Please accept my greetings and sincere best wishes for the New Year as the 33rd president of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS). It has been a long journey for the IEEE GRSS and its predecessor organization, the IEEE Geoscience Electronics Group, that was established in 1962. Throughout the years, our society has thrived considerably and attained significant worldwide prominence among other professional organizations within and outside the IEEE. Our society is truly an international society with more than 3300 members and 44 GRSS and joint chapters throughout the world. The IEEE GRSS has been engaged in the advancement of the science and technology pertaining to the remote sensing of the earth and its processes as well as promoting the professional standing of its members. Through creation of technical forums, to facilitate meetings among academicians, scientists and practitioners in governmental and space agencies, as well as industries, and multiple venues for dissemination of knowledge through publications, GRSS has been at the forefront of the remote sensing discipline. I am convinced that the human, financial, and societal impact of remote sensing science and technology is unparalleled. With ever growing population and ever increasing demand for resources, public services, security, etc., the interdisciplinary field of remote sensing will definitely be among the top 10 most promising technology trends in the future. It is our mandate to advance the frontiers of remote sensing science and technology and continue the tradition of providing service to our societies at large and improving the life on this planet.
In the past two years, as Executive Vice President of GRSS, I was responsible for strategic planning and for forming the vision for our society’s future. Our vision for IEEE GRSS is to become the professional society of choice for scientists and industries engaged in remote sensing of the Earth. Through the leadership of our past president, Professor Melba Crawford, and strong support and guidance of the GRSS Adcom, the IEEE GRSS has already started three major initiatives, namely, 1) Globalization, 2) Education, and 3) Industry Engagement. Our initiatives are aimed at enhancing service to our members and expanding our footprint in developing countries. Under each of the aforementioned initiatives there are many activities led by our able Adcom members and other volunteers. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to learn more about such activities and help us in achieving our goals. These initiatives are well orchestrated and well-funded through the tireless efforts of the GRSS CFO, Dr. James Smith.
In globalization, our efforts are focused on Latin America (Region 9), China, India, and Southeast Asia (Region 10), and Africa and the Middle East (Region 8). GRSS is promoting Chapter creation, the Distinguished Speakers program, Specialty Symposia and meetings, remote sensing caravans for educational purposes, and other collaborative activities in these regions. Opportunities are great for students, scientists and academicians to join GRSS activities in these regions. I highly encourage our colleagues in these regions to join us in our efforts to better understand our planet and its life supporting environment through the science and technology of remote sensing. Our educational initiative is also broad and comprehensive. We have realized that the future belongs to the new generation and the most challenging long-standing problems can be solved by a group of talented people we recruit today for our field of interest. Our society has and will dedicate significant resources to promote young professionals by providing travel support to our conferences, developing tutorials in multiple languages, educational activities and dissemination of educational materials for K-12 students, summer schools, and many more. We also would like to reach out and engage better with industries in remote sensing technology. It has been proven in many disciplines that close collaboration among scientists, practitioners, and industry can be very beneficial to all parties involved. The IEEE GRSS welcomes closer collaboration with industry and has a lot to offer, not only when it comes to technical exchange of ideas, but also when exposure and promotion of commercial products and services matters.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and welcome the new Adcom members elected for 2015-2017. The new Adcom members who were elected by the general membership and Adcom are: Professors Linda Hayden, Akira Hirose, Wooil Moon, Steve Reising, Jiancheng Shi, and Dr. Fabio Pacifici. I am looking forward to working with these new members in the Adcom. This is also an opportune time to introduce GRSS members who were elected IEEE Fellow recently. Please join me in congratulating ten members of our society who were elevated to the rank of IEEE Fellow. The Class of 2015 includes: Professor Dara Entekhabi, Professor Antonio Plaza, Dr. Gail Skofronick Jackson, Dr. Ridha Touzi, Dr. Van Nghiem, Dr. Ji Wu, Professor Chi-Chih Chen, Professor Fernando Teixeira, and Dr. S. Gunasekaran. This is quite an accomplishment considering the fact that the total number selected in any one year is less than 0.1% of the total voting members of the IEEE. On behalf of our membership, I would like to thank the outstanding efforts of the nominators and the GRSS Fellow Evaluation Committee, chaired by Professor Leung Tsang, and the GRSS Fellow Search Committee, chaired by Professor Mahta Moghaddam.
I am looking forward to a successful 2015 for GRSS and hope to see many of you during our flagship conference The International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2015) in Milan, July 26-31.