The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), founded in 1934, is a scientific association serving thousands of professional members around the world. Its mission is to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) and supporting technologies. ASPRS conducts some of its U.S. activities on a regional basis, though its international dimension consists primarily of two large annual conferences, in addition to its manuals and journal. Somewhat to my surprise, I was elected President of the ASPRS Southwest U.S. Region, and fulfilled presidential duties from March 2005 to May 2006. The year was undoubtedly busy and, I hope, fruitful.
The Region ran several technical meetings, including two on hand-held GPS in Costa Mesa and West Los Angeles. There was an extremely successful technical meeting at the Remote Sensing Laboratory in Las Vegas in November 2005, at which several RSL speakers and other ASPRS members discussed their work, and the Region ran a “meet and greet” reception for members at the ESRI® International User Conference in San Diego in July 2005.
The ASPRS 2006 Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada this past May was a big event for BAE Systems. On May 3, 2006, the BAE Systems Award, which is in its second year, was presented to Pravara Thanapura of South Dakota State University for her paper, “Mapping urban land cover using QuickBird NDVI image and GIS spatial modeling for runoff coefficient determination.” Pravara was the principal author of this study, which used remotely sensed imagery to determine land use to prepare the necessary inputs to hydrological runoff models of small urban watersheds for storm drainage design and analysis. She had four co-authors from her own institution and one from the Nevada Department of Transportation, a BAE Systems SOCET SET® customer.
The formal presentation of the Award was conducted by ASPRS President Karen Schuckman and myself. The platform was shared with Stephen K. Robinson, a NASA astronaut, and Don A. Liddle, a NASA photogrammetrist, who gave a captivating presentation on the use of photogrammetry to measure on-orbit damage to the Space Shuttle’s Thermal Protection System. Stephen presented a certificate, signed by the Space Shuttle crew, to Warren McKean of Towill Inc, a BAE Systems customer who had used SOCET SET to make some of the measurements.
During a very well attended Dessert Reception at the Reno event, the 2006-07 officers of the ASPRS Southwest U.S. Region were inducted. Members also staffed an ASPRS booth during the ESRI Conference, the GXP International User Conference, and the Arizona Professional Land Surveyors Conference in Tucson. The Region ran joint sessions with the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Sciences at the latter’s annual meeting in Tucson in April.
These activities were all part of a concerted effort to rejuvenate regional activities in the Southwest U.S. after several years of atrophy. ASPRS recognized the efforts of the 2005 officers with official citations. Although my year of office ended in May, BAE Systems hopes to continue its support of professional activities in photogrammetry and remote sensing as much as possible. I have been involved in the planning of the next technical meeting, which will take place at Airborne 1, El Segundo, CA, on September 28, 2006. These contributions continue a tradition-in previous years many BAE Systems staff members have been involved in ASPRS and other professional photogrammetry and remote sensing organizations.
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