In Memory of Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne

Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne

Approximately 900 people gathered in the Ira Allen Chapel on Saturday, January 20, 2024 for a memorial service celebrating the life of Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne, a beloved and longtime member of the University of Vermont community.

O’Neil-Dunne was the director of the Rubenstein School’s Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL). His research focused on applying geospatial technology to a broad range of natural resource issues such as disaster response, environmental justice, wildlife habitat mapping, high-elevation forest decline, land cover change detection, community health, and water quality modeling.

He worked with federal, state, and local agencies to improve the use of drone technology for disaster response and recovery. The Unoccupied Aircraft Systems Team (UAS) within SAL played a critical role in documenting the destruction from Vermont’s 2023 summer flooding event by using drones. The deployment was one of the largest uses of drones for disaster response and recovery in the Northeast. O’Neil-Dunne established the UAS Team in 2013 after Tropical Storm Irene, to get information about these disasters to responders and others in a more timely way.

Members of a team at the UVM Spatial Analysis Lab flying drones.

During O’Neil-Dunne’s memorial service, UVM President Surish Garimella stated, “Among the many fine people, I have had the pleasure to know during my time in Vermont, Jarlath stood out to me for his kindness, his intelligence, his ferocious energy, his devotion to the people around him, and his commitment to service.”

He was an extraordinarily accomplished person and will be deeply missed.

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