2009 ASPRS Fellow Award Winners

RAY HELMERING and THOMAS R. LOVELAND have been named the 2009 ASPRS Fellow Award winners. 

The ASPRS designation of Fellow is conferred on active Society members who have performed exceptional service in advancing the science and use of the mapping sciences (photogrammetry, remote sensing, surveying, geographic information systems, and related disciplines).  The designation of Fellow is awarded for professional excellence and for service to the Society. Candidates are nominated by other active members, recommended to the Fellows Committee, and elected by the ASPRS Board of Directors. Up to 0.3 percent of the Society’s active members may be elected as Fellows in any one year.  The nominees must have made outstanding contributions in a recognized Society specialization whether in practice, research, development, administration, or education in the mapping sciences. Members of the Fellows Committee and the Executive Committee are ineligible for nomination.  This year’s awards will be given in March at the ASPRS 2009 Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

Ray Helmering is the Vice President of Product Engineering for GeoEye.  Helmering holds his PhD and MS degrees in Geodetic Sciences from Purdue University, and his BS degree in Geophysical Engineering from St. Louis University.

In his capacity in the Product Engineering department he is responsible for providing specialized engineering support to production operations, developing and fielding new products, product enhancements, and new or enhanced production systems, and providing engineering support to marketing and regional affiliates.  Helmering manages resources at GeoEye’s three locations in St. Louis, Missouri, Dulles, Virginia, and Thornton, Colorado.

Prior to the creation of GeoEye, which resulted from the purchase of Space Imaging by ORBIMAGE, Inc., Helmering was Vice President of Image Products and Services for ORBIMAGE.  In this capacity, he oversaw the development of ground-based production systems used for the generation of basic and value added products from OrbView-3 imagery.

In 1987, Helmering co-founded TRIFID Corporation and acted as President and COO.  TRIFID was an information company that provided engineering and software development services, image processing services and commercial image processing software to national security and commercial customers.  Under Helmering’s guidance, TRIFID developed one of the first rigorous photogrammetric triangulation applications for SPOT satellite imagery, became a major producer of Arc Digitized Raster Imagery for the Air Force, and marketed TrueVue, a geometrically and radiometrically balanced Landsat mosaic covering the 48 contiguous states.   Large volume, multi-sensor triangulation, orthorectification, and mosaicking software which was initially developed at TRIFID continues to form the basis of production software used at GeoEye.

Helmering also served within the Defense Mapping Agency, a predecessor to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, for over 20 years in management and technical staff positions.  At the command staff level, responsibilities included management of a $100 million research and development program.   He also managed a significant portion of the DoD multi-billion dollar program to develop a modernized digital mapping service.  During his government tenure, Helmering received 15 DoD performance and service awards and published numerous technical papers on automation of mapping services.

He has also served as an affiliate professor of Geodetic Science at Washington University.


Thomas R. Loveland has worked at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) EROS Data Center (now USGS National Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science) since 1979, engaged in research on methods to map and monitor land cover and land use via satellite remote sensing.  Loveland holds BS and MS degrees in Geography from South Dakota State University, and received his PhD in Geography, under the tutelage of Dr. Jack Estes, from the University of California-Santa Barbara.   

During the 1990s, Loveland designed and led research that resulted in the first high resolution (1-km) validated global land cover characteristics database (based on analysis of multi-temporal 1-km AVHRR imagery).  This unique dataset is now widely used in studies of global change, in climate and weather modeling, biodiversity assessment, fire hazard and other issues.  He currently leads a national assessment of the rates, causes, and consequences of contemporary U.S. land cover change ("Land Cover Trends" project).  In this effort, he directs a team of USGS and academic research scientists providing comprehensive, objective analysis of U.S. regional land cover trends, the driving forces of regional change, and an assessment of the local, regional, and global consequences of such change.  During the past two years, Loveland has also devoted much effort to establishment of the USGS-South Dakota State University Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence.  The Center, of which he is co-director, is a model program that demonstrates the synergy that can result when world-class remote sensing and GIS scientists from government and academia are brought together to address earth science issues.  

Loveland has authored or co-authored over 85 major publications, at least 50 of which are in the refereed literature.  Since 1995 he has delivered well over 60 papers at national and international meetings, as well as professional organizations such as the Association of American Geographers, and the American Geophysical Union.  Every article represents a genuine contribution to better understanding of remote sensing of the biosphere.  The majority are articles on which Loveland is lead author, and virtually all are published in journals having high professional stature (e.g., Annals of the AAG, International Journal of Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing of Environment, PE&RS, Journal of Geophysical Research, Ecological Applications, Global Change Biology).   Every article identifies outcomes of the widespread multi-disciplinary collaborations he has fostered with colleagues.  He has received many national and international awards and honors.  He is a highly respected grants-man.  Just since 2001, he has been Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on grants and contracts valued at over $4 million from USGS, EPA, NASA, NOAA and others.  

As an adjunct faculty member at South Dakota State University, Loveland has taught eight courses, has advised five MA students and has served on the graduate committees for 15 other students.  He has been a Director of the AAG Remote Sensing Specialty Group, and Chair of the AAG Great Plains-Rocky Mountain Division, and recently served as Director of the Remote Sensing Applications Division of ASPRS.  He has served as a manuscript and proposal reviewer for dozens of professional journals and agencies, and has recently reviewed 18-24 papers per year for some 17 journals including being on call for PE&RS articles.  

Founded in 1934, ASPRS is an international professional organization of 6,000 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. 

Editor (18230 Posts)

Glenn is a geographer and a GIS professional with over 20 years experience in the industry. He's the co-founder of GISuser and several other technology web publications.

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