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About Leo Ondrovic

Dr. Leo Ondrovic is an associate professor of biology and physics at Saint Leo University. He received a BS in general engineering, a MS in Engineering Science and a PhD in Engineering Science from the University of South Florida. He recently developed the course titled Evaluating the Predictions of Global Warming to teach non-science majors how to employ the scientific method to assess scientific theory. His research interests are currently in science communication, in particular in the area of global climate change.

Saint Leo Poll Finds As the Public Learns More About Drones, Opinions Split on the Best Civilian Uses

Not everyone wants consumer deliveries from above permitted in their communities

SAINT LEO, FL – Just about everybody understands what a drone is, but a new survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) shows the public is divided in its thinking about whether civilian drones would make great package-delivery vehicles or are nuisances that should be banned.

The latest poll from the Saint Leo University Institute was conducted online among 1,001 adults nationally from November 27 through November 30, 2016. A parallel survey of 501 adults was conducted in Florida, where the weather is better for flying drones during more months of the year.

More than 8 in 10 respondents, 84 percent, agreed this year that they were either very aware of or somewhat aware of unmanned aerial vehicles, more popularly known as drones. That was up slightly from 78.4 percent last year, when the institute first polled on drones as they became widely available for sale to consumers for personal interest and to businesses for use in surveying and marketing properties, mapping, and advertising. Law enforcement agencies have also been using drones for traffic and road accident observation as well as search-and-rescue operations.

As the public has grown more familiar with drones, and perhaps more aware of Federal Aviation Administration safety regulations governing their use, some things changed from 2015 to 2016. Last year, 73.1 percent of respondents nationally were either very concerned or somewhat concerned about the presence of drones in airspace. This year, that declined somewhat, to 65.6 percent—still a significant level. Often-reported reasons for concern this year were potentially dangerous interference with airplanes (70 percent) and personal privacy issues (71.5 percent).

The public indicated it likes drones for some uses in society. There is […]

By |December 12th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Polling Topic Back in the News: Science Faculty Expert Commentary on the Pope’s Environmental Encyclical

Leo Ondrovic, PhD
Associate professor of biology and physics
Faculty expert on global climate change
I am personally very pleased to see that Pope Francis has taken the lead in calling everyone to act to combat threats to our natural environment in the encyclical. In it, Pope Francis focuses on “global environmental deterioration,” widely ranging from global warming, pollution, loss of access to clean water, losses of biodiversity, destruction of forests and woodlands, urban sprawl, and threats to our oceans. The encyclical does discuss many scientific findings and theories, but it is really more of a religious and philosophical argument. Pope Francis calls on “all of humanity,” and asks that we become “painfully aware” of the problem and dare to consider solutions. This is the right thing to do because “God has entrusted the world to us” and because “deterioration of the environment debases human life.” We are part of nature, and humans and nature coexist. The pope goes on to say that to commit a crime against nature is a sin against God and ourselves. He urges us to move gradually from what we want to what God’s world needs, and observes that “the natural environment and the human environment deteriorate together.”

The pope calls for fossil fuels to be replaced and for the development of renewable energies. He asks that we develop transportation and production methods that use less energy. He suggests that energy efficiencies should be increased, and discusses “obstructionist attitudes,” which include denials, nonchalant resignation, blind faith in technical solutions, and a more general lack of interest by the public to do what is needed. And he correctly observes that the rapid pace of human developments outstrips the slow pace of nature. As […]

By |June 26th, 2015|Institute|0 Comments