The Department of Geographical Sciences is proud to announce that postdoctoral associate Abdul Qadir has been honored with the prestigious 2023 Robert N. Colwell Memorial Fellowship award from the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

The Robert N. Colwell Memorial Fellowship comes in acknowledgment of Qadir's exceptional work in developing and demonstrating the practical use of remote sensing for agricultural area estimation in Ukraine using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).

During his Ph.D program completed in Fall 2023, Qadir has developed an innovative radar-based model to identify crops in regions where conducting field surveys is a hurdle. The model contributed to reducing the field surveying cost by integrating satellite images with a statistical sampling-based approach and helped food security initiatives of the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture and other international organizations operating in Ukraine.

Qadir reflected on the model's robustness, stating, “I also demonstrated the applicability of the model during the Russian aggression against Ukraine."

This fellowship serves as a recognition of Qadir’s quality of work and his commitment to utilizing geospatial technology to develop new solutions for global food security.

The award includes a certificate of excellence, a cash prize of $8,000 and a one-year membership with ASPRS. The formal presentation of the award is scheduled to take place during Geo Week 2024, on Feb. 13 in Denver.

Qadir shared he intends to actively contribute to the realization of Dr. Robert Colwell's vision, focusing on demonstrating the practical application of remote sensing technology for societal benefit. “I aim to utilize this award to spearhead the development of new products catering to the remote sensing community and decision-makers. Additionally, I aspire to engage in further collaborations with like-minded researchers," he said.

Currently, Qadir is working for NASA Harvest to extend the developed model to other crops in Ukraine, as well as other regions worldwide, including Russia and the United States. “I look forward to addressing other global challenges through the use of radar technology and the upcoming NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) mission," Qadir said.

GEOG congratulates Qadir on this remarkable achievement and commends his dedication to advancing the field of geospatial technology for the greater good of society.

Image courtesy of Abdul Qadir

Abdul Qadir at AGU23