Faine Opines

Southeast Asia, liberation technology, drones, and pontification


Are you thinking about hiring me? Here are my qualifications.

Remote Sensing and Media Expert

Professional Highlights

International expert on the emerging use of drone and remote sensing technology for civilian and humanitarian purposes. Conducts research for the Signal Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, a cutting-edge research program dedicated to remote sensing for humanitarian purposes.

Co-author of the world’s first primer to humanitarian UAVs, published by New America and funded by the Omidyar Network. Wrote chapters on UAV mapping and photogrammetry, the practical uses of drone mapping technology, and the Peruvian government’s drone archeology team. Took lead role on creating and maintaining the leading online database to international drone regulations, and has compiled extensive database on civilian drone use-cases.

Experienced hobby UAV pilot, map-maker, and aerial photographer and cinematographer. Has flown many UAV models in many different locations, and is dedicated to pushing forward UAV photography and drone journalism via novel fieldwork. Passionate about helping everyone learn how to use drone technology.

Print and electronic media outlet publications include: Slate’s Future Tense section, Drone360, Magazine, Make Magazine, World Politics Review, Time Magazine, the Cambodia Daily, the San Francisco Chronicle, GlobalPost, Travelfish.org, Medium.org, TechPresident.com and the Southeast Asia Globe, among others. Active and avid blogger and social media user, with a wide online following and a distinctive, appealing writing style.

Experienced writer who’s used to working on a deadline, and well-versed in editing audio, video, text, and visual content. Extremely comfortable with computers and new technologies, and can take leading role on technical management and support as part of a research, reporting or editing team. Dedicated to helping others become comfortable with new tech.

Relevant Experience

Assistant Researcher – Signal Program, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Cambridge, MA – January 2016 – Present

Works as researcher and resident UAV expert at the Signal Program at HHI, one of the world’s most cutting-edge research centers devoted to remote sensing in humanitarian contexts. Duties include conducting research into the current use of remote sensing technology, writing policy and technical white-papers, developing research plans, and designing and instructing educational programs on remote sensing at Harvard.

Regular Contributor, Slate.com, Washington DC – January 2015 – Present

Regular contributor to Slate’s Future Tense section, with a particular focus on drone technology and the legal and ethical environment surrounding its use.

Field Analyst, New America, Washington DC – December 2014 – October 2015

Worked as a field analyst and researcher on a  Omidyar Network-funded primer to the usage of UAVs for property rights, human rights, and global development. Developed databases on international UAV regulations, and use cases of humanitarian UAVs. Regular correspondent for Slate.com’s Future Tense blog on issues related to UAVs.

Correspondent, Peninsula Press, Stanford University, 2013 – 2014

Regular correspondent and photographer for the Peninsula Press, a project of Stanford University’s journalism program. Produces written and video content for the WordPress-based site, including a recent package on consumer-level drones. Recently created a Usahidi site, mapping Silicon Valley’s Superfund sites to accompany a story.

Travel Correspondent, Travelfish.org, 2011 – present

Regular correspondent and photographer for popular Southeast Asian travel website, filing travel guides and short pieces from Cambodia, Vietnam, and eastern Indonesia. Recently completed writing and photographing an Ebook guide to Flores, now one of the lengthiest resources available anywhere for the remote Nusa Tenggara island.

Staff Writer, UN Dispatch, 2011 to present

Writes and contributes photographs to international blog, with an emphasis on Asian affairs and technology. Regularly reaches millions of readers.

Breaking News Writer, GlobalPost, 2012 – 2013

Worked as staff breaking news writer for the GlobalPost, a major online newspaper with an international focus. Duties including researching analysis pieces, producing punchy shareable content, covering breaking news, and producing on-the-scene photo essays from various international locations. Used social media skills, wide international network of sources, local knowledge and SEO know-how to research, report, and add depth to breaking stories from Southeast Asia and further afield.

Technology Project Assistant, National Democratic Institute, Summer 2012, Washington DC

Worked as technology project assistant for major international organization dedicated to the promotion of democracy worldwide. Assisted international staff, particularly the ICT team, with social media, blogging, employee portal management, web and graphic design, and other technology matters

Associate Editor, Cambodia Daily, 2010-2011, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Worked as reporter and copy editor at the Cambodia Daily newspaper, the nation’s most respected English-language newspaper. Edited and compiled stories and sources in a high –intensity newsroom environment. Used investigative reporting skills to produce stories, while working closely with Cambodian staff. Learned Khmer language skills, and obtained solid background in Cambodian history, culture, and law. Covered the Khmer Rouge War Tribunal, and established one of the first live Twitter feeds of the proceedings.

Social Media Consultant, Newcomb College Center for Research on Women, 2008-2010, New Orleans, LA

As a social media consultant, covered campus events, maintained blogs, Twitter feeds, and websites, helped professors incorporate social media into their courses, and marketed and promoted campus events and programs. Helped create social media programs for graduate-level study abroad experiences. Learned video and audio editing, web design, Photoshop and InDesign, and quantitative research techniques.

Other Related Experience

Staff Writer, The Faster Times 2011 to present

Maintains section on fast paced new journalism website related to Cambodian issues.

New Media Intern, Southern Food and Beverage Museum, 2010

Worked as intern assisting with the Museum’s website and marketing activities.

New Media Instructor, Payson Center for International Development, Italy, 2009

Social media instructor on course held in Italy, covering Italian foodways, the impact of globalization on food, and international food aid programs. I created photo and video content to accompany the blog, and maintained a live Twitter feed.

Intern, Freelance Writer, Rave Magazine/AskLaila.com, Bangalore, India, 2008

I worked as an editorial intern, music reviewer, and features writer for Rave Magazine in Bangalore, India. AskLaila.com employed me as a restaurant and nightlife reviewer, also headquartered in Bangalore.


Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA – Masters Degree, Journalism – June 2014 

Recipient of the Melville J. Jacoby Fellowship for strong academic record and commitment to international work.

Activities: Active member and aerial imaging specialist – Stanford University UAV club.

Manager/CEO of drone journalism project for digital entrepreneurship course.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. – Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, English – May 2010

Creative Writing concentration. 3.7 cumulative GPA. Graduated with honors after completing a long-form creative writing thesis.

Activities: Regular correspondent for the Tulane Hullabaloo student newspaper, social media co-instructor of Tulane’s Summer Institute in Italy.

Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, MA. – Associate’s Degree, Liberal Arts – Dec 2007

Attended rigorous early-college program with an intensive writing focus. Maintained 3.8 cumulative GPA.


UAV: Aerial imaging with various UAV models, including DJI, 3DRobotics, and Game of Drones products. UAV maintenance and building. UAV imaging and mapping software.

Applications: Agisoft Photoscan, Pix4D, QGIS, Google Earth, VisualSFM, Adobe Creative Suite: Photoshop CS6, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro X, Audacity.

Platforms: DroneDeploy, Leaflet, Open Street Map, Usahidi, WordPress, Drupal

Programming: CSS, Javascript, GeoJSON, some PHP.

Social Media: Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, and other major social media platforms.

Languages:  Basic proficiency in Khmer, advanced Spanish


The Melville J. Jacoby Fellowship – Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

Newcomb College Institute Summer Research Grant – Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Distinguished Scholar Award (Scholarship), Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Leslie Sanders Writing Award, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, Massachusetts




1 Comment

  1. This is giving me some good ideas for when I set out traveling. Thank you!

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