Remote sensing conference coming to U of L

Remote Sensing researchers who look at the earth from afar – sometimes outer space – are getting hands-on, ground level experiences from June 22-25 at the University of Lethbridge.

The U of L is the site for the 30th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing. Conference Chair, Canadian Remote Sensing Society (CRSS) President and U of L Geography Professor Dr. Derek Peddle says more than 200 researchers, industry representatives and students are attending from Canada, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, including a delegation from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Canadian Space Agency, national award recipients and editors of the leading international remote sensing journals and publications.

"Remote sensing has many applications for agriculture, forestry, energy and urban planning. Examples include tracking forest fires, oil and gas industry mapping, assessing crop health, mountain pine beetle damage and other environmental challenges, such as floods and natural disasters," Peddle says. "It's important for everyone to meet with other scientists and applications specialists about this work."

Keynote speakers include high-ranking officials from the Alberta and Federal governments, the CSA and NASA, such as Dr. Diane Wickland from NASA Headquarters in Washington DC.

"We're doing new things – making a Conference with a Difference. They'll be accessible to all delegates, for informal interaction – this type of group and format has never been done before at any international symposia," says Peddle.

The conference is a team effort, and Peddle says the key players have put in countless months to make sure everything goes off as planned.

"For me, it started in May 2006. Heather Mirau and our Conference Services staff on campus have been outstanding, and my colleagues in geography, Dr. Craig Coburn and CRSS Executive member Dr. Anne Smith, a researcher at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, have really stepped up to make sure the program and other details are looked after. As well, local industry partners Ryan Johnson and staff at Iunctus Geomatics Corporation plus the Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre are highly involved, and are showcasing the technology we have in Lethbridge which makes remote sensing a great business success story for the region."