Dr. Stanley Morain
Dr. Stanley Morain, former director, UNM Earth Data Analysis Center (EDAC).

Dr. Stanley Morain, former University of New Mexico Earth Data Analysis Center (EDAC) director, was one of two selected as Honorary Members of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). The nominations were recently approved by the ASPRS Board of Directors. This is the highest award bestowed by ASPRS. There can be only 25 living Honorary Members of the Society at any given time. 

Initiated in 1937, this life-time award is given for professional excellence in recognition of individuals who have rendered distinguished service to ASPRS and/or who have attained distinction in advancing the science and use of the geospatial information sciences. Morain and John Jensen, from the University of South Carolina who was also selected, will receive their awards at the ASPRS 2014 Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

"I'm totally overwhelmed by the Honorary Member Award," Morain said. "It was a bolt out of the blue and I actually choked-up when I was called. I thought my day had long since passed on this recognition; now, I’m invigorated to press on for the Society. There is no higher award, so I will double-down in my remaining years to deserve it.”

For more than 38 years, Morain carved a distinguished career in remote sensing recognized locally, nationally and internationally. His contributions focused on educating his students and developing professional ties to research communities in many developing countries on the applications of remote sensing in several societal benefit areas, but primarily in agriculture, transportation and public health. In pursuit of his vision, he worked with many research teams and governments in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

A large part of Dr. Morain’s career has been as a professor in the Department of Geography at UNM. During his tenure, he served twice as Chair of the Department (1983–1992) and (2003–2006). His courses focused on theory and applications of remote sensing, and biogeography. As an educator, he influenced the careers of more than 50 students who have been gainfully employed in geospatial technologies. He authored, edited, and/or contributed to numerous publications on applications of remote sensing in agriculture, natural resources, and vegetation mapping.

Morain received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Kansas (KU) in 1970 and was an Assistant Professor there until 1974. From 1974 to 2008, he progressed from Associate to Full Professor of Geography at the University of New Mexico (UNM) while also serving as Director of UNM’s Earth Data Analysis Center (EDAC) from 1976 until his retirement in 2008.