The Royal BC Museum’s mandate is to engage as many British Columbians as possible.

One of the many ways staff achieve that goal is through the online learning portal.

And now, thanks to money allocated from the Joan and John Walton Innovators Fund, the museum has purchased a drone and a 360-degree camera to further enhance a visit to the portal.

Genevieve Hill, the Royal BC Museum’s First Nation and Repatriation Collections Manager, is one of three Royal BC Museum staff members who have been trained by Transport Canada to operate the museum’s newest technology.

“This drone is incredible for the work that we do” says Hill.

“For a long time surveys were done on foot, so there are certain landscapes that we would like to survey, and we can get a lot of information from, but they would take days to survey by foot.

“The drone really provides an advancement in technology” Hill explains.

“It allows us to scale great heights that are unsafe for staff.  It allows us to do a safe survey of areas like wetlands – particularly where you might get sucked in, or where the tide is coming and going.

“There are also little features that you might see at low tide that are covered up at high tide, so [the drone] allows us to survey areas of shallow water as well.”

Hill points out that the drone has already proven invaluable.

“This summer we got to go out to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Chase Woods property. We were working with Cowichan tribes and the Nature Conservancy to do archaeology in advance of wetland restoration.

“Using the drone” says Hill, “allowed us to really get up high and see the landscape as a whole.

“It allowed us to identify the sites that were found during survey, and how they related to drainage patterns that had taken place over the last 100-plus years.”

New technology, helping museum staff further understand the lands and the waters of this province.

“I think the more and more we get out on the landscape” adds Hill, “the more powerful a tool we will prove [the drone] to be.”

Veronica Cooper