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Chris Leatherman


Chris Leatherman is a GIS and drone professional with years of experience in mapping studies. He has worked with hundreds of students leading them to become professional drone pilots in their field of study.


Chris earned a Bachelor of Science from Black Hills State University, his first Master of Arts from the University of South Dakota, and a second Master of Geographic Information Studies from American Sentinel University.

Professional Background

Chris has worked as a GIS specialist with the City of Gillette Wyoming for nearly two decades. He provides mapping services for groups in the City. Chris manages web applications used by City staff in their daily tasks. As of 2023, he is leading the development of a City drone program. This new service will assist the police with their duties, aid in inspections of critical City infrastructure and map active construction projects.

Motivation for Teaching

Chris has a passion for drone technology and how it can be used to make the world a better place. He strongly believes drones can help people solve complex problems by collecting high-quality and inexpensive data from a bird’s eye perspective. The data can help decision-makers better manage resources to the benefit of all.

Helping Students Be Successful

Chris provides his students with the skills and knowledge they need to become professional drone pilots. Students can apply these skills in their area of interest. Drone mapping is an excellent tool for creating invaluable data that can answer questions and guide decision makers. Chris believes everyone should have access to drones. He is readily available via email and virtual office hours to answer questions and provide guidance.