager of R&D, John focused on working with growers around the world to develop and implement the PlantTape machines in different soil conditions, bed types, and growing practices. Currently, John is the business development manager at PlantTape and now focuses on researching new crop industries and new geographic areas that can use the planting system. In his spare time, John enjoys sailing, fishing, skiing, and biking.  John also serves as a Board of Director of the Future Citizens Foundation.

John Louie

Plant Tape

John Louie is the business development manager for PlantTape, which...

Josh Metz

Position: Fort Ord Reuse Authority

Josh Metz is the Economic Development Manager 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 Economic Development Manager at the Fort...

Joshua Resnick

Position: Parallel Flight Technologies

Joshua is a founder and CEO of Parallel Flight Technologies which is developing new propulsion technology for heavy-lift, long-duration unmanned systems. The target applications are firefighting, public safety, and remote logistics. Before coming to California, he lived in Alaska for 12 years where he designed hybrid power systems for commercial fishing vessels. These systems were designed to survive in the world’s most challenging industrial marine conditions. During this time he was the PI for a combined Federal and State of Alaska grant (Emerging Energy Technology Fund) aimed at exploring hybrid power for commercial marine vessels. Working on this project, he led a small team which developed a novel Variable Speed diesel Generator (VSG) technology and hybrid propulsion drive system. The engineering focus was on enhancing fuel economy, power-density, and modular design. Following this grant project, he led electrical engineering and system architecture for the Tesla Semi Truck Program from the early prototype phase through the Alpha reveal. This work was done over a three-and-a-half-year time frame. In addition to leading electrical engineering for this program, he developed the mechanical systems for power steering and air compression. Joshua graduated in 2001 from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a BS EE.

Joshua Resnick

Parallel Flight Technologies

Joshua is a founder and CEO of Parallel Flight Technologies...

Kate Roberts

Position: Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

Since September 2015 Kate Roberts has been 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, 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 Roberts

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

Since September 2015 Kate Roberts has been the President of...

Leila Takayama

Position: UC Santa Cruz

Dr. Takayama is a cognitive and social scientist, who studies human-robot interaction. In 2016, she joined the faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as an acting associate professor of Psychology. In 2016, I also founded Hoku Labs to do human-robot interaction research consulting for product teams. For the past few years, she was a senior user experience researcher at GoogleX, a lab that aims for moonshots in technology and science. Prior to joining GoogleX, she was a research scientist and area manager for human-robot interaction at Willow Garage. In 2015, she received an Early Career Award from the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. In 2012, she had the honor of being named a TR35 winner (Technology Review’s top 35 innovators under 35) and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company.

With a background in Cognitive Science, Psychology, and Human-Computer Interaction, Dr. Takayama studies human encounters with new technologies. In 2008, she completed a PhD in Communication at Stanford University. She also holds a PhD minor in Psychology from Stanford, MA in Communication from Stanford, and BAs in Psychology and Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley (2003). During grad school, she worked as a research assistant in the User Interface Research (UIR) group at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

Dr. Takayama’s work lies in the intersections of ubiquitous computing and embodied cognition. She studies how people interact with new technologies and how their experiences with those technologies influence the ways that they experience the world.

For a quick overview of her recent work, check out this 13-minute TEDx presentation,  3.5-minute TR35 montage5-minute Pop!Tech presentation, or this brief article she wrote for Tech Review. For a more in-depth perspective, here’s an NPR All Things Considered piece about our personal robotics work, a 60-minute presentation she gave at the University of Toronto, and a 60-minute presentation she recently gave at UC Berkeley about Mixing Human and Robotic Agents.

Leila Takayama

UC Santa Cruz

Dr. Takayama is a cognitive and social scientist, who studies...

Maggi Kelly

Position: UC Berkeley

Dr. Kelly is a Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Environmental Science, Policy and Management department and affiliated Professor of Geography at UC Berkeley. She is an accomplished innovator in geospatial data, analysis and visualization. Dr. Kelly is dedicated to bringing cutting-edge mapping technology, training, and research support to students, staff, faculty, and the public. Her group uses a range of geospatial data and analytics – from spatial modeling, remote sensing, drones, lidar, historical archives, surveys, participatory mapping, and the field (although not always at the same time!) – to gain insights about how and why California landscapes are changing, and what that change means for those who live on, use, and manage our lands. Her work enables interdisciplinary collaboration, data-rich analytics research, and active outreach across a number of scientific domains (forests, agriculture, wetlands, climate change) with significant societal impact. Dr. Kelly is very conscious of the speed at which our geospatial field is evolving, making the need to consume information from, and share information with broad scientific, regulatory, and public communities increasingly important. To that end she seeks to build a community interested in applied geospatial research and outreach locally at UC Berkeley and across the state. Dr. Kelly is faculty director of the Geospatial Innovation Facility and Director of the ANR Statewide Program in Informatics and Geographic Information Systems (IGIS), both of which are dedicated to bringing cutting-edge mapping technology to the ANR network, students, staff, faculty, and the public. The GIF/IGIS host workshops, conferences, and geolunches. The Interwebs: CV / Google Scholar page / Research Gate page / Mendeley page / Twitter page. A cool interview from the Women in GIS website.

Maggi Kelly

UC Berkeley

Dr. Kelly is a Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist in...

Patrick Zelaya

Position: Heavy Connect

Patrick Zelaya is the Founder and CEO of HeavyConnect, an agtech startup headquartered in Salinas, California. Patrick has an extensive and diverse background in global agriculture. Working at Deere and Company has taken him from the tractor assembly plant in Waterloo, Iowa, to sugar cane harvesters in Argentina, to forage harvesters in Germany, and almost everywhere in between. Patrick understands the diversity in farming practices and the need for dynamic support of field operations. Patrick’s career has provided valuable experience with the product development and validation process as well as manufacturing and assembly of the most technologically advanced machinery in agriculture. Patrick holds a BA of Sociology from Arizona State University and an MBA with a concentration in International Management from St. Ambrose University

Patrick Zelaya

Heavy Connect

Patrick Zelaya is the Founder and CEO of HeavyConnect, an...

Ray Buettner

Position: Naval Post Graduate School

Dr. Ray Buettner joined the Naval Post Graduate School  faculty as Military Instructor in 1999 and stayed on after retirement and earning his doctorate at Stanford University. With undergraduate work in political science/sociology and graduate work as an engineer, Ray is very comfortable moving between the highly technical and less technical domains. Since initially joining the NPS faculty Ray’s teaching has been interdisciplinary in nature.  His student count is over a thousand students with 101 segments in 22 distinct courses that engaged students in 8 curricula, 3 departments (IS, DA and SE) and 2 schools (GSOIS and GSEAS).  Course subjects range from Systems and Software Engineering (IW04500/SE4003) to Information Operations (IW-3101/SI-2104). He has taught students from all US services as well as several foreign countries to include classes specifically for foreign officers.  His courses run the gamut from non-technical to technically challenging, from 2000 level to 4000 level. He has served on doctoral committees for 4 PhD awardees from two schools (GSOIS and GSEAS).  This included a Brazilian GSOIS graduate (maintenance enterprise resource planning) as well as a GSEAS PMP graduate (mission-based architecture for swarm composability). He is currently on the committees of 3 additional candidates. Ray is also heavily engaged in thesis advising across multiple disciplines.  He has been directly involved in 145 masters theses (91 as adviser and 54 second reader) with students in 13 curricula spread across 6 departments and all 4 schools.  The subjects of advised theses have ranged from TOP SECRET work on sensor development to organizational design for the USMC to capital asset pricing models.  It is worth noting that the number of curricula/departments that he advises thesis students from exceeds those that he teaches. On the research side Ray’s focus on creating collaborative environments has led to his having assumed a variety of leadership roles. As a military faculty member he was the Joint Information Operations Command (JIOC) sponsored Information Operations Chair.  As a nationally recognized expert in influence modeling Ray was a key player in formulating military responses to both the Hainan Island incident and the immediate response to the 9-11 attacks.  He engaged his students in this work as well, advising several classified/restricted theses related to these events.   He was also the first Deputy Director of what is now the Cebrowski Institute. After returning from a leave of absence, he was the Deputy Director of the Department of Defense’s Information Operations Center for Excellence before taking over the leadership of NPS field experimentation programs from Distinguished Professor Dave Netzer.

Ray Buettner

Naval Post Graduate School

Dr. Ray Buettner joined the Naval Post Graduate School  faculty...

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...

Scott Berry

Position: Joby Aviation

Scott Berry oversees the certification and flight test of a revolutionary new aircraft being developed by Joby Aviation, a startup based in Santa Cruz, CA. The S4 carries 5 people, can take off vertically like a helicopter, fly fast like an airplane, and is exceptionally quiet and safe. Our goal is to save a billion people an hour of driving per day. Scott has spent his entire life in aviation, flying with his father as a child, building and flying his first remote control Piper Cub at age 6, and earning his private pilots license in his father’s Stearman biplane at age 17. After college, Scott had two goals: build a kitplane out of composites and work for an aviation company developing advanced composite aircraft. This led him to the Mojave Desert where he built the kitplane and began working for General Atomics, developing advanced unmanned aircraft at their R&D flight test facility. Scott worked in advanced composite manufacturing, project engineering, and eventually led the project engineering and design engineering development teams. After 12 years of becoming frustrated with his ever worsening commute through the desert, Scott started a small company with aspirations to develop an electric VTOL aircraft that he could use to get to work. This led him to Joby Aviation where he walked in to buy an electric motor and unexpectedly, walked out with a job. At Joby Aviation, Scott is responsible for the certification and flight operations of its vehicles and company culture. Scott is an active commercial helicopter and fixed wing pilot.. He earned a Mechanical Engineering degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is blessed with 5 amazing children. He plans to improve the world through aviation and by being the best father possible.

Scott Berry

Joby Aviation

Scott Berry oversees the certification and flight test of a...

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...

Tom O’Reilly

Position: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Tom is a software engineer at MBARI. His interests include software and applications for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and autonomous surface vehicles, including navigation and tracking, adaptive sampling, and development of small low-power cytometers and microscopes for use by microbial oceanographers. He is also interested in standard protocols for marine sensor interfaces and networks, and helped to standardize the OGC PUCK interface originally developed at MBARI. Tom has been working with science colleagues to use Android devices for “crowd-sourcing” and data acquisition applications. Tom’s educational background is in geology and geochemistry. For most of his professional career he has been a software engineer, usually working on scientific applications. Prior to joining MBARI, Tom helped develop a spacecraft instrument known as the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (“TES”), which is designed to measure properties of the Martian surface and atmosphere from orbit around Mars. TES was successfully launched on November 7, 1996 as part of the Mars Global Surveyor mission payload, and arrived in Mars orbit on September 11, 1997. Tom also helped design the mission planning system for a joint US/Japan instrument known as “ASTER”, on the TERRA Earth-orbiting spacecraft.

Tom O’Reilly

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Tom is a software engineer at MBARI. His interests include...