John Townshend Receives the 2011 Martha Maiden Award
Submitted by administrator on Mon, 01/03/2011 - 23:00
January 4, 2011 — Professor John Townshend, Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences is a pioneer when it comes to making remotely sensed data freely available. In the context of his Global Land Cover Facility project, Townsend led the way in the open distribution and access of satellite imagery derived from Landsat. This project delivered hundreds of gigabytes of data per year, which was unparalled at its inception in the late 1990’s and now holds over eight terabytes of data. Beyond his research, Townshend is a dedicated educator, teaching for more than 20 years. His legacy includes a cohort of students following his characteristic leadership and collaboration with respect to Earth Observations.
Townshend has made an impressive contribution to the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) and its mission and outstanding contributions to the Earth science information community. This impact was tangibly recognized when he was awarded the Martha Maiden Lifetime Achievement Award by the ESIP Federation. The award was presented at the ESIP Winter Meeting held in Washington, D.C. January 4-6, 2011. The award was established in 2009 in honor of Martha E. Maiden, NASA Program Executive for Earth Data Systems, for her leadership, dedication and tireless efforts to nurture the ESIP Federation into a vibrant and mature organization.
During his acceptance remarks, Townshend said his success was “a microcosm of the success achieved by the Federation and we should keep in mind why we individually and collectively have been such a stunning success.” He went on to say that this success is comes from imaginative leadership, focusing on the intersection between science, application and information technology, bringing together contributions from a variety of sectors and believing that data should be freely available to help science progress.
The ESIP Federation is a consortium of Earth science data and technology professionals spanning government (NASA, NOAA, EPA, USGS, NSF), academia and the private sectors (both commercial and nonprofit). The organization is dedicated to transforming research data and information into useful and usable data and information products for decision makers, policy makers and the public. Initiated by NASA in 1997 in response to a study by the National Academy of Science, the ESIP Federation provides data, products and services to decision makers and researchers in public and private settings. The Foundation for Earth Science provides administrative and staff support to the ESIP Federation.
President, Federation of Earth Science Information Partners
Executive Director, Foundation for Earth Science