PE&RS July 2016 Public - page 464

July 2016
Russ and Jeanie Congalton have been involved with ASPRS
for 37 years. It is with great sadness that we see them retire
from working on
but we are glad for their continuing
involvement in the Society. While we have all enjoyed the behind
the scenes work they have put in, I would like to take a few
moments to chat with the Congaltons and get to know a little more
about what drives them.
It is one thing to be a member of an organization and
another to dedicate so much of your time to that orga-
nization. What drove you to do this?
I joined ASPRS as a new Graduate Student at Virginia
Tech back in 1979. I had the fortunate opportunity
to present my research almost annually at the Spring
ASPRS Conferences every year I was in Graduate School.
My work was quite controversial at that time as I was
developing methods that are now the standard techniques
for assessing the accuracy of map created from remotely
sensed data. However, at these early stages of digital
remote sensing, it was not popular to evaluate accuracy.
Many of the most famous and influential remote sensing
experts, including Dr. Robert Colwell and Dr. Roger
Hoffer, stepped forward and supported my work. Many
others that are now legends in our field and honorary
members of ASPRS also helped me in countless ways. Mr.
Mike Renslow has been a mentor to me for over 30 years.
As my career began as a professor at the University of
California, Berkeley, I was provided an opportunity to
run the first-ever large ASPRS-sponsored conference on
GIS called GIS ’87 in San Francisco. This conference had
over 1200 attendees interested in GIS and began a long
series of GIS conferences held every fall. As a result, I
was elected to be the first GIS Technical Division Director
for ASPRS and therefore a member of the Board. As an
active member of ASPRS, I saw the many benefits that
the organization brought to all its members. One that I
felt could be developed more was offering workshops and
other educational opportunities at the Spring and Fall
Conferences. I volunteered to be the National Workshop
Coordinator for all conference workshops and held this
position from about 1996-2007. During this time, we had
a very successful workshop program with many amazing
instructors and a great opportunity for our members
and non-members alike to learn new and cutting-edge
geospatial technologies.
In 2001, I was asked to run for National Vice President
and was elected as VP 2002-03, President-elect 2003-04,
President 2004-05, and Past President 2005-06. It was
a great experience and I got to work with a great staff at
ASPRS HQ and many amazing and dedicated members.
After completing my term as an officer, it was time to find
another way to contribute and give back to the professional
society that gave me so much and benefitted my career
with so many tremendous colleagues. In 2007, Dr. Jim
Merchant was ready to step down as Editor-in-Chief of
Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing after a
seven-year run. I thought that this was another way that
I could contribute and so applied for the position. It was
great that I was able to select a Manuscript Coordinator
to help with this job. Picking Jeanie Congalton was one
of the best ideas I have ever had. We had the pleasure of
serving for just over 8.25 years.
For more than eight years, Jeanie Congalton’s pro-
fessional service to the Society has been exemplary.
As Manuscript Coordinator she has conscientiously
managed the flow of papers for peer review. Much of
this work was behind the scenes and without the recog-
nition she deserves. Similarly, Russ Congalton laid the
groundwork for significant improvements in the Journal,
e.g. our online presence, indexing in search engines,
addition of DOI numbers, and new software to manage
the submission and review process. As Executive Director,
there are many things I have to worry about on a daily
basis, but with Russ and Jeanie, I never had to worry
about the Journal. I will forever be grateful to them.
– Michael Hauck, Executive Director
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