USGIF Announces 2013 Award Recipients

Honored with achievement in GEOINT

Herndon, Virginia (Oct. 31, 2013)—The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF)has announced its six winners of the 2013 USGIF AwardsProgram. This year’s recipients includethe Dover Area High School’s Geospatial Technology Program (Academic Achievement); Richard M. Medina, George Mason University (Academic Research); Melissa Martz, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (Administrative/Support); Robert L. Arbetter, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (Government Achievement); Pixia Corp. (Industry);and the TacSat-3 Exploitation Team (Military Achievement). The winners will be recognized and receive their awards at the GEOINT Symposium inspring 2014.

We received a record number of nominations for the 2013 USGIF Awards Program and the quality of the submissions was extraordinary,” said Kevin Jackson, USGIF’s Awards Subcommittee Chair. “From the curious high school student’s first glimpse into the tradecraft to our trail-blazing veterans, the contributions were significant and meaningful. In every single nomination package there is a story of commitment, passion and unwavering dedication to mission—all intended to make this world a better place.”

The USGIF Awards Program recognizes exceptional work and bright minds from all areas of the GEOINT Community. Award winners are nominated by their colleagues and selected by the USGIF Awards Subcommittee. The 2013 award winners have demonstrated great achievements in advancing the GEOINT tradecraft.

And the winners are:

Military Achievement Award: TACSAT-3 Exploitation Team

The U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command GEOINT Division’s TacSat-3 Exploitation Team developed a rapid exploitation process for the Advanced Responsive Tactically Effective Military Imaging Spectrometer (ARTEMIS) hyperspectral sensor on the TacSat-3 satellite. This project was a significant achievement because the team created a process that allowed a hyperspectral dataset to be analyzed within a first phase timeline. It was also the first time a space-borne hyperspectral sensor was made available for operational use and that rapid exploitations were accomplished on data from such a platform.

Government Achievement Award: Robert L. Arbetter, NGA

Robert L. “Bob” Arbetter is a senior activity-based intelligence (ABI) coordinator at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Nominated by a colleague, Arbetter is recognized for advancing the ABI tradecraft and putting NGA on the road to staying relevant with regard to geo-referenced, multi-INT data. While at USDI, Arbetter developed a three-part series of strategic documents defining ABI methodology. ABI tools are now more widely used within NGA, and the agency’s adoption of the methodology has reinvigorated its role within the Intelligence Community as a forward thinking, leading edge analytical organization, according to the nominator.

Industry Achievement Award: Pixia Corp.

Pixia Corp. has demonstrated continued innovation and a strong presence in the Intelligence Community. The company developed what has now become the widely accepted international best practice specification for Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI), which provides unprecedented universal data access and dissemination. In 2012, Pixia invented, developed, and donated its WAMI specification to the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), which adopted the specification in January 2013 as the OGC WAMI best practice. This effort paves the way for a future user environment that leverages standard open architectures across all geospatial data types.

Academic Research Award: Richard M. Medina, George Mason University

Richard M. Medina is an assistant professor in the department of geography and geoinformation science at George Mason University. Medina’s work focuses on spatial and social network analysis, human geography, and GIS—specifically geographic portrayal of terrorist social networks. His most significant scientific achievement to date has been the integration of geographic activities and social connectedness into one hybrid space analysis. Medina has several recent publications on applying authentic human geography to counter terrorists, and his overall body of work provides a framework for doing so, said the nominator. 

Academic Achievement Award: Dover Area High School, Geospatial Technology Program

The Dover Area High School Geospatial Technology Program is dedicated to educating students about geospatial technology. The school has partnered with Washington College to develop a base curriculum that can be taught from ninth throughtwelfth grade. It has also partnered with Harrisburg University, allowing students to receive three college credits for completing the first two courses of the program. Many students who have completed Dover’s Geospatial Technology Program didn’t know what geospatial technology is or how it is used when they first began. Yet upon completing the program, many participants have gone on to study geospatial technology in college, military, and emergency management programs.

Outstanding Administrative/Support Award: Melissa Martz, NGA

Melissa Martz is the executive officer for the Department of State (DoS) NGA Support Team (NST). She is said to be a critical enabler for the implementation of the NGA vision, and has significantly enhanced the role of GEOINT in support of the DoS mission. Martz single-handedly transformed the NST web presence across three security domains, providingDoS personnel, analysts, and regional security officers with first-ever, self-serve access to GEOINT products. Her efforts enabled the DoS NST to overcome a lack of awareness about the power of GEOINT to contribute to a vast array of State Department missions.

For more information on the USGIF Awards Program, please visit


USGIF is a non-profit educational foundation dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and developing a stronger GEOINT Community with government, industry, academia, professional organizations and individuals whose mission is the development and application of geospatial intelligence to address national security challenges. USGIF’s mission is to build the community, advance the tradecraft and accelerate innovation. For more information, please visit and follow USGIF on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter


Kristin Quinn
Communications Manager
United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation
703-793-0109, ext. 115
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