John Edward ‘Jack’ Estes
July 21, 1939 – March 9, 2001
Picture Slides; 1) Unitoids, Scepan, Starr, Jerry Garcia, and others, 2) People in Government, NASA, USGS, etc., 3) People in Academia, Clarke, Goodchild, Tolber, Hajik, Smith and Smith, etc., 4) Family, and, last by not least, 5) Claire Estes, the love of his life
John Edward “Jack” Estes died of cancer in Santa Barbara, California, on 9 March 2001. Like the geographers of old, Jack, a pioneer in the fundamental and applied aspects of remote sensing and geographic information systems, helped us see the world in new and more complete ways.Born in San Diego, California, on 21 July 1939, Jack earned his degrees in geography: his BA in 1962 and his MA in 1963 from San Diego State University and his PhD in 1969 from UCLA. His doctoral thesis, completed under Norman Thrower, was on multi-image systems for geographic research.
Jack began his faculty career as an assistant professor of geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1969 and, with David Simonett, formed the nucleus of what has become one of the nation’s outstanding geography departments. Jack founded the department’s geography remote sensing unit in 1972 and served as the unit’s director throughout his tenure.
He was a pioneer in promoting innovative applications of space-based Earth observations and geospatial information by cartographers and geographers. Jack had extensive experience in the federal government, mainly with NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS). The 1969 oil spill in the Santa Barbara Channel led him to work on the detection of marine oil pollution, and from the early 1970s to the time of his death, he conducted studies for NASA on land-use change, crop identification, water-demand modeling, and soil moisture conditions. Initially, in the 1970s, his primary regional focus was the southern San Joaquin Valley, but the work was of such wide applicability that, during the 1980s, he and his students extended it worldwide. He also applied remote sensing technology to fire fuels monitoring and modeling, hazard and pollution detection, and resources management.
Jack had an exceptional ability to lead and guide graduate students, rather than direct them, in pursuit of their education and research objectives. More than 50 of his students received degrees and are now employed in prominent positions in various professional fields. His strength in teaching both undergraduate and graduate students lay in his thorough knowledge of his subject, his ability to organize and present complex materials, his sense of humor, and his sincere interest in his students’ well-being. He had a splendid sense of loyalty to his colleagues and students, and he made many lifelong friends.
Jack’s significant, generous contributions to the remote sensing and geographic information systems communities went far beyond academia. In the 1990s, he took extended assignments of several years’ duration with both the USGS and NASA to assist in formulating national and international programs and policies for space-based Earth observations. Before his death, he had been the chair of the international steering committee for global mapping since its establishment by the United Nations in 1996, and he served on NASA’s international space station science utilization advisory committee. On the NASA committee, he successfully worked to secure the Window Observation Research Facility, an optical-quality window in the space station that allows Earth remote sensing and that was successfully tested on a space shuttle mission in 2000.
As an outgrowth of his research, Jack published widely in a variety of venues. His work covered such fields as monitoring marine oil spills, analyzing agricultural crop identification and water demand, preserving biological diversity, and integrating remote sensing information with expert systems. He was the editor of the interpretations and applications volume of the Manual of Remote Sensing (2nd edition, American Society of Photogrammetry, 1983). With Daniel Botkin, he edited Changing the Global Environment: Perspectives on Human Involvement (Academic Press, 1989), and with Jeffrey Star he wrote Geographic Information Systems: An Introduction (Prentice Hall, 1990).
Jack received the 1999 William T. Pecora Award, presented jointly by NASA and the US Department of the Interior to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals or groups toward an understanding of Earth by means of remote sensing. In 2001, NASA awarded Jack the Distinguished Public Service Medal in recognition of his pioneering achievements.
For more than three decades, Jack helped those who study and manage the Earth to realize the tremendous potential of emerging geospatial and information system technologies, and he promoted this goal through his teaching and practice in modern geography. Jack will be missed greatly, though his legacy lives on through his numerous valuable national and international scientific contributions and his students.
Adapted from American Institute of Physics,
The geography community lost an important and respected member in March 2001. John (Jack) E. Estes, a professor of geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), died March 9, 2001, in Santa Barbara, after a month-long battle with cancer. Estes was 61 years old. Estes is survived by his wife Claire and sons John and Tom. He began teaching at UCSB in 1969, where he served as a professor of geography as well as director of the university’s Geography Remote Sensing Research Unit. His primary research interests involved the fundamental and applied aspects of remote sensing and GIS technology to analyze Earth resources. His teaching included courses and seminars in remote sensing, GIS and research techniques as well as regional courses on the Soviet Union, the world’s arid lands, the United States and California.
“His loss is deeply felt by his students, colleagues, family and friends,” said Keith Clarke, UCSB Department of Geography chair. “Professor Estes had been a member of the UCSB faculty for more than 30 years. He was a great teacher, mentor, scientist and friend.”
Estes also maintained many consulting contacts in federal government and private industry. He conducted extensive studies for NASA on land-use change, crop identification, water-demand modeling and advanced soil-moisture conditions. Estes worked with a variety of other federal agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and Department of Defense.
Estes produced more than 250 publications on topics such as the detection, identification and monitoring of marine oil spills; the analysis of agricultural crop identification; the preservation of biological diversity; and the integration of remote sensing, information systems and expert systems.
“Jack’s death leaves a vast hole in the hearts of his family and friends,” said Clarke. “But his legacy—not only of professional accomplishments, but of unflagging loyalty and support to his friends and students, and powerful love to those closest–will roll onward, fanning outward, through the many people with whom he connected.”
About 130 people from across the United States came together to celebrate Estes’ life and career at a memorial service held April 17, 2001, in Santa Barbara. The service ended with a slide show accompanied by music created by Estes’ current graduate students, who also designed a memorial World Wide Web site at http://web.archive.org/web/20010708152734/http://grouchy.geog.ucsb.edu:80/jack/
To honor Estes’ contributions to UCSB, colleagues from UCSB’s geography department
established The Jack Estes Memorial Fund for Graduate Students at UCSB. Contributions can be made to “The UCSB foundation” and sent to The Jack Estes Memorial Fund, Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106. For more information about the fund, contact Kristi Newton Day [805-893-5650, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ].
adapted from: http://web.archive.org/web/20010721153412/http://www.geoplace.com:80/gw/2001/0601/0601pl.asp
Industry News : Dr. John Estes Recognized for Career Achievements in Remote Sensing Dr. John E. Estes, professor of geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will be awarded the 1999 William T. Pecora Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions as a researcher and as an educator in the use of remote sensing and geographic information systems to study the earth.
Estes will receive the award on December 7, 1999, in Denver, Colo., at the opening session of the joint meeting of the 14th William T. Pecora Memorial Remote Sensing Symposium and the Land Satellite Information in the Next Decade III Conference.
Established in 1974 to honor the memory of Dr. William T. Pecora, a former U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) director and Department of the Interior (DOI) undersecretary, the award is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals or groups toward the understanding of the earth by means of remote sensing. It is sponsored jointly by the DOI and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This year’s award will be presented jointly by Dr. Thomas J. Casadevall, Deputy Director, USGS, representing the DOI, and Dr. Nancy Maynard, Director, Applications and Outreach Division, NASA Office of Earth Science. Estes is an internationally recognized leader in developing and applying remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) tools for basic and applied earth sciences. His research has helped to shift the focus of conservation biology from single species to ecosystems, and from site-specific studies using traditional methods to a landscape approach using the modern capabilities of remote sensing and GIS. He has made significant contributions to mapping and validating land use and land cover, analyzing biodiversity, modeling water demand, and detecting marine oil pollution.
Estes joined the faculty of the geography department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1969 and served as the department chairman. He is the director of the department’s remote sensing research unit. He has an exceptional ability to lead and guide graduate students, rather than direct them, in pursuit of their education and research objectives. More than 50 of his students have received degrees and are now employed in prominent positions in various professional fields. His strength in teaching both undergraduate and graduate students lies in his thorough knowledge of his subject, his ability to organize and present complex materials, his sense of humor, and his sincere interest in the well-being of his students.
Estes also has made significant contributions to the remote sensing and GIS communities on the national and international levels. As a visiting scientist with the USGS National Mapping Program from 1992 to 1995, he brought a combination of technical expertise and vision for the future. He helped formulate policies affecting the nation’s current and future earth observation programs. He assisted in negotiating memoranda of understanding between the USGS and NASA on matters concerning the launch of the Landsat 7 and Earth Observing System Terra satellite systems. He also provided critical programmatic guidance in establishing
and nurturing the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Resource Information Database facility located at the USGS EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota..
Estes currently is Chair of the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping and serves on NASA’s Space Station Science Utilization Advisory Committee and the Earth System Science and Applications Advisory Committee, as well as the National Academy of Sciences’ Space Applications Board and Mapping Science Committee.
As the nation’s largest water, earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial, scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, contribute to the sound conservation, economic and physical development of the nation’s natural resources, and enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.
Adapted from: http://web.archive.org/web/20010906090317/http://www.surveyplanet.com:80/IndustryNews/articles/20000124estes.asp