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James L. Smith "Young Scientist Award" Winner

Photos of Jim and Xi


The International Spatial Accuracy Research Association (ISARA) recently announced that it presented the 2018 James L. Smith Young Scientist Award to Dr. Zhao Xi, from the Chinese Antarctic Center of Surveying and Mapping, Wuhan University, China. Dr. Xi is a specialist on uncertainty and accuracy in spatial information. Jim is The Nature Conservancy's LANDFIRE Program Lead.

What: In 1992, motivated by the dismal state of data quality in natural resources databases, Jim, then of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, envisioned a conference to address spatial accuracy that would have special reference to natural resources and GIS. This thinking turned into action and the convening of the first symposium in 1992, which he chaired.

In 2013, for his initial vision and dedicated work to launch the International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences series, ISARA established a medal that acknowledges Jim’s contribution to initiating an open, considerate, and honest evaluation of the topic. The award, presented every four years, recognizes an early career scientist working in the areas of measuring, modeling, and managing uncertainty or error in spatial natural resources or environmental data.