IDEA: Call for Volunteers

GRSS Inspire, Develop, Empower, and Advance (IDEA) Committee

Call for Volunteers

The Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) IDEA committee is dedicated to empowering and advancing engineers and scientists from diverse backgrounds (technical, regional, gender, etc.) in the field of geoscience and remote sensing.

Are you an IEEE GRSS member? Do you want to be part of a dynamic team inspiring members around the world to follow their interests and advance their careers in geoscience and remote sensing?   

IDEA is searching for motivated, creative, and enthusiastic volunteers to join our committee as IDEA Regional Champions (IRCs) and to assist in expanding the geographic outreach of our Core initiatives:

  • Communicating IDEA activities in the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine (GRSM)
  • Women Mentoring Women (WMW) program
  • Microgrant opportunities to support IDEA initiatives
  • IDEA activities at GRSS conferences
  • Women in Africa program
  • Liaising with the IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) organization

As an IRC committee member and/or Core activity lead you will have the opportunity to effect change, make lasting professional and personal connections, and develop important career skills. Volunteers make a 2-year commitment to the IDEA committee. Organizational meetings for Core initiatives are held every two weeks to track progress on these important activities. IRCs are asked to report back to the committee on their regional activities on a monthly basis.

Applicants must be a member of IEEE GRSS and will undergo a short interview process. Interested applicants are asked to submit:

  • A curriculum vitae (1 page);
  • A letter of application showing their motivation and describing which IDEA initiatives they are interested in contributing to and/or leading (maximum 2 pages).

To find out more about IDEA, visit:

An appendix provides details on the IDEA core activities. 

For more details contact:

Appendix: Description of IDEA Core Activities

  1. Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine Column

Context: Currently drafting of the GRSM column content is led by Shawn Kefauver, with a goal to have a rotation of authors from the initiative leads when they have a specific event from GRSS IDEA that they would like to highlight. The GRSM column is indexed and free plus open access in the no. 1 top publication in the field of remote sensing with an IF of 13!

  • Propose and/or identify article topics and guest authors or spotlights (when a guest is interviewed but does not write the column) with input from the greater committee
  • Work directly with guest authors to develop and edit articles
  • Provide draft content to IDEA committee co-chairs for review
  • Responsible for submission following the established GRSM timelines and for all communications with the GRSM editorial committee
  1. Women Mentoring Women

Context: The WMW activity is currently led by Alina Zare, Vicky Vanthof and Margot Flemming. The GRSS website is undergoing modifications and the WMW team is working to revamp the WMW webpage, and mentor-mentee intake forms. As well, the WMW team is busy advertising and rolling out 8 podcasts. On-going roles of the WMW leads are as follow:

  • Work to promote the WMW program. This includes liaising with the Social Media Ambassadors and GRSS conference leads to develop promotional content and WMW ad hoc events
  • Intake new WMW mentor and mentee signups, find match-ups for these mentors and mentees and foster start up of mentor-mentee matches
  • Periodically (every 1-2 months) check in with existing mentor-mentee matches. Determine if adjustments are needed.
  • Organize and host 3-4 WMW virtual networking events per year
  1. Professional Development Microgrants

Context: Shawn Kefauver has been leading the drafting of grant proposals to GRSS, to support IDEA activities.

  • Work directly with the IDEA Regional Champions to identify relevant opportunities, put out regular calls for applications, and to evaluate and approve applications
  • Oversee and track the application process, grant disbursements, and reporting
  • Prepare website/SMA announcements around the program
  • Work with IDEA co-chairs to plan future funding for the program
  1. Conference and Forum Activities

Context: GRSS IDEA has been organizing a Women in GRSS Forum discussion at IGARSS in combination with a luncheon. Other collaborations have been with GRSS YP and Industry through the TIE events.

  • Plan, coordinate, publicize, and execute IDEA-sponsored events as part of IGARSS conference in partnership with TIE track, local organizing committee, and partner organizations (historically a diversity panel & lDEA luncheon)
  • Work with the IDEA Regional Champions to identify regional/chapter forums for IDEA-sponsored activities and assist with planning, facilitation, and support of these activities
  • Proactively identify opportunities for IDEA to participate in other conferences and forums, especially in partnership with other IEEE societies
  1. Women Africa

Context: Nkeiruka Onyia leads the Women in Africa initiative. This initiative fosters collaboration with Remote Sensing and GIS professionals in African countries to improve African women participation in international platforms by inspiring, enhancing and empowering members at local and regional levels. This includes assisting with training and workshops, leadership summits, attendance to regional conferences and awareness programs to create GRSS chapters and GRSS student chapters.

  • Identify and engage with GRS professionals at different career levels (under/post-graduate students, early-career scientists, and senior professionals).
  • Provide training and empowerment programs that will promote theory and practice in the field as well as close the gap in diversity and inclusion.
  • Inspire the future generation of GRS professionals.
  1. Women in Engineering Liaison

Context: Qian Zhan is currently the IDEA committee member liaison with WIE. The IDEA lead participates in WIE meetings and facilitates participation in the Engineering International Leadership Conference and other WIE events.

  • Attend regular WIE telecons and represent IDEA and GRSS as a society within the WIE group
  • Share regular updates on WIE activities and opportunities for engagement with IDEA
  • Plan, coordinate, and facilitate IDEA participation in WIE activities