December 7, 2020
Ramesh Sivanpillai, a remote-sensing scientist with the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) at the University of Wyoming, has been named a fellow of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).
The fellowship is the second-highest honor ASPRS bestows on any individual. It recognizes active and midcareer members of the society who have made exceptional contributions in advancing the science, technology and use of the mapping sciences for at least a decade.
The award will be conferred at the 2021 ASPRS Virtual Conference in March.
Sivanpillai teaches remote-sensing courses, advises undergraduate students on research projects, and directs the WyomingView program at UW. That program, part of the U.S. Geological Survey-funded AmericaView program, focuses on remote-sensing data and technologies in support of applied research, K-16 education, workforce development and technology transfer.
In that role, Sivanpillai has trained about 80 WyomingView interns, mostly UW undergraduate students, in projects including remote-sensing mapping of prescribed burns; wildfire monitoring; flood mapping; grazing management; and agricultural productivity. Many of these interns have gone on to careers as environmental specialists, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service firefighters, agriculture consultants and other positions that use remote-sensing technology.
Sivanpillai also contributes teaching, research and student mentoring to the new program in geospatial information science and technology (GIST) managed by WyGISC. The GIST program offers an online professional master’s degree and three online graduate certificates, including certificates in remote sensing and unmanned aerial systems, as well as undergraduate certificates that include remote sensing. Sivanpillai has been a leader in directing successful undergraduate internships that will help support students in the GIST program.
For more than 25 years, Sivanpillai has worked on digital processing of remotely sensed data for applications in forestry, rangeland, agriculture, water bodies, disaster assessment and land cover/land use studies. He has worked with several national and international agencies and academic institutions in the United States, India, Mexico, Mali, Nicaragua, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Kenya and Australia.
He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from PSG College of Arts & Science, a master’s degree in environmental studies from Cochin University of Science and Technology, and a master’s degree in environmental sciences from Bharathiar University (all in India); a master’s degree in environmental sciences and policy from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; and a Ph.D. in forestry from Texas A&M University.
He has served on the AmericaView Board of Directors and is serving on the board of the ASPRS Rocky Mountain Region chapter. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing (since 2008) and Frontiers of Earth Science (since 2014).