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An Ecologist Became a Drone Engineer to Save Our Food Supply

Greg Crutsinger develops drone technology to help farmers struggling to grow produce in a world affected by climate change.
Humans of the Year: Greg Crutsinger

There's a huge industry built around providing advanced technology to farmers. But one new tool in particular is rapidly proving its usefulness alongside the more traditional tractors, trailers, and fertilizing machines: the drone.

Greg Crutsinger understands this better than most. A field ecologist turned scientific program director specializing in drone agriculture, Crutsinger is putting sensors and cameras on consumer drones, enabling them to monitor crops with high precision and at low cost.

Crutsinger's efforts allow farmers to rapidly and repeatedly monitor the health of their plants from the sky, showing them which areas of land might need more water or fertilizer. He works directly with struggling farmers as they prepare for a world where extreme weather is predicted to increase due to climate change.

"The world is facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to the future of food," Crustinger told Motherboard. "We need to use every tool at hand to create a solution for farms." Watch him in action above.

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