Robert Leeper is a Geologist and FAA certified Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems remote pilot. Robert previously worked for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) where he conducted post-wildfire debris flow and flash flood monitoring along the wildland-urban interface in southern California, and other natural hazards research. Following his tenure with the USGS, Robert worked as a Technical Specialist, and Senior small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) remote pilot for Haley & Aldrich, Inc.


During the past 15 years, his work and studies focused on understanding geologic hazards and their processes and how to best communicate the science to the public. He worked to identify evidence of past tsunamis along the California coastline and evidence of past earthquakes along the Newport-Inglewood Fault in southern California. Robert also helped advance a method to measure the timing of post-wildfire debris flows and flash floods relative to intense rainfall events. He contributed to a recently published study focused on documenting surface fault rupture and ground deformation produced by the July 4th and July 5th, 2019, M6.4 and M7.1 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence.

Robert utilizes the unique aerial perspective offered by UAVs to extend his technical training. In hazardous and hard to reach terrain, UAVs allow rapid deployment, site documentation and assessment, and significantly reduce health and safety risk. This is critical when performing topographic mapping projects or conducting natural disaster response for documentation and hazards assessments.


In addition to managing Leeper Aerial, Robert works as an Earth Science and Geology instructor in southern California. He holds a BSc. and MSc. in Geological Sciences from CSU Fullerton.