Established in 1970, the Environmental Remote Sensing Center (ERSC) is recognized as having been one of the first remote sensing facilities in the United States. Throughout its history it was highly regarded internationally for the development and application of cutting-edge remote sensing and geospatial technologies to the improved understanding of environmental systems.
Between 2002 and 2006 the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (NI) established new priorities. Under the leadership of Director Erhard Joeres and subsequently Frances Westley, NI withdrew support for ERSC. In 2006 the equipment, office space, externally funded projects, and three remaining scientists transferred to the Space Science & Engineering Center (SSEC). The academic programs that were associated with ERSC (PhD, MS, and Professional MS in Environmental Monitoring) were suspended by the Nelson Institute when it chose not to replace retiring faculty and staff. Dr. Steve Ventura is the nominal director of ERSC and is leading an effort to reorganize the academic programs under a new structure. Please direct questions to Dr. Ventura at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The legacy of ERSC is represented by the 100s of graduates around the world trained and supported by Drs. Tom Lillesand, Frank Scarpace, Al Vonderohe, Ralph Kiefer, Paul Wolfe, Steve Ventura, Jon Chipman, Tim Olsen, Peter Weiler, Sam Batzli, Mr. Larry Seidl, Ms. Marcia Verhage, and others.
In 2007 Jon Chipman joined the faculty at Dartmouth College. In 2008, Tim Olsen moved on to other pursuits outside the University. Tom Lillesand and Frank Scarpace maintain emeritus offices on the 12th floor, and they may be reached by e-mail. Some of the land remote sensing activities of ERSC live on in the continuing program "WisconsinView" and other geospatial activities in SSEC directed by Sam Batzli.
Updated October 2008