The International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) 2015 is here and I am sure many of you like me are very excited about this important geoscience and remote sensing annual event. IGARSS 2015 marks the 35th IGARSS since the series began in 1981 in Washington, D.C. This year’s symposium will be held in the beautiful city of Milan, from Sunday July 26th through Friday July 31th, 2015 at the Convention Center in Milan, Italy. The conference main theme has the spot light on the role of remote sensing for assessing, monitoring, and managing risks related to natural disasters. This important theme was selected by the local organizing team to highlight the latest that remote sensing science and technology have to offer in minimizing the adverse effects of natural hazards on human life and economy around the world. Please refer to http://www.igarss2015.org/ for the latest on the technical program and other important events at the conference.
Like many of its past predecessors the organization of IGARSS takes a tremendous amount of hard work from a large number of volunteers to ensure formation of a comprehensible and high-quality technical program as well as a memorable experience for the attendees. The technical program of IGARSS 2015 has been ably lead by Professors Paolo Gamba and Lorenzo Bruzzone to whom our most sincere gratitude and appreciation goes. In addition, more than 150 colleagues from around the world participated in the review process and some 60 GRSS members including the GRSS AdCom created the IGARSS technical program during our Technical Program Committee (TPC) meeting in Madrid, Spain in March 2015. I am also very grateful to the IGARSS paper reviewers and the TPC members. The heavy load of organizing and creating the right atmosphere for a successful IGARSS have been carried by the General Co-Chairs Professors Dr. Sebastiano Bruno Serpico and Professor Vito Pascazio. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the General Co-Chairs of IGARSS 2015 for their outstanding job of organizing this fabulous conference and invite you to do the same as you see them during the conference.
The IGARSS 2015 program is rich; in addition to an excellent technical program, it will also include activities of special interest to students, Young Professionals, Women in Engineering, and a forum on “Quality of Life”. The GRSS Remote Sensing School which was first organized at IGARSS 2012 has been continued ever since and is being hosted again as a pre-conference event. This year’s IEEE GRSS Summer School (GR4S) aims at providing the attending students excellent introductory knowledge on the application of remotely sensed data from different sources for mapping risk and its components in a geospatial environment as well as an introduction to QGIS open-source tools and environment for geospatial information handling. A full day of pre-conference tutorials led by internationally recognized experts has also been organized. The IEEE division IX initiative of “Quality of Life” will be presented by the Division IX Director Professor Marina Ruggieri. Young Professionals and Women in Engineering Luncheon and the traditional Soccer Game are also planned.
As I mentioned in my previous message, IEEE GRSS leadership is pursuing three important initiatives as a result of our strategic planning exercise. These include: 1) Globalization, 2) Education, and 3) Industry Engagement. During our AdCom March meeting we introduced and immediately started implementing a matrix organization to facilitate the execution of many tactical approaches related to the three aforementioned initiatives. During IGARSS 2015, the AdCom will devote a full day (Sunday July 26) meeting with GRSS Chapter Chairs to coordinate globalization, education, and industry engagement activities and plans for better serving our members around the globe.
Towards the end of my message I would like to urge those of you who are not members of IEEE GRSS to become a member of this growing society and enrich your careers through the many opportunities that IEEE GRSS can provide. During IGARSS week, please visit the GRSS booth in the exhibition area and ask how to become a member or an affiliate member of GRSS. IEEE GRSS members should also ask how to become a Senior member at our exhibit booth. Please note the many benefits of being a GRSS member. GRSS members will have electronic access to our three premier journals (IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters and IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observation and Remote Sensing), as well as the IEEE GRSS Magazine. In addition, participation in IGARSS and some other specialty symposia sponsored by GRSS is at a reduced rate. Access to on-line tutorials and other educational materials, Distinguished Lectureship program, and participation in many Young Professional Programs as well as promotion of our members and groups through many GRSS awards and recognitions are more of the many other benefits available. This is also an opportune time for me to ask you to join, if you have not already done so, at least one of the five Technical Committees, or participate in our Educational and/or Globalization activities. You can also help with the IEEE GRSS growth by actively participating in one of our 46 chapters throughout the world.
I am looking forward to seeing you all at IGARSS 2015 in Milan, Italy.