The International Spatial Accuracy Research Association named its new Early Career Scientist Award after James L. Smith (’81 Ph.D. in forestry). Beginning in 2014, the award will be presented every four years to a young international researcher with significant potential to contribute to the spatial accuracy research community. “My hope is that the recipients of this award exemplify the true spirit of research,” Smith said.

Smith, who served as a faculty member in the college’s forestry department from 1981 to 1994 and also as the head of Forest Information Systems Development for Champion International Paper Company, currently works as project lead for The Nature Conservancy’s LANDFIRE (Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools) Project. The U.S. Geological Survey presented Smith the John Wesley Powell Award in 2010 for his work on the project.

“I also recognize that, as with most individual honors, many others contributed to it,” Smith added. “In particular, my wife Belinda helped organize the first international spatial accuracy conference by planning all the unique and wonderful social aspects of that meeting, held in Williamsburg in 1994.”