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ASPRS Announces 2010 SAIC/Estes Memorial Teaching Award Winner

March 5, 2010
Daniel Civco, PhD, a professor in the Department of Natural Resources Management and Engineering at the University of Connecticut, has been named the winner.

Daniel Civco, PhD, a professor in the Department of Natural Resources Management and Engineering at the University of Connecticut, has been named as the recipient of the 2010 SAIC/Estes Memorial Teaching Award.

The SAIC Estes Memorial Teaching Award was inaugurated in 2003 and is named in honor of Professor John E. (“Jack”) Estes, teacher, mentor, scientist, and friend of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). This award is designed to recognize individual achievement in the promotion of remote sensing and GIS technology, and applications through educational efforts.  Award recipients are chosen based on documented excellence in education, teaching, mentoring and training.  The recipient receives a presentation plaque and a $2,000 cash award

Civco currently serves as Director of the Center for Land use Education and Research (CLEAR) and is Co-founder of the Laboratory for Earth Resources Information Systems (LERIS) as well as a Co-PI of the NASA-funded Regional Earth Resource Applications Center (RESAC) established in 1999. Civco received his BS degree in Natural Resources Conservation in 1974, and the MS and PhD degrees in Plant Science, the former concentrating in Landscape Planning and the latter in Remote Sensing.  

Working with students in the classroom, and spending countless hours preparing content for his students is Civco’s true passion. His approach toward education is one based on teaching principles and practices as well as the use of geoprocessing tools, both of which are essential for the effective management of the environment.  Civco is engaged in advising undergraduate students within the geomatics and other natural resource concentrations.  He has served as major advisor to more than 30 MS and PhD-degree graduate students, as well as serving as Associate Advisor to nearly 70 others. His manuscript “Perspectives on Earth Resources Mapping Education in the United States” provided the impetus for the creation of the ASPRS Remote Sensing Core Curriculum, and it served also as the blueprint for the IAEGS curriculum.

He is a well-published scholar, and received the ESRI Award for Best Scientific Paper in GIS in 1997 and in 2001, and second place for the 1999 ERDAS Award for the Best Scientific Paper in Remote Sensing.  In 2007 he received the National Award from the Program for Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the highest honor an educator in the field of agriculture and natural resources can receive.

In expressing his appreciation to ASPRS for this award Civco said, “Receiving an award bearing Dr. Estes’ name is truly an honor, and to be mentioned in the same company as past recipients -- words can’t describe what that means to me.  Though I got to know him only in the latter years of his life, I admired and respected Jack throughout my entire professional career. I am no Jack Estes, but I have tried to aspire to the principals and ideals that defined him. Jack was an exceptional scholar, mentor, leader, and gentleman.”

In addition to his excellence in teaching, Civco has been very active in ASPRS.  In his first term as Chair of the ASPRS Education and Professional Development Committee, he was instrumental in assisting then President Roger Hoffer in establishing the ASPRS International Educational Literature Award. He was a Director for the New England Region, served on the National Board of Directors from 2002 thru 2004, was elected Director of the Remote Sensing Applications Division in 2000, and served as Chairman of the ASPRS Education and Professional Development Committee, of which he will again be Chair in April 2010.  He received an ASPRS Fellow Award in 2003. 

The Award, with funding provided by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), will be presented in April at the ASPRS 2010 Annual Conference in San Diego California.


Founded in 1979, The ASPRS Foundation, Inc. is an independent 501(c)3 organization established to provide grants, scholarships, loans and other forms of aid to individuals or organizations pursuing knowledge of imaging and geospatial information science and technology, and their applications across the scientific, governmental, and commercial sectors.  The Foundation is the primary funding source for all non-sponsored awards and scholarships recognized by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.