ASPRS Announces 2015 Award Winners

BETHESDA Md. May 2 2015 – The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) and the ASPRS Foundation proudly announce J. B. Sharma as the recipient of the Leidos/Estes Memorial Teaching Award and Professor George Vosselman as the recipient of the Photogrammetric (Fairchild) Award. These and other awards were presented at  the IGTF 2015 – ASPRS Annual Conference and co-located JACIE Workshop in Tampa Florida May 4 through 8 2015. 

J.B.sharma Sharma Winner of Leidos/ Estes Memorial Teaching Award

This year’s recipient of the Leidos/ Estes Memorial Teaching Award is J.B. Sharma. Sharma is a faculty member at the University of North Georgia (UNG) and is the Assistant Head of the Department of Physics.


Sharma received his MSc and PhD from the University of Georgia and his BS from Jacksonville State University. Sharma is also a part of the UNG Institute for Environmental Spatial Analysis (IESA). He was awarded the Georgia Professor of the Year in 1999 by the Carnegie Foundation and an Excellence in Teaching Award by the University System of Georgia also in 1999. He is the UNG Eminent Scholar for Teaching and Learning since 2009. Sharma has a special interest in both physics and remote sensing education. He is involved in novel curriculum development in introductory college physics courses based on active learning that is enhanced and personalized with instructional technology. He is active in applied remote sensing research in particular in high spatial resolution remote sensing with data from multiple sensors and Geographic Object Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA) techniques. He has a special interest in geo-spatial problems that bridge the physical and social domains undergraduate research and K-12 Physics/Remote Sensing outreach.

The Leidos (formerly SAIC) Estes Memorial Teaching Award was inaugurated in 2003 and is named in honor of Professor John E. (“Jack”) Estes teacher mentor scientist and friend of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

This award is designed to recognize individual achievement in the promotion of remote sensing and GIS technology and applications through educational efforts. Award recipients are chosen based on documented excellence in education teaching mentoring and training. Sharma received the award in May at the IGTF 2015 – ASPRS Annual Conference in Tampa Florida.

George Vosselman Winner of Photogrammetric (Fairchild) Award

The 2015 Photogrammetric (Fairchild) Award was awarded to Prof. George Vosselman at the 2015 Annual ASPRS Conference in Tampa Florida on Tuesday May 6th. Vosselman was awarded the Photogrammetric (Fairchild) Award in recognition of his major contributions to the science and art of photogrammetry. Since 1986 his work has been entirely based on digital photogrammetry and includes an early adoption of artificial intelligence concepts and the Bayes Statistics for image matching novel concepts in image understanding and analysis for mapping significant achievements in LiDAR point cloud processing with image integration both for the generation of very high resolution digital terrain models and for object extraction and scene understanding. Vosselman was one of the early adopters of computer vision methods in photogrammetry and today works in the forefront of combining knowledge from both fields to advance imaging science and technology.

This award the essence of which is practicability is designed to stimulate the development of the art of aerial photogrammetry in the United States. The selection committee makes its choice based on an outstanding invention or design involving any type of equipment that applies to the art of aerial photogrammetry; any outstanding method developed for the general use of aerial photographs and/or imagery; outstanding research for study along aerial photogrammetric lines and outstanding effort for the general advancement of the art of photogrammetry. Lockheed Martin donates funding for the award which consists of a silver presentation plaque.

Additional awards made during the ASPRS 81st Annual Conference and administered by the ASPRS Foundation were:

Outstanding Paper Awards

Boeing Award for Best Paper in Image Analysis and Interpretation
Winner:  George Ch. Miliaresis for “Daily Temperature Oscillation Enhancement of Multitemporal LST Imagery.” PE&RS 80 (5) 423-428.

John I. Davidson President’s Award for Practical Papers
1st Place: Daniel M. Howard and Bruce K. Wylie for “Annual Crop Type Classification of the US Great Plains for 2000 to 2011,” PE&RS 80 (6) 537-549.

ERDAS Award for Best Scientific Paper in Remote Sensing
1st Place: Michael Marshall and Prasad Thenkabail for “Biomass Modeling of Four Leading World Crops Using Hyperspectral Narrowbands in Support of HyspIRI Mission.” PE&RS 80 (8) 757-772.

ESRI Award for Best Scientific Paper in GIS
1st Place: Zachary P. Sugg Tobias Finke David C. Goodrich M. Susan Moran and Stephen R. Yool for “Mapping Impervious Surfaces Using Object-oriented Classification in a Semiarid Urban Region,” PE&RS 80 (4) 343-352.

Talbert Abrams Award
Grand Award Winner:  Aaron E. Maxwell Timothy A. Warner Michael P. Strager and Mahesh Pal for “Combining RapidEye Satellite Imagery and Lidar for Mapping of Mining and Mine Reclamation,” PE&RS 80 (2) 179-189.

Scholarship & Academic Awards

 Robert E. Altenhofen Memorial Scholarship
Winner: Mostafa Arastounia doctoral candidate at the University of Calgary Canada Department of Geomatics Engineering with a specialization in feature recognition from 3-D LIDAR.

Abraham Anson Memorial Scholarship and the John O. Behrens Institute for Land Information Memorial Scholarship
Winner: Caitlin A. Ruby from the University of Southern Mississippi is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Geography with an emphasis on Geographic Information Technologies and is on track to receive her degree in May 2015.

Robert N. Colwell Memorial Fellowship
Winner: Nicholas Roberts completing a PhD degree in Earth Sciences at Simon Frazer University in British Columbia Canada.

The DigitalGlobe Foundation Award
Winner: Chunyuan Diao PhD student in the Geography/Remote Sensing Program at University of Buffalo New York.

William A. Fischer Memorial Scholarship and Paul R. Wolf Memorial Scholarship
Winner: Benjamin Vander Jagt a Ph.D. student in the Geodetic Science and Surveying Program at The Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio.

International Educational Literature Award
Winner: University of Sierra Leone Department of Geography the main provider for lecturing on Geoinformation which includes GIS GPS Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing for the disciplines of Geography Biological Sciences Geology and Civil Engineering.

The Kenneth J. Osborn Memorial Scholarship and Francis H. Moffitt Memorial Scholarship
Winner: Taylor J. Preece pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Geomatics Engineering with a minor in mathematics from the California State University at Fresno in Fresno California.  

Ta Liang Memorial Award
Winner: Matthew Cross a PhD. student in Civil Engineering Systems at the University of Colorado Denver specializing in remote sensing and geographic information systems.

Z/I Imaging Scholarship
Winner: James Bialis currently a Master’s student at Michigan Technological University working in the field of Integrated Geospatial Technology in Houghton Michigan.

Conference Management Awards

2015 Recipient: Conference Director Alan Mikuni
2014 Recipient: Conference Director Jeffrey S. Lovin

Presidential Citations

Recipients: ASPRS Map Accuracy Standards Working Group: Qassim Abdullah David Maune Douglas Smith and Hans Karl Heidemann.
The Task Force on Streamlining the Governance and Management of ASPRS: Ryan Bowe Ekaterina Fitos and Douglas Smith

Complete information on all of the above awards can be found at:

Congratulations to all of the awardees and scholarship winners! Photos of awards and scholarship winners may be downloaded free of charge until August 15 2015 here: These files are available for personal use only if you are using the photos for public use please give photo credits to “Lori Ballard Christie’s Photographic Solutions“.