GIS innovator Eastman receives Distinguished Career Award

Clark University professor of geography J. Ronald Eastman, developer of the IDRISI GIS and Image Processing software, was presented with the Distinguished Career Award from the Association of American Geographers Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group (GISSG), during the 2010 Annual AAG Meeting (April 14-18) in Washington, D.C.

The Distinguished Career Award honors senior scholars for sustained and effective research contributions to geographic information science and/or systems. The honor is bestowed once each year based on a protracted record of published research and other outstanding achievements. Professor Eastman is the Director of Clark Labs within the George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University. Idrisi for Windows is the largest-selling raster-based GIS in the world, with more than 35,000 users.

“Throughout his career, Dr. Eastman has made substantial contributions to theoretical geographic information science and its application to global climate change, land use science, and other fields,” said Jeremy Mennis, of Temple University, chair of the AAG GISSG Award Committee. “One of Dr. Eastman’s key contributions is the development of the Idrisi GIS software, which introduced many students and researchers throughout the world to GIS, and remains one of the most widely used GIS packages due to its mix of both accessibility and advanced analytical capabilities.”

Mennis added: “What particularly impresses me about Dr. Eastman’s work, however, is that not only has he made substantial contributions to the theoretical and technical components of our field, but that he has worked tirelessly to ensure that GIS technology is used effectively to address some of the most pressing problems facing the world today, such as famine and ecological sustainability, particularly in developing countries.”

Professor Eastman has been at Clark University since 1981 and was promoted to Full Professor in 1994. He chaired the Graduate School of Geography from 1998 to 2002 and has been the Director of Clark Labs since 1991. His field of specialization, in which he is a world leader, is Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Remote Sensing. In 2003 he was recognized by the Association of American Geographers with the Distinguished Service Award and in 2007 received the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science research award given for "outstanding research contributions to geographic information science."

The AAG Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group established its Distinguished Career Award in 2004 and named it in honor of Robert T. Aangeenbrug.  Aangeenbrug, one of the pioneers in GIS, had a distinguished career, including service as the chair of the Department of Geography at the University of South Florida, Executive Director of the Association of American Geographers, and Professor of Geography.

For further information, please contact Clark Labs, Worcester, MA.  Tel: 508-793-7526.

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