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Since receiving his Part 107 certification in 2016, Ben Stone has flown drones for SCDNR and SCDHEC. In his current position with DHEC’s Office of Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), he is one of the first within DHEC to have drone activities written in as a primary job duty and has the title of Drone Lead for OCRM. As such, he handles and coordinates most of the flight requests generated for the coastal counties and is one of the agency’s top accumulators of flight hours.
Most of Ben’s flights are conducted to assist with ensuring that coastal environmental activities that fall under DHEC’s purview are appropriately permitted as well as to ensure that permitted activities are being conducted in accordance with the permit issued.
Ben is innovative in applying the drone tool to accomplish DHEC’s mission. He actively participates in DHEC’s UAV Workgroup, training, and internal outreach activities as well as being an active supporter of SCiDUC. Additionally, Ben has received the honor of being selected by the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association for sponsorship to attend UAS executive education courses offered by the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.