2014 ASPRS Fellow Award Winners

Bon A. Dewitt, Rongxing Li, Richard A. Pearsall, Karen L. Schuckman and Douglas A. Stow have been named the 2014 ASPRS Fellow Award winners.  The ASPRS designation of Fellow is conferred on active Society members who have performed excep¬tional service in advancing the science and use of the mapping sciences (photogrammetry, remote sensing, surveying, geographic information systems, and related disciplines). 

The designation of Fellow is awarded for pro-fessional excellence and for service to the Society. Candidates are nominated by other active members, recommended to the Fellows Committee, and elected by the ASPRS Board of Directors. Up to 0.3 percent of the Society’s active members may be elected as Fellows in any one year.  The nominees must have made outstanding contributions in a recognized Society specialization whether in practice, research, development, administration, or education in the mapping sciences. Members of the Fellows Committee and the Executive Committee are ineligible for nomination.  This year’s awards will be given in March at the ASPRS 2014 Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

 Dr. Bon Dewitt is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Geomatics Program at the University of Florida. Dr. Dewitt earned his Masters and Doctorate degrees from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982 and 1989, respectively. At the graduate level he majored in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and Minored in Computer Science. He acquired his Bachelor’s degree with a Surveying option from the same department in 1980. Dr. Dewitt is licensed as a Professional Surveyor and Mapper in the state of Florida.
Dr. Dewitt has been working as a faculty member in the Geomatics Program at the University of Florida for more than 22 years. He has been teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in photogrammetry, digital mapping, geodesy, least squares adjustments, hydrographic surveying, subdivision design, route geometrics, as well as other mapping science topics. He has advised dozens of Masters and Doctoral students and supervised research projects that involved, for example, state-wide satellite image classification and GIS analysis, determination of ordinary high water lines using remote sensing, and the utilization of unmanned autonomous aerial vehicles for mapping applications. The University of Florida recognized his instructional aptitude by presenting him with two of the coveted “Teaching Improvement Program” Awards, in 1994 and again in 1999. He has also served as the faculty advisor of the ASPRS Student Chapter at the University of Florida for the past 19 years. He continues to encourage students to join the Society as student members and has been a Member Champion several times.

Dr. Dewitt has contributed significantly to the mapping science community in the state of Florida and nationally through many professional continuing education seminars. He has been involved in writing and quality-checking exam questions in the subjects of surveying and photogrammetry for the NCEES. He has also served as a private consultant and expert witness in numerous court cases involving forensic photogrammetry.

Dr. Dewitt started his ASPRS (ASP) services as a student member in 1981, becoming an ASPRS active member in 1989 after completing his Ph.D. Beginning with his election in 1993, Dr. Dewitt has served the Florida Region of ASPRS for over 18 years, first as a Region Director and currently as the Secretary/Treasurer. He also served on the Program Committee for two national ASPRS annual conferences – once in 1998 as the Student Volunteer Coordinator and once in 2007 as the Technical Program Coordinator.  Dr. Dewitt regularly serves as a manuscript reviewer for the Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing Journal as well as other journals in the field.  Dr. Dewitt was the author/co-author of many scientific research papers in the digital mapping and photogrammetry fields. He is co-author with Dr. Paul Wolf of ‘Elements of Photogrammetry – With Applications in GIS,’ which is one of the most widely used photogrammetry textbooks, both in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Dr. Dewitt has received several ASPRS awards during his professional career.  As a graduate student, he received the Bausch and Lomb Photogrammetric Award (1981) and the Wild Heerbrugg Photogrammetric Fellowship Award (1982).  In 1996, he received an ASPRS merit award, and in the same year he received the Intergraph award as a co-author for best scientific paper in spatial data standards. In 2001, he received the President’s Award from the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society.

Dr. Rongxing (Ron) Li earned his BS with honors and MS in Surveying Engineering from Tongji University in Shanghai in 1982 and 1984, and his Dr.-Ing. from the Technical University of Berlin in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing in 1990.  He was Assistant Researcher at Pacific Mapping Center at the University of Hawaii, Assistant and then Associate Professor at the Dept. of Geomatics Engineering of the University of Calgary.  He has been a professor at the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science of The Ohio State University since 1996 and the Lowber B. Strange designated professor since 2005.  Dr. Li is a 20-year member of ASPRS, and has been an ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrist since 1991.

Dr. Li is a world reputed scholar in the fields of geospatial information, photogrammetry and remote sensing.  He has received numerous highly prestigious awards from ASPRS, NASA, and other organizations as detailed in the following section.  He is one of the pioneers in high-resolution satellite image stereo processing (IKONOS and QuickBird).  He was one of the early developers of mobile mapping systems.  His unique leading position in planetary mapping and rover/astronaut navigation (mission operations) is evidenced by the fact that he has been selected as Participating Scientist and made critical contributions to both the NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER 2003) mission and the Lunar Reconnaissance Obiter (LRO 2009) mission.  He is a PanCam Science Team member of the European Space Agency (ESA) ExoMars mission, and PI of the recently concluded NSBRI/NASA project “Enhancement of Lunar Astronauts’ Orientation and Navigation Capability”.  His research results have been published or presented in one co-edited book, 9 book chapters, 88 refereed journal papers (including 8 published in Science), 109 full conference papers, 92 technical reports/posters/maps, and 168 contributed/invited/keynote presentations. He received a citation in the Ohio Governor’s State of the State Address in 2004.  Dr. Li and his research results have been featured at NASA press conferences and on ABC news, Space.com, and other TV/radio/web media programs as well as in National Geographic, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, Denver Post, and Columbus Dispatch.
Dr. Li has been a member of the Society since 1989, and an ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrist since 1991.  He was ISPRS Working Group Chair of V/I “Autonomous Vehicle Navigation” (2004-2008) and II/1 “Real-time Mapping Technology” (1996-2004).  He organized and/or co-organized the popular international conference series of Mobile Mapping Technologies sponsored by ISPRS in 1999, 2004, 2007, and 2009.  He is also the leading author of the Chapter on Mobile Mapping in the ASPRS Manual of Photogrammetry.  He has widely published his major research findings in PE&RS and has received multiple awards at ASPRS annual conferences including the Talbert Abrams Award (2nd Honorable Mention) in 2003, ESRI Awards for Best Scientific Papers (First Place in 2005, Third Place in 2006, and First Place in 2008), and John I. Davidson President’s Award for Practical Papers (First Place) in 2006. He also has been chairing technical sessions at ASPAR and ISPRS organized conferences.

In addition, Dr. Li is also a fellow of ASCE and a member of AGU, ASPRS, URISA, CPGIS, and PACON. He served as a member of the National Advisory Committee on “National Needs for Coastal Mapping and Charting of the US Academy of Sciences” (2002-2003). He was on multiple NSF review panels for directorates of engineering and computer science & information. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Marine Geodesy published by Taylor & Francis and editor and editorial members for other journals.  He has also earned numerous non-ASPRS awards including the NASA Group Achievement Award (MER mission) in 2004 and 2005, and the Earth and Space Foundation Award (Group, MER Mission) in 2004. He was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by CPGIS in 2006, the PACON (Pacific Congress on Marine Science and Technology) International Service Award in 2001, the Geodyssey Environmental GIS Research Award of IGIF in 1993, and the Best Young Author's Award of ISPRS in 1992.  At The Ohio State University (OSU), he received the College of Engineering Innovators Award in 2008, College of Engineering Lumley Research Award in 2003 and 2008, and the Duane C. Brown Award (Photogrammetry) in 1997.

Dr. Li and his OSU team have been mapping daily traverses and computing accurate locations of the MER Spirit and Opportunity rovers since the two rovers landed on Mars in 2004.  He contributed uniquely and significantly to the mission through his involvement in localization of the landers within a short period of 7 sols (Martian days) after the successful landings at the Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum landing sites.  His new and innovative Incremental Bundle Adjustment technology for rover localization has proven to be an effective tool for improving long-range rover position accuracy from 10% to 0.2%. Other critical mission products have also been produced and delivered in a timely fashion to support critical tactical and strategic mission operation.  He is also now supported by the ESA and appointed as mission science team member for the ESA ExoMars 2016 mission. As Participating Scientist for the current NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Obiter (LRO) mission, Dr. Li along with his team are the first group ever to produce a 3-D lunar terrain model from the mission’s LROC NAC stereo images using a newly developed software system that models the LROC duel-camera imaging system and orbital jitter. Furthermore, his innovative astronaut navigation system has been tested and achieved a progressive 6% relative accuracy which is critical for lunar surface operations.

Dr. Li is an international pioneer in modeling high-resolution satellite imaging sensors.  He has researched photogrammetric modeling of the 3D stereo imaging system - the generic sensor model (Rational Function) - which can be used to make the physical meaning of the sensor invisible to users.  His specific contributions include: a) in-depth research into sensor models, esp. the results of very challenging research on deriving the physical sensor model from the implicit model, b) improvement of ground accuracy from high-resolution satellite imagery using low-level and low-cost satellite imagery products, and c) application of such images for transportation, for dynamic environment monitoring in coastal zones, and for Earth-based space concept tests. Sensors used include high-resolution satellite imaging systems (stereo IKONOS and QuickBird), water-gauge stations, buoys, ground GPS receivers, airborne imaging sensors, LiDAR, and other meteorological sensors. An extension of the research from geometric modeling to spectral modeling of ground objects using satellite hyperspectral images has recently been made to develop the capabilities of biologically inspired methods for object detection in difficult situations such as in deserts or shallow subsurface environments.

Another field in which Dr. Li has made a great contribution to the international community is Mobile Mapping Technology.  He led a group of graduate students and developed a land-based mobile mapping image processing system supported by an industry partner.  He led and coauthored the “Mobile Mapping Technologies” chapter in the newly published Manual of Photogrammetry (5th & 6th Editions).  He has been successfully researching the automation of object extraction from sequential images of mobile mapping vehicles.  Examples include building utility pole databases using neural networks, extraction of traffic lights by Markov Chain Random Field, and traffic flow information from ground-, air- and satellite-borne images.

Richard A. Pearsall, presently lives with his wife Glenda, in Philomont, Virginia.  Pearsall graduated with honors from Johnsburg Central School in North Creek, New York in 1969.  Pearsall received his Bachelor’s Degree in Forest Engineering from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1974 and a Master’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering – Surveying and Mapping from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976.

From 1976 to 2007, Pearsall worked for the United States Geological Survey (USGS), National Mapping Division.  At the USGS, Pearsall worked in every phase of mapping to include field surveys, photogrammetry, and cartography.  In 1981, he completed the USGS Cartographer Development Program.  In 1979-1980, Pearsall was a summer member of the USGS Antarctic Team, doing field surveys work in the Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica.  Pearsall Ridge in the Antarctica Dry Valleys is named after Pearsall to acknowledge his work in the Ellsworth Mountains.  In the mid-1980’s, Pearsall was the chief of the USGS National Mapping Digital Standard program where he was responsible for the development of digital mapping standards for major USGS digital mapping products to include, but not limited to, the Digital Line Graph (-3 and –Enhanced), Digital Elevation Models, the Spatial Data Transfer Standard.  In the late-1980’s, early 1990’s, Pearsall worked in the Systems Engineering arena, writing procurement and requirement documentation for the acquisition of advanced digital cartographic modernization systems for the USGS.  From 1998-2004, Pearsall worked for the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) responsible for the development and advocacy for the FGDC Geospatial Metadata Standard, also serving as the US Technical expert to the international community geospatial metadata working groups.  From 2004-2007, Pearsall was responsible for helping to implement of The National Map, being responsible for strategic planning for The National Map Elevation Program.  
In 2007, Pearsall left the USGS and was hired by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to serve as a GEOINT Standards Officer, responsible for the development and advocacy of major Information Technology and Service Oriented Architecture GEOINT standards for the Department of Defense.  In 2008, Pearsall was elected as the chair to the American National Standards Institute International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) L1 committee where he served as Head of US delegation to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 211 – Geographic Information/Geomatics.  During this time, Pearsall also served as the primary NGA Technical Committee contact to the Open Geospatial Consortium as well as chairing the Department of Defense Geospatial Working Group Information Technology and Service Architecture Working Group. 
During his career at the USGS and NGA, Pearsall has received numerous national and governmental awards and citations for his work in geographic and cartographic map standardization.  Pearsall retired from Federal Service in April 2011, with 34.5 years of public service.

Throughout Pearsall’s career, he has been involved in and a member of professional organizations.  Most notable, since 1974, Pearsall has been a member of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).  In 1974, Pearsall was honored as recipient of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping Hewlett Packard Award.  From 1979-1982, Pearsall was an officer of the ASPRS Potomac Region, serving as President in 1982.  In the early 1980’s, Pearsall helped lead the ASPRS Convention Technical Program by serving as the ASPRS Convention Technical Program Committee chair.  From 2007-2011, Pearsall served as chair of the ASPRS Standards Committee.  Since 2003, Pearsall has also been involved in the ASPRS Awards program, serving as the chair for the ASPRS Paul R. Wolf Memorial Scholarship.  Pearsall has received several ASPRS Presidential Citations for his contribution to ASPRS.

Pearsall’s interest and hobbies are numerous and include being a volunteer firefighter (since 1997) and emergency medical technician (since 2002) for the Philomont Volunteer Fire Department, Philomont, Virginia and the Purcellville Volunteer Rescue Squad, Purcellville, Virginia.  As a volunteer, he has served in many leadership positions to include President of the Philomont Volunteer Fire Department as well as an Operational officer.  His interest in firefighting extends to personally owning a 1954 Mack antique fire truck which is used at musters and parades to promote fire apparatus history.  Since the early 1980’s, Pearsall has been a Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) instructor for both first responders and the community.  When at the USGS, Pearsall helped develop and lead an Automatic External Defibrillation (AED) response team.  His interest also includes working for the White West Highland Terrier (Westies) Rescue where he and his wife are a foster family.

In retirement, Pearsall plans to continue his work as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician and with Westie Rescue.  He also plans to start work with the local Habitat for Humanity and volunteer at a local animal rescue.  Pearsall and Glenda also plan to travel the US in their RV.

Karen L. Schuckman attended Penn State University where she earned a BS degree in Meteorology in 1979.  She returned to Penn State and earned a Masters in Geographic Information Systems in 2009.  In addition, she received at BA in Liberal Arts at Penn State, pursued graduate studies in Geography at the University of California at Santa Barbara from 1985-1986, and pursued graduate studies in Civil Engineering, Surveying, and Photogrammetry in California State University at Fresno’s Surveying Engineering Program from 1990-1992.

Since 2007, Schuckman has been Senior Lecturer in Geography at Penn State University, teaching remote sensing and geospatial technology in the online programs offered by the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. She has also been serving as President of Seven Valleys Consulting LLC since 2007. From 2005 through 2006, she served as a consultant to URS Corporation in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where she provides expert knowledge in remote sensing and photogrammetry to engineering practice groups, including floodplain mapping, disaster response and preparedness, critical infrastructure, and transportation. Beginning in 1995 and continuing through 2005, Schuckman also worked for various components of EarthData. She directed notable projects for EarthData including lidar acquisition for the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program, numerous transportation mapping projects for state DOT's, and technology demonstration projects for NOAA, NASA and the US Department of Transportation.

Prior to joining the private sector, Schuckman worked for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Mapping Division in Menlo Park, California, spanning the period 1992-1994.  She immediately demonstrated her technical expertise by developing the rigorous Global Positioning Systems (GPS) specifications for the USGS digital orthophoto contract being managed by the USGS office in Menlo Park.  
As the Geospatial Technology Leader at URS from 2005 - 2006, Schuckman supported response, recovery and mitigation projects following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. From 1995 - 2005, she was with the EarthData group (now Fugro EarthData), where she held several positions including geospatial applications director for EarthData Solutions, senior vice-president of EarthData Technologies, and president and general manager of EarthData International of North Carolina.
    
Early in her career at the USGS, she joined and became an active member of the Northern California Region of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).  Those modest beginnings led to her service as National President of ASPRS from 2005-2006.  Her term as National President was notable for her leadership in all aspects of ASPRS’ many programs, particularly as they relate to recruiting and retaining student members. She has also served as vice-chair of the NOAA Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES), member of the National Research Council's Committee on Floodplain Mapping and the Committee on FEMA Flood Maps. She is an ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrist (CP), a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) licensed in North Carolina.

Schuckman also received the Penn State Professional Master’s Degree in GIS: Winner of the 2009 Sloan Consortium award for Most Outstanding Online Program.

Douglas A. Stow is a Professor of Geography at San Diego State University (SDSU), in San Diego, California. Dr. Stow received his BA, MA and PhD degrees in Geography from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). While at UCSB he served as a teaching assistant and lecturer in the Department of Geography and staff research assistant for the Geography Remote Sensing Unit. His faculty mentors were Drs. John Estes (MA advisor), Ray Smith (PhD advisor), John Jensen (first project manager while serving as a post-doctoral researcher), Jeff Dozier, and Alan Strahler, all distinguished faculty in the field of remote sensing. Dr. Stow also conducted doctoral studies in satellite oceanography through an intercampus transfer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Dr. Stow has been on the Geography Department faculty at SDSU for 28 years. Upon arrival he established a four course remote sensing curriculum. In 1985, he co-founded the Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) and continues to serve as its primary co-director. CESAR is a thriving GIScience research laboratory that supports upwards of $2 million in extramurally supported research annually, four technical staff and over 13 graduate students. Dr. Stow served as the department chair from 1992-96 and has been the SDSU doctoral adviser for the SDSU-UCSB joint doctoral program in Geography since 1998. He has served as advisor/chair for 10 Ph.D. students and 53 M.A./M.S. students. In total, he has served on 19 doctoral committees and 115 master's committees at SDSU, and has served as an invited external committee member for several doctoral students in other institutions. He received the Alumni Outstanding Faculty Award for SDSU in 1997, was the SDSU Phi Beta Kappa Faculty Lecturer for 2008-09 and received SDSU Presidential Leadership Awards in 2009 and 2012.

Dr. Stow has a distinguished record of funded research that has emphasized the application of multi-temporal remote sensing image analysis for analyzing land surface changes and dynamics. This has included research on ecosystem processes and habitat monitoring in the Arctic tundra, Mediterranean shrub land and coastal salt marsh landscapes, urban land use dynamics, and coastal circulation and sediment transport, as well as technical studies on image registration, change detection and object-based image segmentation and classification. He is the author or co-author of 128 refereed publications, including eleven in Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing. Many of these articles are co-authored with his graduate students, who he guides through the peer-review publication process and who normally serve as first author. Dr. Stow has twice been on research teams that received the ‘ASPRS Leica Geosystems Award for Best Scientific Paper in Remote Sensing’ published in PE&RS. He has regularly presented his research findings at ASPRS and other professional society meetings, and has frequently published in the proceedings of the ASPRS meetings. Some of the intellectual property associated with his research has resulted in several pending patents. In addition, he and a staff researcher have formed a small company through the SDSU Zahn Center (a business incubator) that will offer photogrammetric tools for airborne survey companies.

Most of Dr. Stow’s research has been funded through peer-reviewed grants and contracts from federal agencies such as NASA, NSF, NIH, DHS, USDA (Forest Service) and FAA, with additional support from local agencies such as the San Diego Association of Governments and City and County of San Diego. In particular, he has been well supported by and a major contributor to several NASA programs including the Earth Observations Commercial Applications Program (EOCAP), the Affiliated Research Centers (ARC), Food and Fiber Applications of Remote Sensing (FFARS), Land Cover and Land Use Change (LCLUC), Research, Education, Applications Solutions Network (REASoN), and Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS; as a science panel member of the Land Processes Data Active Archive Center). Dr. Stow has served as an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Remote Sensing from 2009 to the present and as an editorial board member for GIScience and Remote Sensing from 2005 to the present.

Dr. Stow has been a member of ASPRS for over 30 years. In 2010, he served in the very demanding position as conference Co-Chair and Co-Coordinator of student volunteers for the ASPRS Annual Meeting in San Diego. In 2006, he worked with SDSU students and Southwest Region directors to organize an ASPRS student chapter.
Directly through the student chapter and by his example, he effectively recruits students into ASPRS and assisted in the establishment of the Volunteer Hazard Mapping Corps, a group of student volunteers who are certified to provide remote sensing and GIS support during natural hazard events in San Diego County. He has organized and sponsored three ASPRS Southwest Region technical meetings, the most recent in the Spring 2012. He is often called upon to review manuscripts for PE&RS. In addition to ASPRS, Dr. Stow has stayed involved with the Remote Sensing Specialty Group (RSSG) of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). He has served as RSSG program coordinator for two AAG annual meetings and as chair and as a member of the RSSG Awards Committee since 2004. He received the RSSG Outstanding Contributions in Remote Sensing Award in 2004. This past spring (2013), Dr. Stow received the ASPRS SAIC John Estes Memorial Teaching Award, which was particularly fitting since Professor Estes  was his primary mentor during his undergraduate and graduate studies, and supervised his initial professional employment. Dr. Stow donated a portion of the cash price associated with the SAIC award to the local ASPRS student chapter.

Dr. Stow has made a major difference to the image of ASPRS by actively working to create a student chapter of ASPRS and active recruitment of student members. The Volunteer Hazard Mapping Corps for San Diego County and technical meetings for the ASPRS Southwest Region are excellent outreach for ASPRS as is his service as conference Co-Chair for the 2010 ASPRS Annual meeting. Dr. Stow is a very accomplished remote sensing scientist and honored educator with a powerful national and international reputation.
 

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