USGIF Announces 2011 Awards Program Recipients During the GEOINT 2011 Symposium

October 18, 2011

San Antonio, Texas Oct. 18, 2011 —The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) today announced the recipients of its 2011 USGIF Awards Program. This year’s recipients are COL Michael D. Hendricks (Academic Achievement), Albert Yu-Min Lin, Ph.D. (Academic Research), Kevin Slocum for the NGA InnoVision LIDAR Team (Government), Justin Novak for the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command (Military) and the Gorgon Stare Industry Team, Sierra Nevada Corp. (Industry).

The USGIF Awards Program annually recognizes the exceptional work of the geospatial intelligence tradecraft’s brightest minds. Three award categories are open for all community members to apply. The Intelligence Achievement Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in the tradecraft by an individual or team from the military, government and industry. The Academic Achievement Award commends the achievements of a top graduate of a nationally recognized geospatial intelligence academic program. The Academic Research Award commends an organization that demonstrates the top geospatial intelligence program or project. Recipients were acknowledged on stage during the general session of the annual GEOINT Symposium.

“As president of USGIF, I am honored to participate in a number of activities we conduct to benefit the Community,” said Keith J. Masback, President, USGIF. “It’s always gratifying to observe our annual awards process take place and see the vast amount of talent we have in our field, making our nation more secure. The USGIF Awards Program epitomizes what the Foundation stands for and I am truly proud of the accomplishment’s of this year’s recipients.”

Academic Achievement Award – COL Michael D. Hendricks, U.S. Army, Associate Professor of Geospatial Information Science, United States Military Academy
Michael D. Hendricks is a colonel in the U.S. Army and an associate professor of geospatial information science at the United States Military Academy. His work in the pedagogical evolution of the GIScience Program at the Academy over the past six years has significantly improved the educational learning paradigm of cadets majoring in geospatial information science. The number of cadets majoring in GIScience at the Academy has more than tripled in the past six years, the number of courses integrating GIScience technologies and concepts outside of the GIScience program has increased significantly, and collaborative research between faculty in the GIScience program and other academic programs utilizing GIScience technologies, has grown steadily. The result of these efforts was a fully integrated undergraduate curriculum that spans the breadth and depth of the geospatial tradecraft and has directly impacted the geospatial capabilities of the United States Army.

Academic Research Award – Albert Yu-Min Lin, Ph.D.
Research Scientist/Emerging Explorer, Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology UCSD Division/National Geographic Society Dr. Lin is a research scientist at UC San Diego, an “Emerging Explorer” of the National Geographic Society, and co-founder of Tomnod Inc. His mission to explore the remote regions of Northern Mongolia in search of the tomb of Genghis Khan has led to pioneering research on how the emerging field of crowdsourcing can be applied to analyze massive geospatial datasets. In particular, an online crowdsourcing tool developed by his team and launched at has enabled 10,000 contributors to provide more than 1.8 million human analytical contributions to a distribute survey of ultrahigh resolution GeoEye-1 satellite imagery. By developing new technologies to collect, understand and act on this information, an expedition to Mongolia, led by Dr. Lin, discovered numerous archaeological sites throughout the remote, un-mapped region. The techniques empowered by this work present an exciting solution to the challenge of producing rapid, reliable analysis of massive amounts of geospatial information.

Intelligence Achievement Award (Government) – Kevin Slocum, NGA InnoVision LIDAR Team
The NGA LIDAR team has sustained superior performance over the past 20 months as demonstrated by four significant achievements. First, the team fielded a processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) staff to Miami, Jan. 2010, in direct support to SOUTHCOM’s request for technology to assist victims of the Haiti earthquake disaster. Second, in response to LIDAR technology quick response capability OCONUS insertions, requisite PED functions kept pace with aggressive data collection schedules and growing consumer appetite for products. Third, a prototype 3D database environment was designed and developed for efficient and accelerated search and discovery of point clouds. Lastly, an inaugural 3-day LIDAR Community of Practice Conference was accomplished, Aug. 2011, where 200+ government and military managers shared and learned of each other’s research and operations in LIDAR.

Intelligence Achievement Award (Military) – Justin Novak, U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command
Eagle Vision/ROVER Responsive Exploitation of Space Products for Tactical Use (EVR2EST) Team The EVR2EST Team, led by Justin Novak, U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, is comprised of government and industry individuals and organizations with expertise in processing and rapidly disseminating commercial space based imagery and radar products to both warfighters and first responders. The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Future Warfare Center, U.S. Air Force A2Q, Air National Guard Eagle Vision units and private contractors collaborated to create the EVR2EST capability which is being used today by individuals and organizations throughout the whole of government supporting disaster response from tornados in the southeast, to wildfires in the west, floods in the mid-west and a hurricane along the east coast. The government owned, non-proprietary EVR2EST capability is currently being fielded to units worldwide in order to support the ever growing demand for commercial space based products to those that need it most, using their organic GIS capabilities.

Intelligence Achievement Award (Industry) – Gorgon Stare Industry Team, Sierra Nevada Corp.
The Gorgon Stare Wide Area Airborne Surveillance (WAAS) system went from concept to integrated combat operations in under three years to meet DoD’s urgent operational need for city-sized, persistent surveillance. The Gorgon Stare WAAS sensor was designed to address several significant C4ISR challenges, including: maximizing single-sensor area coverage, providing context to “soda-straw” images providing independent, simultaneous real-time motion imagery of diverse target areas direct to multiple tactical users; extended sensor dwell time providing an unblinking eye; and the ability to, in real-time, TIVO backwards and forwards to provide enhanced knowledge through RT imagery forensics. Intelligence preparation of the battlespace (IPB) and real-time operational support are now accomplished in a single sortie with Gorgon Stare. Due to the professional dedication of the entire SNC-led Gorgon Stare Team, this leading edge, geospatial intelligence capability is enhancing ongoing counterinsurgency operations and saving lives – a proven force multiplier on today’s battlefield.

USGIF is a non-profit educational foundation dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and developing a stronger GEOINT Community with government, industry, academia, professional organizations and individuals whose mission is the development and application of geospatial intelligence to address national security challenges. For more information, please visit