Willy Mekeel holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation and Master’s of Science Degrees in Geography and GIS from Minnesota State University, Mankato. His Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota is focused on remote sensing applications in wildlife biology. Specifically, he is answering questions related to the applicability of object-based image analysis workflows in tracking moose and deer populations in Northern Minnesota.
Willy began his teaching career at various community colleges throughout the Midwest. Since then, he has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate level in online and face-to-face courses in geography, GIS, and remote sensing. He is driven as an instructor by a passion for adventure and learning that comes from examining the world through a spatial lens. This passion and curiosity has taken him to mountain tops in the Cascades, Rockies, and San Juan ranges as well as caves throughout the United States and Vietnam. He has commercial single-engine and multi-engine pilot certificates as well as the Part 107 remote pilot certificate for small UAS. In the private sector, Willy co-founded an aviation services company and managed the remote sensing program that oversaw the collection of millions of acres of thermal, color, and NIR imagery for applications in agriculture, civil engineering, and management of natural resources.