Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail, Ph.D.
Address:USGS Southwest Geographic Science Team2255, N. Gemini Dr.
link to complete cv (pdf file)
updated August 2011
Research Geographer, U. S. Geological Survey
Coordinator, Committee for Earth Observation Systems (CEOS) Agriculture Societal Beneficial Area (SBA)
USGS Science Advisor, for Land Surface Imaging Virtual Constellation Team
Co-Lead, IEEE Water for the World
Adjunct Professor, Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science (SWES), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (UoA)
Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail, is a Research Geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). He represents USGS as co-coordinator, Committee for Earth Observation Systems (CEOS) Agriculture Societal Beneficial Area (SBA) and as USGS Science Advisor to the Land Surface Imaging Virtual Constellation Team. Prasad also co- Leads, IEEE Water for the World Project. Earlier to this, Prasad worked as a principal researcher, one of the 3 group heads of the global research division, and as Head of the Remote Sensing Unit at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), which has global mandate for water, for nearly 6 years. At IWMI, he was the project leader for the Global Irrigated Area Mapping (GIAM; http://www.iwmigiam.org) using multi-resolution remote sensing. Prior to joining IWMI, for 6 years, he was Associate Research Scientist (a research faculty position) at the Yale Center for Earth Observation (YCEO) at the Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. In this position, Prasad worked in NASA funded research in Africa and Asia. He was one of the 2 PIs for the NASA funded project called: “Characterization of Eco-regions in Africa (CERA). He worked on hyperspectral remote sensing and carbon stock estimations from remote sensing. Earlier to this, for nearly 5 years, he led the remote sensing programs at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) working across West and Central African Countries based in Ibadan, Nigeria, and the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) working in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan Countries based in Katmandu, Nepal. In his early career, Prasad worked as a Scientist with the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Department of Space, and Government of India. He began his professional career as a lecturer in hydrology, water resources, hydraulics, hydraulics laboratory, and open channel flow in the colleges affiliated to Bangalore and Mysore University in India. Prasad obtained his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, USA in March 1992.
The USGS and NASA selected Prasad to be on the Landsat Science Team for a period of 5-years starting 2006 (http://ldcm.usgs.gov/intro.php). In June 2007, Prasad’s team was recognized by the Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI) for “special achievement in GIS” (SAG award) for their Tsunami related work and for their innovative spatial data portals (http://www.iwmidsp.org) and science applications (http://www.iwmigiam.org). He is on the editorial board of the Remote Sensing of Environment. Prasad was on the scientific advisory board of Rapideye, a private German Earth Resources Satellite Company which launched a constellation of 5 satellites in 2009. He played a pivotal role in recommending the design of wavebands in the rapideye sensors and recommended the red-edge band.
Prasad’s paper on Spectral matching Technique won the 2008 John I. Davidson ASPRS President’s Award for Practical papers (second place). Earlier, he won the 1994 Autometric Award of the American Society of Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) for superior publication in Remote Sensing. Prasad’s publications were selected as one of the best 5 papers consecutively for 3 years (2004-2006) in the International Water Management Institute’s (IWMI’s) annual research meeting (ARM). His team was also awarded the “best team” at IWMI during ARM 2006. Prasad has 60+ publications, mostly in major peer-reviewed international remote sensing journals. His recent book, as the main editor (published in June 2009), is entitled “Remote Sensing of Global Croplands for Food Security” (Taylor and Francis). His work on hyperspectral remote sensing of agriculture and vegetation is globally recognized as pioneering work and his publications related to these are widely referenced. Prasad has worked in over 25 Countries in Africa, Asia, Middle-East, and North America.