Dr. Curtis Edson, co-PI, is a retired Army Engineer Officer with a passion for the environment and geospatial information science. He has served in most regions of the United States and globally in Honduras, Korea, Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan. The last several years of his Army career was spent teaching geospatial information science at the United States Military Academy, West Point. He recently accepted a tenure track remote sensing assistant professor position in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Technological University.
Why the transition from the military to environmental research?
As a child I was introduced to the environment through backpacking and camping in the Sierra Nevada. I was fortunate to maintain my environmental passion through academia. While earning my doctorate and studying the use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) for measuring forest biomass, I took two fateful elective courses: one a forest policy class, the focus of which was on the Endangered Species Act and wolves; and the other a course on trophic cascades. Later, while serving in combat in Afghanistan a friend sent me pivotal books to read (escape) on biogeography and mammal ecology. The fuse was lit igniting my ambition and dedicating my life to environmental and geospatial research.