ASPRS Selects John R. Jensen and Stanley Morain as Honorary Members

John R. Jensen and Stanley Morain have been selected as the next Honorary Members of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). Their nominations were recently approved by the ASPRS Board of Directors. This is the highest award bestowed by ASPRS. There can be only 25 living Honorary Members of the Society at any given time. 

Initiated in 1937 this life-time award is given for professional excellence in recognition of individuals who have rendered distinguished service to ASPRS and/or who have attained distinction in advancing the science and use of the geospatial information sciences.  Jensen and Morain will receive their awards at the ASPRS 2014 Annual Conference in Louisville Kentucky.

Dr. John R. Jensen is a Carolina Distinguished Professor emeritus in the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina. He majored in physical geography cartography and remote sensing at California State University at Fullerton where he received a BA in 1971.  He went on to receive his MA from Brigham Young University in 1972 and a PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1976. While attending UCLA he worked as a photogrammetric stereo-plotter operator at Aero Service Corporation in Beverly Hills CA. In 1977 he accepted a professorship at the University of Georgia.  In 1981 he went to the University of South Carolina as an Associate Professor and helped develop the PhD program in GIScience. He has been an ASPRS) Certified Photogrammetrist since 1991.

Dr. Jensen has made lasting contributions to the field of remote sensing and GIScience in the geographical environmental biophysical and urban sciences through his research publications leadership and undergraduate and graduate teaching.  He taught hundreds of undergraduate students and mentored 62 Masters and 35 PhD graduate students to completion in the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina. In effect he helped educate a generation of remote-sensing scientists who are now making significant contributions in academia government and industry.

Dr. Jensen’s remote sensing and GIScience research focused on: a) remote sensing of wetland biophysical characteristics and water quality assessment; b) the development of algorithms to classify rural and urban-suburban land cover; c) the extraction of change information using improved change detection algorithms and d) the development of remote sensing and GIS-assisted decision support systems.  He received funding from the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) National Science Foundation the Department of Energy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) The Nature Conservancy and other agencies to support his research. He has published more than 140 articles in refereed journals including 20 in the ASPRS journal Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing and has received numerous ASPRS best scientific and practical paper awards. He and his graduate students presented more than 300 papers to learned societies with many published in proceedings volumes. He was the editor of the journal GIScience & Remote Sensing from 2004 – 2013 and served on several other journal editorial boards.

He is well known as the author of two widely used remote-sensing and digital image processing textbooks:  Remote Sensing of the Environment (2nd Ed.; 2007) and Introductory Digital Image Processing: A Remote Sensing Perspective (3rd Ed. 2005; 4th Ed. in press) that ushered in a new era of remote sensing education at numerous universities around the world. In 2013 he co-authored Introductory Geographic Information Systems with his son Dr. Ryan Jensen.

He was a contributor to the ASPRS Manual of Remote Sensing (1st Ed. 1975; 2nd Ed. 1983) Digital Photogrammetry (1996); Manual of Photographic Interpretation (2nd Ed. 1997) Manual of Remote Sensing: Remote Sensing of Human Settlements (3rd Ed. Vol. 5; 2005) and Manual of Remote Sensing: Earth Observing Platforms & Sensors (3rd Ed. Vol. 1.1; 2009). He is a contributing author on ten (10) remote sensing-related scientific reports published by the National Research Council National Academy Press.

Dr. Jensen was Chairman of the Remote Sensing Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in its formative years. He received the ASPRS Alan Gordon Memorial Award in 1989. He served as President of ASPRS from 1995 to 1996. He received the ASPRS Autometric Award in 1996. Dr. Jensen received the ASPRS “Fellow” honor in 1998 and the “SAIC John E. Estes Memorial Teaching Award” in 2004. The United States Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of NASA honored Dr. Jensen with the prestigious “William T. Pecora Award” in 2006 for his lifetime accomplishments in remote sensing science. He received the AAG “Lifetime Achievement Honor” for his work in remote sensing and GIScience in 2009. 

Dr. Stanley Morain received his PhD in Geography from the University of Kansas (KU) in 1970 and was an Assistant Professor there until 1974. From 1974 to 2008 he progressed from Associate to Full Professor of Geography at the University of New Mexico (UNM) while also serving as Director of UNM’s Earth Data Analysis Center (EDAC) from 1976 until his retirement in 2008.

For over 38 years Dr. Morain carved a distinguished career in remote sensing recognized locally nationally and internationally. His contributions focused on educating his students and developing professional ties to research communities in many developing countries on the applications of remote sensing in several societal benefit areas but primarily in agriculture transportation and public health. In pursuit of his vision he worked with many research teams and governments in Latin America Asia and Africa.

Dr. Morain’s graduate research at KU centered on applications of airborne side-looking K-band radar imagery for vegetation analysis and agriculture. In the early 1970s with the advent of Landsat he was among the first to use satellite imagery for crop and vegetation analyses. In 1973 his interests were re-directed toward developing countries wishing to adopt Landsat-1 technology for natural resources management. Since 1973 Dr. Morain has consulted on or contracted to develop over 30 training programs and applications projects with the U.S. Geological Survey/Office of International Geology the United Nations/Food and Agriculture Organization (UN/FAO) the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United States Agency for International Development (US/AID). These all have been aimed at inserting evolving spectral and spatial analysis techniques into the decision-making apparatus of developing countries. He has assisted in program design implementation and evaluation in many countries of Asia Africa and Central America usually in the role of project team leader chief-of-party or chief technical advisor. Between 1983 and 1986 he served UN/FAO and UNDP as the Chief Technical Advisor on remote sensing projects to introduce crop monitoring and crop production estimation in four Chinese agricultural universities in Beijing Harbin Nanjing and Chengdu. In the 1980s he established the visiting scientist program at EDAC to provide remote sensing training to scientists from many of these countries.

More recently Dr. Morain’s expertise in remote sensing has been directed toward sustainable transportation public health and archeological studies of early agricultural systems. He led a consortium of three universities a federal lab and several industry partners to insert remote sensing and geospatial technologies into projects aimed at assessing transportation safety/hazards/disasters/ and security in the US China and India. He organized and participated in several workshops dedicated to these topics in both the U.S. and abroad. He was instrumental also in developing a bi-national agreement focusing on remote sensing and geospatial technologies for transportation cooperation between US/DOT and the China Academy for Transportation Sciences signed by both parties in January 2005.

Understanding Earth’s systems in context of public health is an emerging science in which Dr. Morain developed a keen interest. Global dust and atmospheric fine particulates contribute to respiratory health problems in populations around the world. To better understand these mechanisms and to forecast severe dust events he led a team of research and application scientists at UNM and the University of Arizona to develop a prototype dust forecasting model to forewarn local health organizations of pending air quality episodes. Output data from the model are inserted into decision support tools for use by public health authorities. This work also contributed to plans by the International Council for Science (ICSU) to better understand health issues in emerging urban areas of Africa; the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO’s) quest to establish an International Sand and Dust Storm Warning System; and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO’s) efforts to address issues in the human health societal benefit area.

A large part of Dr. Morain’s career has been as a Professor in the Department of Geography at UNM. During his tenure he served twice as Chair of the Department (1983–1992) and (2003–2006). His courses focused on theory and applications of remote sensing and biogeography. As an educator he influenced the careers of over 50 students who have been gainfully employed in geospatial technologies. He authored edited and/or contributed to numerous publications on applications of remote sensing in agriculture natural resources and vegetation mapping.

In addition to these contributions Dr. Morain has served this community through his involvement in ASPRS and the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS). He is a Certified Photogrammetrist an elected “Fellow” past editor of PE&RS and past president of ASPRS. In ISPRS he is a past president of Commission I (Platforms Sensors and Imagery) served as a council member and treasurer and as technical secretary in Commission VIII Working Group 2 (health). He also has been active in the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations/ User Interface Committee (GEO/UIC). He is an elected Fellow in the Geology/Geography Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). During his career he has been recognized by the community through numerous awards and citations for his service.

Posted 12-2-13