Gary Florence Elected as ASPRS Vice President

Michael Finn and Robert Ryan Elected as Assistant Division Directors

The results of the 2009 election have been tallied by the Tellers Committee and they reported that Gary Florence, who is with Photo Science in St. Petersburg, Florida, won the election to become ASPRS Vice President for 2009.  With the installation of officers at the ASPRS Annual Conference in March, Bradley Doorn moves into the position of President; Carolyn Merry becomes President-Elect, and Kass Green becomes Past President. 

Gary Florence’s geospatial experience spans both the national and international sectors. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and a Master of Science degree from the International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), the Netherlands.

Sponsored by the European Development Bank, Florence worked on the Country-wide Animal and Range Assessment Project in Botswana where he applied various remote sensing techniques and extensive ground truth field verification to conduct a detailed rangeland inventory and carrying capacity of the Kalahari. Later, working as a Remote Sensing consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Florence again combined various remote sensing techniques and field work to conduct a land cover inventory of Baluchistan, Pakistan. He then worked in the United States managing a variety of mapping projects for both the public and private sectors. This experience included serving as a Coastal Zone Analyst for Louisiana DNR and later as Director of the Resource Data Department for the Southwest Florida Water Management District. 

His private sector experience includes serving as Project Manager on a wide variety of mapping projects for Mid States Engineering, Chicago Aerial Surveys, Geonex and Greenhorn & O’Mara, Inc., (G&O). During his tenure with G&O he served five years as the Project Manager for the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) Program sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  In 2004, Florence joined Photo Science to manage their office in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Florence has been an active member of ASPRS since 1982, serving the ASPRS Florida Region as Director, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President, President and Past President.  He also served at the National level as Director of the Florida Region.  He has participated on a variety of committees and served as the Chairman of the 2007 Annual Conference held in Tampa, Florida. He is an ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrist, licensed in South Carolina and Oregon, and continues to participate in numerous conferences as a presenter and exhibitor.

His love of maps, coupled with a broad base of professional experience, has given him a keen appreciation of the critical contribution that geospatial technology can make to the many challenges facing our world today.  As Vice President of the ASPRS, he pledges to work with the entire membership and ASPRS staff to promote the effective, efficient and responsible use of geospatial technology to support the public good and he will continue to promote the overall professionalism of the Society; supporting both certification and licensure.  Further, he believes that diversity and growth of our membership brings new ideas and perspectives to our organization, helping ASPRS stay relevant today and tomorrow.  As Vice President, he plans to continue to promote the Society’s on-going efforts to recruit and retain a diverse membership.

Florence stated, “On a personal note, I have always been very grateful to ASPRS for providing a professional community I could join when I returned to the USA after six years abroad. At that time I had no professional contacts within the states and needed employment. The ASPRS Florida Region Board took me under their wing; inviting me to speak at local conferences on the project work I did abroad and helped with my job search.  I remain committed to paying back the Society for the help they have given me and as Vice President I will actively support the mentorship of students and young professionals.”

Michael P. Finn was elected Assistant Division Director of the Geographic Information Systems Division (GISD) of the Society.  He holds a BS in Geography with a Minor in Cartography and Map Technology from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State U.) and an MS in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.  He has worked as a Computer and IT Specialist and a Research Cartographer with the US Geological Survey for the past nine years. He also has 17 years of experience with the US Department of Defense: 10 years with the US Air Force and seven years with the Defense Mapping Agency.

Finn is Past President of the ASPRS Central Region, a director of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS), and a co-chair of the Spatial Data Infrastructure Working Group of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS). His research interests are in geodesy, spatial coordinate systems, and map projections; cyberinfrastructure and user design of geospatial data systems; quantitative approaches to imaging in environmental modeling and GIS; data integration and generalization for GIS; and discrete mathematical and scientific applications for digital geospatial data.

Robert Ryan was elected as Assistant Division Director of the Primary Data Acquisition Division (PDAD).  He is the Chief Scientist of the Geosystems Research Institute (GRI) Small Satellite Program at Mississippi State University, where he performs research on remote sensing applications of small satellites. Ryan is also one of the founders of the startup company Innovative Imaging and Research focused on novel applications of solid state lighting and imaging systems.

Ryan has authored over 40 publications and reports. He has earned nine U.S. patents and has four pending in the fields of optics and sensors. Ryan received a PhD in Physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a MS in Electrophysics from the Polytechnic Institute of New York and a BS in Physics from Hofstra University. Ryan has recently been an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Orleans Electrical Engineering department and previously was an adjunct faculty member at Hofstra University and a visiting faculty member at Stony Brook.

Previously Ryan worked for Lockheed Martin and Science Systems and Applications Incorporated supporting the NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi developing the Instrument Validation Laboratory, which focused on the verification and validation of high spatial resolution commercial and government imaging systems. His research primarily focused on radiometric calibration and spatial resolution evaluation of electro-optical imaging systems. Ryan has also supported thermal and spatial resolution trade studies for the NASA Landsat Data Continuity Mission.

While at Lockheed Martin, he served as the ASPRS PDAD  Digital Imagery Guideline Chairman. Ryan has received a NASA Silver Snoopy award for Return-to-Flight activities and the Lockheed Martin Space Operations 2001 Top Flight Award for Leadership. Prior to moving to Mississippi, Ryan worked for the Northrop Grumman Corporate Research and Development Center where he developed satellite-based missile warning systems, hyperspectral and ultraspectral imaging systems, biological and chemical weapon sensors, laser warning systems and UAV sensor payloads.

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 s
upporting technologies.