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Office of the Secretary
January 29, 2008

Contacts: Joan Moody 202- 208-6416
John Mahoney 206-220-4621

Secretary Kempthorne Names Members of National Geospatial Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today named 28 individuals to serve on the new National Geospatial Advisory Committee. The Committee will provide advice and recommendations on federal geospatial policy and management issues and provide a forum to convey views representative of partners in the geospatial community.

“Geospatial information and technology help many programs ranging from wildlife conservation to weather prediction to national security,” said Secretary Kempthorne. “This committee will help provide advice and perspectives from a broad range of our partner organizations as we continue to develop new ways to utilize geospatial information for the benefit of the public.”

Geospatial data and products, including maps, simulations, and databases, are invaluable tools in the effective management of utility infrastructures, transportation, energy, emergency management and response, natural resource management, climate analysis, disaster recovery, homeland defense, law enforcement, protection planning and other civilian or military strategic issues.

Members of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee named today represent the varied interests associated with geospatial programs and technology.


Members representing Private Sector, Nonprofits, and Academia:

Sean Ahearn, Hunter College, City University of New York;
Allen Carroll, National Geographic Society;
David Cowen, University of South Carolina;
Jack Dangermond, Environmental Systems Research Institute;
Kass Green, The Alta Vista Company;
David Maune, Dewberry;
Anne Hale Miglarese, Fugro EarthData, Inc.;
Charles Mondello, Pictometry International;
Kim Nelson, Microsoft Corporation;
Matthew O’Connell, GeoEye;
John Palatiello; Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors;
G. Michael Ritchie, Photo Science;
David Schell, Open Geospatial Consortium; and
Christopher Tucker, IONIC Enterprise.

Members Representing Governmental Agencies:
Rizwan Ahmed, State of Louisiana;
Timothy M. Bennett, NativeView;
Michael Byrne, State of California;
Donald Dittmar, Waukesha County, WI;
Dennis Goreham, State of Utah;
Randall L. Johnson, Metropolitan Council, St. Paul, MN;
Randy Johnson, Hennepin County, MN;
Jerry Johnston, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
Barney Krucoff, District of Columbia;
Timothy Loewenstein, Buffalo County, NE;
Zsolt Nagy, State of North Carolina;
Jay Parrish; State of Pennsylvania;
Gene Schiller, Southwest Florida Water Management District; and
Steven Wallach, U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

The members of the new committee will report to the chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee, which is the Federal interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in Federal geospatial programs. It is chaired by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary’s designee.

The National Geospatial Advisory Committee, formed under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, will function solely as an advisory body, providing recommendations on effective management of Federal geospatial programs. In particular, it will provide advice on the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), which promotes sharing of geospatial data throughout all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors and the academic community.

The Committee is expected to meet three to four times per year. The public will be invited to comment and make suggestions at all committee meetings, which will be announced by publication in the Federal Register at least 15 days prior to the meeting date. The U.S. Geological Survey, a bureau of the Department of the Interior, will provide support services for the committee.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act, also known as FACA, was enacted by Congress in 1972 to ensure that advice rendered to the executive branch by advisory committees, task forces, boards, and commissions formed by Congress and the President, be both objective and accessible to the public. The Act formalized a process for establishing, operating, overseeing, and terminating these advisory bodies.

Geospatial information refers to information integrated from multiple forms of data about precise locations on the Earth’s surface. The sources of data include photographic, infrared and multi-spectral images; geographic, hydrographic, and geomagnetic data; environmental, political, and cultural information – that use common interoperable standards. It may be presented in the form of printed maps, charts, and publications; in digital simulations and modeling databases; in photographs; or in digitized maps and charts.

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