Opening Sessions and Plenary Speakers

Opening Sessions

09:00Welcome to IGARSS 2012
Alberto Moreira and Yves-Louis Desnos - General Co-Chairs
09:10Welcome from the Bavarian Government
Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology Martin Zeil
09:20Welcome from IEEE GRS Society
Jón Atli Benediktsson, President
09:30Welcome from IEEE
Peter W. Staecker, IEEE President-Elect 2012
09:40Major Awards and Recognitions
Presented by Werner Wiesbeck
2012 IEEE Fellows
2012 IEEE W.R.G. Baker Paper Award
2012 IEEE GRSS Education Award
2012 IEEE GRSS Distinguished Achievement Award
Special Recognition on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of IEEE GRSS for:
Fawwaz Ulaby, Werner Wiesbeck and Wolfgang-Martin Boerner
Laudatio by Kamal Sarabandi

Plenary Session

10:50Remote Sensing for a Dynamic Earth
Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR)
11:20The European Earth Observation Program
Volker Liebig, Director of Earth Observation Programmes, European Space Agency (ESA)
11:50Recent Progress and Future Opportunities in Earth Observations
Ghassem Asrar, Director of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)

Symposium Introduction

12:20IGARSS 2012 Technical Program
Irena Hajnsek and Helmut Rott, Technical Program Co-Chairs
12:25Closing remarks
Alberto Moreira and Yves-Louis Desnos, General Co-Chairs

Plenary Speakers

Johann-Dietrich Wörner is since 2007 Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). In 1982, as part of his studies at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, he spent two years in Japan, investigating earthquake safety. Before being elected President of the Technische Universität Darmstadt in 1995, he was heading the Testing and Research Institute and held the position of Dean of the Civil Engineering Faculty.

Wörner has been honored with a series of prizes and awards including honorary doctorates from the State University New York (USA), the technical universities of Bucharest (Romania) and Mongolia, the Saint Petersburg University for Economics and Finance (Russia), and École Centrale Lyon (France). He has also been appointed to the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and is a representative of the Technical Sciences Section of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Wörner is Vice President of the Helmholtz Association; he is also a member of various national and international supervisory bodies, advisory councils and committees. He was a member of the board of École Centrale Paris and École Centrale Lyon, the Convention for Technical Sciences (acatech) and the supervisory board of Röhm GmbH, to name just a few. Furthermore, he was appointed to the energy expert group of the German Government. He continues to be a member of the advisory boards of several universities such as the Technische Universität Berlin and the IST Lisboa.

Volker Liebig took up duty as Director of Earth Observation and Head of ESRIN in October 2004. ESRIN, ESA's Italian Center, is situated in Frascati, close to Rome. Born in Lübbecke, Germany, Volker Liebig grew up in Munich. He studied geophysics at the University of Munich where he received a PhD. Volker Liebig began his professional career in polar research and took part in the German Antarctic Expedition, Ganovex IV, where he investigated Earth's geomagnetic field. After six years working in managerial positions in the space industry, in 1994 he joined the German Space Agency, DARA.

During his career with DARA he was Head of the Earth Observation Utilisation Programme and then appointed Head of Application Programmes where he was responsible for communications, navigation and Earth observation. In 2000, the Senate of the German Aerospace Center, DLR, approved his appointment as the Programme Director of the German Space Programme.

In 1993 Volker Liebig became a member of ESA's Programme Board for Earth Observation, a post he held until 1998. For four years he was also a member of the ESA Council as well as a member of the Space Advisory Group of the European Commission. In 1999 he commenced lecturing at the University of Stuttgart, from which he has received an honorary professorship.

Ghassem R. Asrar is currently the Director of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) in Geneva, Switzerland. He served as chief scientist for the Earth Observing System in the Office of Earth Science at NASA prior to being named as the Associate Administrator for Earth Science in 1998. While in his position of chief scientist, he led an international team developing the scientific priorities and measurements to be obtained by NASA Earth Observing System satellites that provided fundamental new insights into the connections between Earth's land, oceans, atmosphere, ice and life. He also established the NASA Earth System Science graduate fellowship and New Investigators Programs to support training of the next generation of Earth scientists and engineers that have graduated more than 1000 recipients.

Asrar is the recipient of U.S. Presidential Distinguished Executive Award (2002), an elected Fellow of American Meteorological Society (2001), and IEEE (2000). He has received the NASA Exceptional Performance Award in 1997, the AIAA Goddard Memorial Lecture Medal in 1998, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 1999, NASA Distinguished Leadership Medal, 2000, the Space System Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2006, and Distinguished Alumni Award from the Michigan State University, 2008.

He conducted research and trained undergraduate and post-graduate students for nine years in academia prior to joining NASA as a senior scientist in 1987. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific and technical papers, primarily in the fields of remote sensing of biosphere and atmosphere studies, and has edited several reference books.