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Dr. Georgios Mountrakis

We are very pleased to announce that at the May 7, 2015 College Governance Meeting, Dr. Georgios Mountrakis, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Resources Engineering, was named the College’s 10th Exemplary Researcher for 2015-16!

This College-level award recognizes successful, currently active researchers with exemplary research activity, publication record and a graduate/undergraduate student mentorship program.  The nomination process allows for nominations from different categories: Lifetime Career Achievement, Mid-Career Achievement - for which Dr. Mountrakis was nominated, and Early Career Achievement.

Dr. Mountrakis’ areas of expertise include: environmental monitoring using remote sensing methods, environmental monitoring using geographic methods, and environmental decision systems.  He is the Founder of the Intelligent Geocomputing Laboratory at ESF.  The lab is devoted toward the research activities of graduate students in Geospatial Science and Engineering.  His teaching is innovative through student-engaging activities (e.g., incorporating inquiry-based learning). It includes courses in Digital Image Analysis, Spatial Statistics, Remote Sensing, Surveying, GPS and Artificial Intelligence in Geography.  Fifteen ESF students in an engineering class taught by Dr. Giorgos Mountrakis participated in the Global Space Balloon Challenge, which involves 295 teams in 47 countries on six continents. The goal is to use innovative design to develop balloons that gather data in a manner that is less expensive than using satellites. The one-credit course called "ESF Goes to Space," Mountrakis said, goes beyond the students' degree requirements. "So they really have to enjoy what they're doing," he said. "I want them to reach their potential. If it doesn't work, it shouldn't be for lack of effort or testing. It will just be that somebody outsmarted us." The balloon was launched from the ESF Quad after a semester of designing, constructing and testing on April 29, 2015.

Dr. Mountrakis has been very successful at securing external competitive grants from NASA, NSF, USDA, Forest Service, USAID and the Syracuse Center of Excellence.  He has been the lead PI for approximately $2.3M in research funds, through individual and collaborative grants.  He has published in a range of journals and books and has presented his work in various national and international conferences.  He has been the recipient of several awards in recognition of his academic and research achievements, including an award from NASA’s prestigious New Investigator Program, ISPRS Excellent Reviewer Award, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences. 

Education:  Ph.D 2004, M.S. 2000, Spatial Information Science and Engineering –University of Maine; Dipl. Eng. National Technical University of Athens, 1998.

Dr. Mountrakis will present a campus-wide research seminar highlighting his work as the first seminar in the Adaptive Peaks Series during the 2015-16 academic year.  At that time he will be presented with a plaque recognizing this achievement, as well as a reception in his honor.

Congratulations to Dr. Georgios Mountrakis on this well-deserved honor!!