Committee Membership Information

Study Title:

Spatial Data Enabling USGS Strategic Science in the 21st Century

Study Director:


Mr. Robert P. Denaro - (Chair)
NAVTEQ Corporation

ROBERT P. DENARO is Vice President of NAVTEQ, a company that specializes in digital roadmap data and services for navigation, and leads NAVTEQ's Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business. Mr. Denaro joined NAVTEQ from Rand McNally & Company, where he was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Business Solutions, responsible for business-to-business applications and consumer technology products and services in mapping and routing. Prior to joining Rand McNally, Mr. Denaro was Vice President and Director of Motorola's Consumer Telematics Products, a division he launched after heading the company's Global Positioning System (GPS) business for five years. Earlier in his career, Mr. Denaro launched Trimble Navigation's Fleet Management and Vehicle Tracking Division and was co-founder of TAU Corporation, producer of the first commercial differential GPS systems. He started his career in the U.S. Air Force, where he served for nine years, initially working on research, development, and flight testing of the first cockpit digital map displays, and ultimately carrying out research, development and field test as a USAF Captain at the Navstar GPS Joint Program Office. Mr. Denaro is a member of the NRC Mapping Science Committee, Vice Chair of the DOT ITS Program Advisory Committee, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), and served as a Policy Board Director of the 511 National Traveler Information Number Deployment Coalition. He is a past Vice President of the Institute of Navigation, past Vice Chairman of the U.S. GPS Industry Council, and was a lecturer for the NATO Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development. He is nominated for his expertise in private industry mapping programs, and for his knowledge of prior NRC studies conducted in this area. He holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and a B.S. in Engineering Sciences (Astronautics) from the U.S. Air Force Academy.


Dr. Dennis Ojima
Colorado State University

DENNIS OJIMA is Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University (CSU), where he was Interim Director from 2005 to 2006. He is also a Senior Scholar and co-Director of Mitigation Programs at the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment, and assistant professor in the CSU Rangeland Ecosystem Science Department. His current U.S. research contributes to the North American Carbon Project. His research areas include global change effects on ecosystem dynamics and regional climate change assessment for the Central Great Plains, as well as international efforts in Central Asia, Mongolia, and China. His research with the Chinese Academy of Sciences includes development of Regional Carbon Management. Dr. Ojima is also member of the U.S. National Committee for the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment and member-at-large of the Governing Board of the Ecological Society of America (2005-2007). He received a B.A. in botany from Pomona College, an M.S. in botany from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. from the Rangeland Ecosystem Science Department at Colorado State University.


Mr. Ian Jackson
British Geologic Survey

IAN JACKSON is the Chief of Operations at the British Geological Survey (BGS). Between 2000-2007, Mr. Jackson was the Director of Information at BGS. He is currently a member of a European Commission team drafting regulations for the new EC spatial data infrastructure Directive, INSPIRE and also serves on the council of an IUGS Commission. Between 1997 and 1999 he was the Project Manager of a major European Union-funded project to create a European geoscience metadata service. Mr. Jackson has worked for BGS for over 35 years, initially on mineral assessment programmes in the United Kingdom and overseas and subsequently as a field geologist, undertaking applied geological mapping in the North-East England coalfield. Use of relational database and CAD systems to handle the large borehole and mineplan datasets associated with these projects led to his appointment as the manager of the BGS Digital Map Implementation project in 1990. This was followed by responsibility for BGS Information Systems. During his career in BGS he also undertaken geoscience information systems consultancy in Canada, Australia, South America and Europe. He was responsible for the development of the UK digital geological map database and closely involved in designing the BGS programme for 3D modelling. Mr. Jackson is a graduate of the University of Newcastle, UK.


Dr. Andrea Donnellan
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

ANDREA DONNELLAN is a geophysicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a research professor at the University of Southern California. Dr. Donnellan integrates satellite technology with high-performance computer models to study earthquakes, plate tectonics, and the corresponding movements of the earth's crust. She is currently NASA's Applied Sciences Program Area Lead for Natural Disasters, and Principal Investigator of NASA's QuakeSim and other projects. Dr. Donnellan has also been the Project Scientist of a mission to study natural hazards, ice sheets, and ecosystems, and Deputy Manager of the Laboratory's Science Division. She has conducted field studies in California in the region of the Northridge earthquake, the Ventura basin, and on the San Andreas fault. She has also carried out field work on the West Antarctic Ice Streams, in the Dry Valleys, and in Marie Byrd Land of Antarctica, on the Altiplano of Bolivia, in Mongolia, and on Variegated Glacier in Alaska. Dr. Donnellan received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 1996, the Women in Aerospace Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2003, the Women At Work Medal of Excellence in 2004, and was the MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation Woman of the Year in 2006. She has held an NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and has been a Visiting Associate at the Seismological Laboratory at Caltech. Dr. Donnellan has a B.S. in geology from the Ohio State University, an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, and M.S. and Ph.D. in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.


Dr. Xavier R. Lopez
Oracle Corporation

XAVIER R. LOPEZ is Director of Oracle's Spatial Technologies group. He is responsible for incorporating location and semantic technologies across Oracle?s database, application server, and business applications. He has eighteen years of experience in the area of geospatial technologies. He has been active in numerous academic and government research initiatives on geographic information, has served on the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board, the Board of Directors of the Geographic Information Technology Association and the International Geographic Information Foundation, and was editor of the Journal of Urban and Regional Information Systems. He is author of a book on spatial information policy and has authored over 100 scientific and industry publications pertaining to spatial information technology. He is the recipient of Fulbright, Ford, and University of California, Berkeley Postdoctoral Fellowships. He holds a Ph.D. in Spatial Information Engineering from the University of Maine, an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an independent major in Geography from the University of California, Davis.


Dr. Michael Emch
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MICHAEL EMCH is Associate Professor of Geography, Fellow at the Carolina Population Center, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His expertise is in infectious disease ecology, neighborhood determinants of health, and geographic information science applications of public health. He leads the Spatial Health Research Group which conducts research that explores spatio-temporal patterns of disease, primarily infectious diseases of the developing world (www.unc.edu/depts/geog/ spatialhealthgroup/). Disease patterns are studied using a holistic approach by investigating the role of natural, social, and built environments in disease occurrence in different places and populations. Diverse statistical and spatial analytical methods are informed by theory from the fields of medical geography, epidemiology, and ecology. These theories and methods are used to examine diverse topics such as the role of population-environment drivers in viral evolution, how social and spatial connectivity simultaneously contribute to disease incidence, and using environmental indicators to predict disease outbreaks. Dr. Emch holds a PhD in medical geography from Michigan State University, an MA in geography from Miami University, and a BA in biology from Alfred University.


Dr. George H. Brimhall
University of California, Berkeley

GEORGE H. BRIMHALL (NAE) is a professor of geology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught and conducted research for nearly 33 years. Previously he taught in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University and worked as a project and underground mine geologist for the Anaconda Company. Dr. Brimhall?s research interests include digital field mapping, exploration and mining geology, ore deposit genesis and geochemistry, surface process geochemistry, and mineral resources issues. In addition, he has been active with both the Society of Economic Geologists and the Geological Society of America; he was associate editor of the Geological Society of America Bulletin from 1992 to 1995. Dr. Brimhall was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2001 and received the University of California, Berkeley Noyce Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from the University of California, Berkeley.


Dr. Bridget R. Scanlon
The University of Texas at Austin

BRIDGET R. SCANLON is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology in the Jackson School of Geosciences of the University of Texas at Austin. The primary objective of her research group is to assess sustainability issues with respect to water resources, within the context of climate variability and land-use change in semiarid regions. Her group is working in the southwestern US, India, and China and they are collaborating with groups in West Africa and Australia. Her research focuses on evaluation of land-use change impacts on groundwater resources; quantification of groundwater recharge using soil physics, environmental tracers, and numerical simulations; assessment of paleoclimate impacts on groundwater recharge in semiarid and arid regions; and evaluation of groundwater contamination related to geogenic and anthropogenic sources. Dr. Scanlon has participated in focus groups on global recharge issues within the International Atomic Energy Agency and has served on NRC committees on radioactive waste disposal and integrated observations in the hydrologic sciences. Dr. Scanlon received a B.S. in Geology at Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland), an M.S. at the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.


Dr. Robert Chen
Center for International Earth Sciences Information Network

ROBERT S. CHEN is director and senior research scientist at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) of Columbia University. He served as CIESIN's deputy director from 1998 to 2006 and as CIESIN's interim director from 2006 to 2007. Dr. Chen is also the manager and co-principal investigator of the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, a data center in the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System. He is currently secretary-general of the Committee on Data for Science and Technology of the International Council for Science and an ex officio member of the Board on Research Data and Information of the NRC. He has contributed to activities of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for more than a decade and currently serves as an ex officio member of the IPCC Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impacts and Climate Analysis and co-manager of the IPCC Data Distribution Center. Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of North Carolina from Chapel Hill and holds Masters degrees in Technology and Policy and in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His undergraduate degree was in Earth and Planetary Sciences from MIT. Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of North Carolina from Chapel Hill and holds Masters degrees in Technology and Policy and in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His undergraduate degree was in Earth and Planetary Sciences from MIT.


Dr. John A. Kelmelis
Pennsylvania State University

JOHN A. KELMELIS is a professor in the School of International Affairs at The Pennsylvania State University and an affiliate professor in the Department of Geography. Previously, Dr. Kelmelis served as Senior Counselor for Earth Science in the Office of the Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State, where he provided policy advice to the White House, Department of State, and other high-level government entities on geology, hydrology, biology, geography, and related sciences and technologies in establishing and executing U.S. foreign policy. He concurrently served as Senior Science Advisor for International Policy in the Office of the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), where he served as principal staff advisor on incorporating science into international policy. Dr. Kelmelis has coordinated the USGS Global Change Research Program, directed the White House Scientific Assessment and Strategy Team, managed the U.S. Antarctic Mapping Program, and conducted research on many geographic scientific topics. From 1997 through 1999, he served as the Chief Scientist for Geographic Research at the USGS, where he provided research and guidance on infrastructure resources in the United States (such as drinking water, abandoned mine lands, urban hazards, and ecosystem restoration in South Florida, the Chesapeake Bay, and San Francisco) as well as international issues and research. From 1999 to 2004 he served as Chief Scientist for Geography, providing scientific leadership for the National Map, Land Remote Sensing, and Geographic Analysis and Monitoring programs. He is active in professional societies including the American Geographical Society and the Association of American Geographers. Dr. Kelmelis has provided scientific and technical leadership to various national and international committees, including the Planning Committee of the Global Dialogue on Emerging Science and Technology 2008 (in Africa), the U.S. African Command Transition Team, and the U.S. Department of State Working Group on Populations at Risk. He has led official U.S. delegations to several countries and has worked on and participated in many United Nations events. His current research addresses linking scientific findings to the policy process. Dr. Kelmelis received a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Central Connecticut State College, an M.S. from the University of Missouri at Rolla, and a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University.