USGIF Announces 2019 Stu Shea Endowed Scholarship Recipient
Clark University’s Jaclyn Guz becomes second recipient of $15,000 scholarship
San Antonio, Texas (June 3, 2019)—This morning at the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s (USGIF) GEOINT 2019 Symposium, Jaclyn Guz was recognized as the recipient of the Foundation’s Stu Shea USGIF Endowed Scholarship. Guz is a student at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., pursuing her Ph.D. in geography.
The scholarship honors K. Stuart Shea, one of the founders of USGIF and the first chief executive and chairman of the organization. The $15,000 scholarship is awarded annually to one Ph.D. student studying cartography, geography, or imaging science.
“I am very happy to be the recipient of the Stu Shea Endowed Scholarship,” Guz said. “This scholarship enables me to better conduct my research by allowing flexibility and freedom to explore questions and methods that were not previously feasible. Additionally, it opens networking opportunities and the ability to interact and collaborate with experts in my field. I hope the connections I make will allow me to expand my skill sets and help me to advance geospatial technology.”
Guz earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Texas A&M University in 2016. In the first year of her Ph.D. program, she completed a research project in Colorado and Wyoming that quantified how post-fire regeneration density has decreased throughout the past century. The project was partially funded by a USGIF Scholarship she was awarded in 2018.
Two internships at Esri helped Guz develop skills in machine learning and big data that she applied during her Ph.D. research. Outside of school, Guz volunteers with the Worcester chapter of Girls Inc., a nationwide nonprofit that helps young girls gain life skills, specifically through their Eureka! STEM and Leadership Program. As part of her volunteer efforts, Guz helped acquire a grant from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. The grant funded a healthy community mapping project for the Worcester chapter, which Guz hopes will be implemented at other Girls Inc. chapters across the nation.
The Stu Shea scholarship is part of the overall USGIF Scholarship Program. The full list of 2019 scholarship recipients will be announced this summer. Learn more about the USGIF Scholarship Program here.
USGIF Recognizes Dr. Annette J. Krygiel with the 2019 Lundahl-Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award
Krygiel honored for decades of influential service to the GEOINT Community
San Antonio, Texas (June 4, 2019)—The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) announced Dr. Annette J. Krygiel as the 2019 recipient of the Foundation’s Arthur C. Lundahl-Thomas C. Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award. Krygiel is the 15th individual to win this prestigious award. She was recognized on stage this morning at USGIF’s GEOINT 2019 Symposium.
Krygiel is a native of St. Louis, Mo., having earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Saint Louis University and a Ph.D. in computer science from Washington University. She served 38 years with the Department of Defense (DoD) in positions at the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center, the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA), the Central Imagery Office (CIO), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). She was DMA’s chief scientist until her appointment as director of CIO in 1994. Krygiel has been an independent consultant since retiring from federal civil service in 1999 and has also participated in many advisory roles, including serving on the Naval Studies Board for the National Academies.
“I am surprised, stunned, and deeply honored to receive the Lundahl-Finnie award,” Krygiel said. “I am also very humbled at this connection to two great visionaries who enabled geospatial intelligence capabilities critical to our nation. My own career has been framed by their organizations, by people they mentored, and to some extent by strategies they employed. I am immensely grateful to the USGIF Board for this recognition and for including me among such distinguished awardees.”
In collaboration with the National Defense University and the DoD’s Command and Control Research Program, Krygiel authored the book, “Behind the Wizard’s Curtain: An Integration Environment for a System of Systems.” Additionally, she has received a number of awards to include the Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award and the National Intelligence Distinguished Service medal. She was also inducted into NGA’s Hall of Fame in 2001.
The Lundahl-Finnie award recipient is nominated and voted upon annually by USGIF’s Board of Directors. This distinguished award was named for Arthur C. Lundahl and Thomas C. Finnie, celebrating their accomplishments—in imagery analysis and mapping, respectively—and their legacies within the GEOINT Community. Lundahl is known as the father of modern imagery intelligence and analysis and was the founding director of the National Photographic Interpretation Center. Finnie served as DMA’s director of management and technology and was one of the primary architects of the agency’s evolution into the digital era.
To learn more about the Lundahl-Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award and its past recipients, visit usgif.org/community/LifetimeAward.
USGIF Announces 2019 Achievement Award Winners
Outstanding organizations and individuals recognized for contributions to the geospatial intelligence community
San Antonio, Texas (June 4, 2019)— The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) announced this week the 2019 recipients of its annual Awards Program. Award winners were recognized on the main stage at USGIF’s GEOINT 2019 Symposium, taking place June 2-5 in San Antonio, Texas.
The USGIF Awards Program annually recognizes the exceptional work of the geospatial intelligence tradecraft’s brightest minds and organizations pushing the community forward. Award winners are nominated by their colleagues and selected by the USGIF Awards Subcommittee.
“GEOINT is about how we see the world and how we predict, plan, respond, and react to the world’s greatest challenges and opportunities,” said Kevin Jackson, chair of the USGIF Awards Subcommittee. “This year brought us some very exciting and unique nominations and tradecraft applications that truly demonstrate how GEOINT has expanded into new domains. We are excited about the 2019 award winners and what’s in store for the future of GEOINT.”
The 2019 USGIF Award winners are:
Aaron Gerace and Matthew Montanaro, Rochester Institute of Technology
Shortly after launch, on-orbit commissioning procedures indicated that TIRS-1, Landsat 8’s thermal instrument, had a stray-light issue. To identify the sources of stray-light, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center performed several slew maneuvers, moving the moon in and out of the TIRS-1 field of view. These data were leveraged to develop a per-detector optical model. Aaron Gerace and Matthew Montanaro of RIT developed an approach that uses the data at the edge of a TIRS-1 swath, in conjunction with the optical model, to estimate the incident out-of-field radiance and in turn mitigate stray-light effects. As a result, errors were significantly reduced.
Jeffrey D. Clark, Ph.D., Riverside Research
Dr. Jeffrey Clark, supporting the U.S. Air Force in collaboration with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, led extensive efforts to integrate machine learning and AI into mainstream GEOINT data processing. Dr. Clark pioneered mission integration and propagated the tradecraft and application methods throughout the Intelligence Community. His prototype algorithms drove the design and integration of artificial neural networks into overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) production processes, revolutionizing the OPIR processing chain across phases and centers. Dr. Clark’s technical leadership and tradecraft advocacy improved analytical efficiencies and predictive intelligence, ensuring the nation is at the forefront of understanding threats to U.S. air and space operations.
Rachael Brady, CAL FIRE
As a research data specialist with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Rachael Brady worked diligently to create a statistical methodology and employs geospatial analysis to identify serial wildland arson patterns. Her work has allowed for earlier detection of potential arson series throughout Northern California. Every ignition has the potential to become a devastating fire in California’s dry vegetation, and early detection of a potential serial arsonist allows CAL FIRE to respond in a timely manner, increasing the chances of capturing a suspect and preventing a catastrophic fire.
GUARDIAN Team, National Guard Bureau
The GUARDIAN Team includes Texas Air National Guardsmen Maj. Alexander Goldberg, Maj. Curtis Wilson, Maj. Michael McDermott, and Maj. Travis Williams. The team created a web-based, next-generation, multi-domain command and control geospatial application called GUARDIAN. The application is built upon a modular, non-proprietary, open architecture that enables agile development. GUARDIAN provides real-time decision-making and two-way collaboration among the tactical, operational, and strategic command echelons. Within the last year, GUARDIAN has been adopted by more than 250 federal, state, and local agencies for both combat operations and in support of civilian emergency response efforts.
Taking Autism To The Sky, Inc.
Taking Autism To The Sky (TATTS) is a volunteer run, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that uses unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to help autistic individuals practice and develop social and employment skills. TATTS began as a crowd-funded project in 2012 and has grown to include image analysis, teamwork, and data processing skills that are in high demand by the geospatial industry. Autistic individuals often struggle with understanding other people’s points of views, yet their literal and visual thinking skills are an asset to the geospatial industry. TATTS helps these individuals see their world from a new perspective.
Learn more about the USGIF Awards Program and past award recipients.
Penn State Student Recognized with Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award
USGIF, the DigitalGlobe Foundation, and Penn State present prestigious award at the GEOINT 2019 Symposium
San Antonio, Texas (June 5, 2019)—Tuesday afternoon at the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s (USGIF) GEOINT 2019 Symposium, the 2019 Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence was awarded to Capt. Katherine Meckler of the U.S. Air Force.
Meckler is from Mechanicsburg, Penn., and completed her undergraduate degree at Penn State, where she also received an Air Force commission through the U.S. ROTC program. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in geographic information systems at Penn State while stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola, where she serves as an Electronic Warfare Officer with more than 1,300 flight hours on the RC-135U COMBAT SENT.
“Until I began studying GEOINT with Penn State, I did not realize just how essential it was to nearly every stage of my mission,” Meckler said. “I rely on GEOINT for mission planning, pre-mission briefs, mission execution, and post-mission analysis to provide situational awareness, operational expertise, and context to my collected strategic electronic reconnaissance information. Without GEOINT, I would be left to execute the mission in the blind, and my collected information would be meaningless to the warfighters. GEOINT achieves for my mission what every other ‘INT’ cannot—it provides a powerful frame of reference with which to easily digest complex life-or-death ones and zeros.”
The award was presented to Meckler by Director of the U.S. Army Geospatial Center Gary W. Blohm along with Ronda Schrenk, vice president of programs at USGIF.
The Murphy Award is named for Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a distinguished Penn State alumnus. Murphy was killed June 28, 2005, by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan. For his selfless leadership and courageous actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The Murphy Award recognizes achievement by a Penn State graduate who is serving or has served in the U.S. Armed Forces or Intelligence Community. Recipients are chosen based upon demonstration of exceptional contributions to the GEOINT discipline.
The generosity of USGIF, Maxar, and faculty, staff, and friends of Penn State contributed to endowing the Murphy Award.
USGIF is a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and developing a stronger GEOINT Community among government, industry, academia, professional organizations, and individuals who develop and apply GEOINT to address global security challenges. USGIF achieves its mission via its strategic pillars: Build the Community | Advance the Tradecraft | Accelerate Innovation. For more information, please visit www.USGIF.org and follow USGIF on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.