When cholera killed hundreds living in coastal towns and epidemics were linked with sea travel, newspaper cartoons at the turn of the century depicted the disease as a ferocious sea monster poised to attack fishermen resting on the docks. Today, the disease is still a scourge that claims hundreds of thousands of lives in developing countries every year.
The first step in making sense of the processes and events that impact the Earth is to observe and analyze them. The next step is to share those observations and analyses with your peers in the context of a shared infrastructure. Today, however, there are dozens of such shared infrastructures, each with its own set of policies, terms and protocols. How can all this information be shared?
Dr. Alberto Moreira, president of the IEEE Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society, has a dynamic vision for remote sensing that is now, he says, in its golden age. In this far-ranging interview, he talks about the early days of remote sensing, the field’s contributions to GEOSS, and humanity’s responsibilities to Earth.
Recent changes in public opinion appear contrary to the growing empirical evidence that climate change will have significant impact to human society. In their essay, Drs. Jean-Louis Fellous and Catherine Gautier describe the thickening fog of climate skepticism and put forth a remedy for clearing the air.
Dr. Roy Gibson, first Director General of the European Space Agency and the first Director General of the British National Space Centre, made a strong argument for the need of governments to give priority financial and political support to GEO and GEOSS as speaker at the GEO-IGOS Symposium in Washington DC on 19 November 2009. His adapted speech from that event and a biographical introduction are reprinted here.
A month after South Africa succesfully launched it’s second Earth observation satellite, Sumbandila, Earthzine contributor Peter Fairley talks with Dr. Philemon Mjwara, Director General of South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology, about the launch, the benefits South Africa expects to reap from the satellite, and what’s in store for the future of developing countries’ involvement in Earth observation and sustainability.
Janet Rochester is a senior member of the IEEE leadership and president of the Society on Social Implications of Technology. In this interview she shines a spotlight on the range of SSIT members’ interests, and on her own intellectual considerations and concerns.
In Korown, an Uttar Pradesh India farming village where little has changed for hundreds of years, a 21st century school opened its doors for the first time in July to 100 girls and boys in grades 1-4, 6, and 7. Kuruom vidyalaya is the bricks-and-mortar embodiment of the Hindu goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, and testimony to one man’s spirit and commitment. That man is Bal Ram Singh, Ph.D., 51, once a child of the village and now a successful biophysical chemist at a U.S. university (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth) and director of its Center for Indic Studies, who built the school himself without government assistance. Deeply engaged as a Hindu, a family man, a professor, research scientist, and a U.S. citizen, he is also determined to prove that “one little man” can change the status-quo in India for the better.
Josiane Zerubia is a director of research, first class, at INRIA, the premiere French public research institute in applied mathematics and computer science. Her contributions to Markovian modeling in image processing and remote sensing were recognized by IEEE with her elevation to Fellow in 2003. But her story really begins in Cannes, France where she was taught at an early age by her mother Jeanne and grandmother Louise that she could do whatever she wanted if she worked hard enough. La Vie de Josiane Zerubia: A Modern Woman of Science begins here.