The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) recently honored Dr. Thomas M. Lillesand, Director of the Environmental Remote Sensing Center (ERSC) and Chair of the Environmental Monitoring Graduate Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with the 2005 SAIC/Estes Memorial Teaching Award. In addition to his excellence in teaching and mentoring for over 30 years, Tom is the lead author of one of the most widely used remote sensing textbooks in the world, Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation, 5th edition.
The 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 ASPRS. The award is designed to recognize individual achievement in the promotion of remote sensing and GIS technology, and applications through educational efforts.
Lillesand began his academic career in the mid-1960s as an undergraduate student at UW-Madison. He obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in 1969, his Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering specializing in Photogrammetry in 1970, and his Doctoral Degree in Remote Sensing in 1973, all from UW-Madison. From 1973 to 1978, he taught remote sensing at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and from 1978 to 1982, as an associate then full professor at the University of Minnesota. In 1982, he was named Director of the Environmental Remote Sensing Center at the UW-Madison.
He was President of ASPRS in 1998 and has received the following ASPRS awards: the Alan Gordon Award for Significant Achievements in Remote Sensing, the Talbert Abrams Award for Excellence in Authorship and Recording of Scientific Development in Photogrammetry, and the Fellow Award. He currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees of the ASPRS Foundation. In addition, he has earned the Earl J. Fennell Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education in the Mapping Sciences and the Higher Education Award from NASA and the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium. Lillesand sits on the Science Advisory Panel for the Earth Observing System Land Process Distributed Active Archive at the EROS Data Center, and on the Academic Board of the John C. Stennis Space Center.
Lillesand continues to enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to work with students who, in his words, “recognize the special responsibility and challenge involved in the application of remote sensing technology to the solution of the present and prospective environmental problems confronting humankind.”
Founded in 1934, ASPRS is an international professional organization of 6,500 geospatial data professionals. ASPRS is devoted to advancing knowledge and improving understanding of the mapping sciences to promote responsible application of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems and supporting technologies.