Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Sigma Xi scientific research honor society and the John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics will host NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Senior Biospheric Scientist Dr. Compton James Tucker for a program on the satellite record of Earth’s climate: The late 1970s to now, on February 6, 2020.
The program, free and open to the community, will take place at 2:00 p.m. in IUP’s Eberly College of Business and Information Technology Eberly Auditorium. The program is co-sponsored by the Kopchick College’s Science Inspires Series, the IUP Department of Biology, and the IUP Department of Geography and Regional Planning.
Since starting at NASA in 1977, Tucker used satellite data for famine early warning, desert locust control, terrestrial primary production, deforestation and land cover mapping, predicting ecologically coupled disease outbreaks, mapping glacier extent, and mapping climatic effects on global vegetation.
His presentation will illustrate the use of satellite technologies in understanding climate change.
Tucker received his bachelor’s degree in biological science in 1969, his master of science degree in 1973, and his PhD in 1975, all from Colorado State University.
As a postdoctoral fellow at NASA/Goddard from 1975 to 1976, Tucker consolidated two near-infrared bands and added a second short-wave infrared band to the thematic mapper instruments on Landsat-4 and -5. He was also responsible for making the first and second bands on the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer imager discrete, enabling NDVI measurements from polar-orbiting meteorological satellites starting in July 1981 with NOAA-7.
From 2002 to 2012, Tucker has been active in NASA’s Space Archaeology Program, leading a NASA team assisting archaeologists mapping ancient sites with ground penetrating radar and magnetometers in Turkey at the sites of Troy, in the Granicus River Valley, and at Gordion, the home of King Midas.
He has authored or coauthored more than 190 journal articles that have been cited 60,000 times by Google Scholar. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and a consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He has received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, the US Geological Survey’s Pecora Award, the National Air and Space Museum Trophy, the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Henry Shaw Medal, the Royal Danish Geographical Society’s Galathea Medal, the Swedish Society of Anthropology and Geography’s Vega Medal, the Mongolian Friendship Medal, and a Presidential Award for Meritorious Senior Professional Service.
Biology faculty member Ellen Yerger is president of the IUP chapter of Sigma Xi, a national honor society designed to reward excellence in scientific research and encourage a sense of cooperation among scientists in all fields. Founded in 1886, the organization has more than 60,000 members in more than 500 chapters all over the world.
IUP’s chapter hosts distinguished scientists and researchers for lectures and programs throughout the year and sponsors awards for student research at the annual IUP Scholars Forum.