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June 17, 2015
ASPRS Elects Rebecca Morton as 2015 Vice President

BETHESDA, Md., June 16, 2015—The results of the 2015 election have been tallied by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Tellers Committee and finalized that, Rebecca Morton, GeoWing Mapping, Inc., won the election to become ASPRS Vice President for 2015. With the installation of officers at the IGTF 2015 – ASPRS Annual Conference in May, E. Lynn Usery moves into the position of President; Charles Toth becomes President-Elect, and Stewart Walker becomes Past President. 

 Rebecca Morton is President and CEO of GeoWing Mapping, Inc. (GeoWing), based in San Francisco, California. She founded the company in January of 2015 with the goal of offering both traditional photogrammetric mapping services as well as services related to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Her interest in UAS photogrammetry began several years before she started her company. She was impressed by the accessibility of the new technology and for the first time, she could consider integrating and flying her own mapping cameras!

Morton is certified by ASPRS as a Mapping Scientist GIS/LIS and as a Photogrammetrist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has taken post-graduate studies in computer science. Prior to the start of GeoWing, Morton practiced photogrammetry with Horizons, Inc., Fugro EarthData, Inc., and Towill, Inc. Over these years she has served in a variety of positions beginning in the role of Programmer/Analyst responsible for systems integration and the translation of mapping data, followed by positions as Orthophoto Systems Manager, Director of Business Development, Regional Manager, and Senior Program Director. In addition, Morton established and ran a small GIS company, RAMCad, for 8+ years to provide historical georeferenced imagery to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and GIS application development services for numerous clients. 

Morton has been an active member of ASPRS since 1995, providing service to the Society at the Regional and National levels. She served as a regional officer from 2006-2013 and began her national leadership by serving first as Assistant Director and then Director of the Photogrammetric Applications Division from 2006-2010, where she worked with others in the development of standards and guidelines for lidar data and mapping accuracy. Morton has served as Assistant Director and Director of the Professional Practice Division, as Chair of the Division Directors Committee, worked on the Corporate Sponsors Committee for the ASPRS 2012 Annual Conference, the ASPRS Restructuring Task Force, Licensure Exam Writing Committee, Evaluation for Certification Committee, the Kenneth J. Osborn Memorial Scholarship Committee and in 2013 she served on the Selection Committee for the ASPRS Executive Director. Also in 2014, Morton served as the Conference Chair for the UAS MAPPING 2014 RENO symposium and technical demonstration; which she will continue for the 2015 symposium. Also in 2014, she was appointed by the ASPRS Board of Directors to head a UAS Task Force whose work resulted in the formation of the Unmanned Autonomous Systems Division. 

She has received two ASPRS Presidential Citations (2009 and 2011) and one ASPRS Outstanding Service Award (2013). Morton is active in other geospatial organizations and served from 2008-2011 on the Board of Directors for a regional URISA chapter.

As Vice President of ASPRS, Morton says, first of all, thank you for your vote of confidence in electing me to the position of Vice President. I look forward to the next four years of service with a great team of ASPRS officers.

People ask me, “Why do you care so much about ASPRS”?  My answer in a nutshell is professional support. I learned photogrammetry in the “cubicle” rather than the “hallowed halls”. In my opinion, on-the-job learning has its advantages but it does lack the comprehensive depth of foundational learning and scientific exploration provided by a university program in geospatial science. I credit ASPRS conferences, interactions with peers, articles from PE&RS, and ASPRS webinars for lessening my knowledge gap and providing professional support. I believe “It Takes a Community” (Village? sorry, Hillary). As a practicing professional, I encounter continual requests for remote sensing solutions to challenges that extend significantly beyond my own qualifications. Without the ASPRS community, I would not be able to fully support my clients. 

“Change is in the Air.”  We adopted this tagline for the ASPRS UAS Mapping Symposium, but it applies to our ASPRS organization in a broad sense as well. The pace of change in the geospatial industry is dizzying!  New technologies and expanded areas of application present an exciting field for exploration and growth, but coupled with that opportunity are the challenges to existing business models. ASPRS members are drawn from government, academia, and the private sector; this “three-legged stool” has always been our strength, and will continue to serve us well as we navigate change. In addition, ASPRS is strengthened by its focus on students and young professionals who bring fresh perspectives and vitality to our organization. We are fortunate to have great leaders within our ranks, people with the heart and drive to steer the course. Our Executive Director and the Board of Directors has adopted a “crawl, walk, run” plan for ASPRS growth and viability. It is a good plan, a living plan, a plan in which I will personally participate, and one that I am confident will be successful.

You may ask, “What do you want to accomplish during your four years within the officer track of ASPRS?”  I want to be an agent of change to make us stronger and even more relevant to the geospatial community; I want to foster programs that support students and young professionals; and I want to help build an environment where knowledge is gained and shared, and where geospatial “geeks” have a community. That’s all!

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