USGIF Academic Advisory Board

About the Board

The USGIF Academic Advisory Board exists to advance geospatial education and connect an expanding geospatial talent pool with professional opportunities in the GEOINT community. Support for USGIF accreditation of university geospatial intelligence certificate programs is primary among board responsibilities, including service on evaluation panels and maintenance of accreditation guidelines. Further, the Academic Advisory Board serves a growing academic presence within the GEOINT community, shaping academic forums at fall GEOINT Symposia and spring Tech Days events. Finally, the board guides development of scholarly GEOINT publications, as well as internship and fellowship initiatives that promote workforce development. Geospatial professionals from government, industry, and academia comprise the USGIF Academic Advisory Board.

USGIF’s Director of Academic Programs and the Chair of the Academic Advisory Board serve as primary points of contact. For questions or inquiries about the Board, please contact


Dr. Todd S. Bacastow – Chair
Professor of Practice for Geospatial Intelligence, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Dutton e-Education Institute, Penn State World Campus
Dr. Todd S. Bacastow is a Professor of Practice for Geospatial Intelligence in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Dutton e-Education Institute. Dr. Bacastow is the director of the Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence which is offered as an option within both Penn State’s Master of Geographic Information Systems and the Professional Master of Homeland Security. Before joining the Penn State University, Dr. Bacastow served in the US Army in a variety of combat arms and combat support positions. He was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Computer Science and an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy.

Dr. Budhendra Bhaduri
Corporate Research Fellow, Geographic Information Science & Technology (GIST) Group, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Dr. Budhendra Bhaduri is a Corporate Research Fellow and leads the Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He is a founding member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geospatial Sciences Steering Committee and holds professorial appointments with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research interests and experience include novel implementation of geospatial science and technology in population dynamics, critical infrastructure protection, energy resource assessment, and disaster management. His research has benefited the U.S. federal missions including the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Environmental Protection Agency. He is a principal member of ORNL’s LandScan population modeling programs that aim at developing high resolution population distribution and dynamics models and databases from local to global scales. His contributions in developing activity based population distribution models have provided new insights into time variant population distribution while providing novel approaches for advancing national spatial data infrastructure. He received the 2010 Homeland Security award for emergency preparedness and response from Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation. In 2009, he was appointed to the Mapping Science Committee of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council. He has also served on the Geographic Information Science and Applications and on a Strategic Highway Research Program, Expert Task Group of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies. Dr. Bhaduri is actively involved with academic institutions for scientific collaborations and student engagement for research in geospatial science. He is a recipient of the Department of Energy’s Outstanding Mentor Award for his dedicated service to the department for developing future workforce for the nation.

David DiBiase
Director of Education, Industry Solutions, Esri
David leads the Education Team within Industry Solutions, a unit of Esri’s Marketing Division. The team promotes and supports GIS use and spatial thinking in higher education, primary and secondary education, and museums and libraries worldwide. Prior to joining Esri in 2011, David founded and led the Penn State Online certificate and master’s degree programs in GIS. He was lead editor of the GIS&T Body of Knowledge and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model. From 1998-2003 David helped define the criteria by which “GIS Professional” certification has been awarded to over 5,000 individuals, and is a past-president of the GIS Certification Institute. His interests include geospatial workforce development, learning design, e-learning, and professional ethics. He continues to lead workshops in responsible scholarship and professional practice for Penn State Online.

Col. Steven D. Fleming
Professor of Practice of Spatial Sciences, Spatial Sciences Institute, University of Southern California
COL Fleming previously served as an Academy Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Prior to arriving at West Point, he was an air defense artillery (ADA) officer with command and staff experience in short-range air defense operations at the battalion, brigade and division levels. Academically, COL Fleming specializes in geospatial information sciences with research focused on large-scale mapping of coastal regions, terrestrial image data collection and applications of new geospatial technologies for homeland security and military operations. He has taught Physical Geography, Remote Sensing, Cartography, Photogrammetry, Surveying, Advanced Topics in Geography and Military Geospatial Operations.

Dr. Joseph F. Fontanella
U.S. Army Geospatial Information Officer, and Director, US Army Geospatial Center, US Army Corps of Engineers
Dr. Joseph F. Fontanella, a member of the Senior Executive Service, serves as the Director of the U.S. Army Geospatial Center in Alexandria, Virginia. The Army Geospatial Center is the Army’s knowledge center for geospatial expertise and provides geospatial information reach-back capability to field units. As Director, he is responsible for supporting the operations, intelligence, acquisition, research & development and modeling & simulation communities with geospatial information. The Center focuses on the development, exploitation, production, and distribution of topographic, geodetic, and geospatial information, tools and services for the Army and other Department of Defense and National programs. The Center has forward deployed and reach back elements conducting the collection, dissemination and analysis of Geospatial data supporting units in contact; provides direct acquisition support to multiple Program Executive Officers and Program Managers involved in national and tactical programs; and conducts research into Geospatial data management, information constructs, data generation, enterprise technology, applications and sensors. He also serves as the Army’s Geospatial Information Officer, with responsibility for collecting and validating geospatial requirements, formulating geospatial policy, setting priorities and securing resources supporting the Army Geospatial Enterprise, and synchronizing geospatial solutions at both HQDA and Secretariat levels of Army governance. Dr. Fontanella retired from the Army in 2004 at the rank of Colonel, having spent the majority of his career in combat engineering organizations.

Dr. Daniel W. Goldberg
Director of Texas A&M GeoInnovation Service Center
Dr. Daniel W. Goldberg is jointly appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Texas A&M (TAMU) Department of Geography and the TAMU Department of Computer Science & Engineering where he also directs the TAMU Esri Development Center and the TAMU GeoInnovation Service Center. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Southern California in 2010 under the supervision of Dr. John Wilson. Dr. Goldberg’s research focuses on computational and database aspects of GIS development, including Web-, Mobile-, and Cyber-GIS with a domain focus in HealthGIS. Dr. Goldberg’s teaching responsibilities include introductory classes on GIS and advanced classes on GIS databases and programming for desktop, mobile, and web at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. Goldberg is a recipient of a USGIF Scholarship, an ASEE SMART Scholarship, and was a finalist for the AAG Garrison award for Best Dissertation in Computational Geography. Dr. Goldberg’s work has been funded by the NIH, DoD, and the CDC. Dr. Goldberg presently serves on the Board of UCGIS and is the current Chair of the AAG Geographic Information Science & Systems Specialty Group.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian J. Irmischer, PhD
Director, Center for Environmental and Geographic Sciences, United States Military Academy
LTC Irmischer teaches Geospatial Information Science at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. He is a career Engineer officer in the US Army where he has supervised and managed geospatial engineering at all levels. His operational experience includes supervising geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) operations while deployed to Baqubah, Iraq (2003) and Jalalabad, Afghanistan (2012). LTC Irmischer develops future Army officers through courses in geospatial information science, geovisualization, photogrammetry, and military geospatial operations. His research interests include 3D geospatial data modeling derived from unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), human movement modeling, spatial analytics, and terrain analysis algorithms.

Dr. Shawn Kalis
Senior Research Analyst, Intelligence and Defense Solutions Directorate, Riverside Research
Dr. Shawn A. Kalis currently supports the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community as a Senior Research Analyst for Riverside Research – an independent, not-for-profit organization chartered to advance scientific research in the public interest and in support of the United States government. He has over 30 years of experience in multiple disciplines of operational and strategic intelligence, from the unit to the Agency level, to include a 21-year career with the U.S. Air Force, two years as a contractor with the U.S. Department of State, and 14 years as an Advisory and Assistance Services (A&AS) contractor directly supporting DOD and IC missions. His experience with GEOINT includes directly supporting the Air Force and NGA mission goals by participating as a key member of combined government and A&AS support teams. Dr. Kalis also has extensive experience in the academic arena, including current experience as an adjunct faculty member for the Defense Institute for Security Assistance Management (DISAM) and past experience leading Riverside Research’s Education and Training (E&T) effort, where he was responsible for directing the company’s cadre of E&T professionals committed to providing high-level research and education support to the NGA College, Air Force Institute of Technology, other government entities, public agencies, and academic institutions affiliated with the national-security and intelligence sectors. He has served as a Course Director and instructor at the USAF Special Operations School, and as a Crisis Management Trainer for the U.S. Foreign Service Institute’s National Foreign Affairs Training Center. Dr. Kalis currently serves as an adjunct faculty member teaching intelligence, terrorism, and regional studies-related courses at Community Colleges, Universities, and other government institutions and organizations. He holds a Bachelor’s in Communications from the University of Nebraska, an MA in Middle East studies from the University of Texas, and a PhD in Humanities, focusing on the Philosophy of Technology and Autonomous Unmanned Combat Air Systems, from Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island.

Karen Kemp
University of Southern California
Karen Kemp was the founding Director of the International Masters Program in GIS at the University of Redlands in southern California, having held that position and Professor of Geographic Information Science until December 2005. Dr. Kemp holds geography degrees from the University of Calgary, Alberta (BSc 1976), the University of Victoria, British Columbia (MA 1982) and the University of California Santa Barbara (PhD 1992). In 1988 she joined the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) in Santa Barbara working as Coordinator of Education Programs and co-editor, with Dr. Michael Goodchild, of the internationally recognized NCGIA Core Curriculum in GIS. After completing her PhD at UCSB in 1992, she worked at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria, and with Longman GeoInformation in Cambridge, England on various international GIS education projects. She returned to the NCGIA in 1994 to work as Assistant Director and later Associate Director. In January 1999 she moved to the University of California Berkeley to become Executive Director of the Geographic Information Science Center where she helped build the foundation for an innovative campus-wide GIScience initiative. In September 2000, she was invited to join the faculty at the University of Redlands to create and direct their new MS GIS program. Dr. Kemp was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) and acted as senior editor of the UCGIS Education Priorities. She was also a founding member of the Board of Directors of the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) and a member of the Editorial Team for the UCGIS GI Science and Technology Body of Knowledge. In recognition for these and other contributions, in October 2004 she was named Educator of the Year by the UCGIS.

Dr. Rakesh Malhotra
Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences, North Carolina Central University
Dr. Malhotra is an Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences at North Carolina Central University. Previously, he was teaching geospatial courses (GIS & Remote Sensing) and leading the USGIF Accredited Certificate program in the Department of Government and History at Fayetteville State University. Prior to joining Fayetteville State University, Dr. Malhotra worked at North Carolina Central University and Fugro EarthData. Dr. Malhotra has a diverse educational background with degrees in Mechanical Engineering (B.E.), Forest Resources (M.S.), Computer Science (M.S.) and a Graduate Certificate (Conservation and Sustainable Development). He completed his terminal degree in Geography from the University of Georgia. He is a Certified Mapping Scientist (ASPRS), GIS Professional (GISCI), a Certified Technical Trainer (CompTIA) and an Esri Certified Instructor. He is involved in promoting geospatial education and allied pedagogical issues (certification, accreditation, and workforce development) as related to Historically Black Colleges / Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).

Dr. Colleen McCue
Principal Data Scientist, CACI – National Services
Dr. Colleen McCue, Principal Data Scientist, CACI – National Services, brings over 20 years of experience in advanced analytics and the development of actionable solutions to complex information processing problems in the operational public safety and national security environment. Her areas of expertise include the application of data mining and predictive analytics to the analysis of crime and intelligence data, with particular emphasis on deployment strategies, surveillance detection, threat and vulnerability assessment, geospatial predictive analytics, computational modeling and visualization of human behavior, and the behavioral analysis of violent crime. Her experience in the applied public safety environment and pioneering work in operational security analytics have been used to support a wide array of public safety and national security organizations, and she has been requested by name by local, state, federal, and international clients for training and professional services in predictive analytics, crime analysis, and crime and violence prevention. She has published her research findings in journals and book chapters, and authored a book on the use of advanced analytics in the operational public safety environment entitled, Data Mining and Predictive Analysis: Intelligence Gathering and Crime Analysis, now in its second edition. Dr. McCue earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Doctorate in Psychology from Dartmouth College, and completed a five-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. Her biography was included in “Journeys to Data Mining: Experiences from 15 Renowned Researchers”.

Dr. David Messinger
Director, Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Rochester Institute of Technology
Dr. Messinger received a Bachelors degree in Physics from Clarkson University and a Ph.D. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has worked as an Analyst for XonTech Inc. and on the National Missile Defense Program for Northrop Grumman. Previously, he was an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He is currently an Associate Research Professor in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he is the Director of the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory. His personal research focuses on projects related to remotely sensed spectral image exploitation using physics-based approaches and advanced mathematical techniques with particular emphasis on the areas of large area search and target detection.

Sherry Olson
Currently a Technology Integrator at the MITRE Corporation, Sherry Olson has worked in advancing research in remote sensing and image processing for over 30 years. She is responsible for several research projects and supports several government sponsors on a variety of advanced technology and cross-cutting initiatives. Sherry has led many IR&D efforts at MITRE in remote sensing, non-literal exploitation, and data integration investigations involving multiple data sources such as hyperspectral data, video, lidar, thermal, millimeter wave, thermal, polarimetric data, and geophysical sources. She has published about a dozen internal MITRE reports and nine external publications and proceedings, as well as presenting research at various conferences and TEMs. Sherry holds an M.Sc. degree in Applied Mathematics from Brown University.

Dr. Anthony Stefanidis
Professor and Chair, Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science,
and Director, Center for Geospatial Intelligence, George Mason University

Dr. Anthony Stefanidis is Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science at George Mason University. He is also the Director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence at Mason. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, and his B.S. from National Technical University of Athens. Prior to joining George Mason University, Dr. Stefanidis was with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and the University of Maine. His areas of expertise include the analysis of digital imagery and video, spatiotemporal information modeling and analysis, geosensor networks, and the harvesting of geospatial intelligence from social media feeds. Dr. Stefanidis’ current and past research activities include projects funded by NGA, IARPA, Draper Lab, NSF, NASA, USGS, and the European Union.

E. Lynn Usery
Research Physical Scientist and Director, Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS), U.S. Geological Survey
E. Lynn Usery is a Research Physical Scientist and Director of the Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS) with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). He has worked as a cartographer and geographer for the USGS for 25 years and was a professor of geography for 17 years with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Georgia. Dr. Usery established a program of cartographic and geographic information science (GIScience) research that evolved into CEGIS. He was President of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) and the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS). He was editor of the journal Cartography and Geographic Information Science. Dr. Usery is currently the Chair of the U.S. National Committee to the International Cartographic Association and also chairs the Local Organizing Committee and is the Conference Director for the 2017 International Cartographic Conference which will be held in Washington, D.C. He is a Fellow of CaGIS, the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, and UCGIS. He received the CaGIS Distinguished Career Award in 2012. He is President –Elect of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. Dr. Usery has published more than 100 articles in cartography and GIScience. He received his BS in geography from the University of Alabama and MA and Ph.D. degrees in geography from the University of Georgia. His current interests and research are in theoretical GIScience including geospatial ontologies and semantics, map projections, multidimensional data models for lidar, and high performance computing for spatial data.

May Yuan
Ashbel Smith Professor of Geospatial Information Science in the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas
May Yuan (BS 1987 National Taiwan University; MS 1992 and Ph.D. 1994 State University of New York at Buffalo) is an Ashbel Smith Professor of Geospatial Information Science in the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. She studies temporal GIS and its applications to geographic dynamics. Over the last 20 years, her research has developed new approaches to represent geographic processes and events in GIS databases to support space-time query, analytics and knowledge discovery. Her publications (75+) span fundamental and applied GIScience by developing new GIS data models and analysis methods to address environmental, ecological, and social problems, such as wildfire risk, tornado hazard, air pollution, species distribution, trophic dynamics, infectious disease, hazardous waste transport, historical narratives, and offender monitoring. Her recent work expands to cyber GIS and spatial big data. Her research has been supported by NSF, NASA, DoD, DHS, DoJ, DoE, NOAA, USGS, state government agencies, and the industry. She currently serves as the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Geographical Information Science, member of the editorial boards of Annals of American Association of Geographers and Cartography and Geographical Information Science, and member of the academic committee of United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. She also served on Mapping Science Committee at the National Research Council (2009-2014) and President of University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (2011-2012).