Category Archives: Women’s History Month

Celebrating the “Mother of Landsat” – Virginia T. Norwood

“I have seen further by standing on the shoulders of giants.” ~ Sir Isaac Newton

This week is the virtual American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) conference. At today’s conference, the ASPRS Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Virginia T. Norwood.

Virginia Norwood is known as the “Mother of Landsat.” When interviewed by Laura Rocchio for a NASA Landsat Science article, Ms. Norwood was asked if she is comfortable with this title and she replied, “Yes. I like it, and it’s apt. I created it. I birthed it; and I fought for it.” In recognition of her contributions to satellite communications and optics for over 40 years, including the design, building, promotion and operation of the first multspectral scanner (MSS) on-board Landsat-1, Ms. Norwood was awarded the 2021 ASPRS Lifetime Achievement Award.

To learn more about Virginia’s story: https://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/article/virginia-t-norwood-mother-landsat

Congratulations, Virginia! Thank you for all your contribution to Landsat and Science!

Women in GIS

March is Women’s history month. Below are a few resources to begin exploring the contribution of women in GIS and related fields (cartography, remote sensing.)

Women and GIS: Mapping Their Stories and it’s sequel, Women and GIS: Stars of Spatial Science highlight stories of women using GIS tools to contribute to their world and community. Esri Press also created a webinar that has presentations by four of the women featured in the second volume of the series

Laura Bliss wrote a four-part series for Bloomberg CityLab in 2016 about women’s contributions in cartography and GIS.
Part 1: The Hidden Histories of Maps Made By Women: Early North America
Part 2: How Women Mapped the Upheaval of 19th Century America
Part 3: How 20th-Century Women Put the ‘Art’ in Cartography
Part 4: Meet the Extraordinary Women Making Maps Today

GIS Lounge has a Women in GIS Networking Groups page which highlights a number of groups that provide peer support for women in GIS: https://www.gislounge.com/women-in-gis/.

Brandman University released a webinar series in October 2020 titled, “Geospatial experts helping women build careers as geographic information systems analysts”. The series covers topics including career and professional development, how to be ethical with data, social justice, storytelling through storymaps, and COVID-19 response. Two lectures will be coming soon, Careers of Women in GIS: How to Explore Your Career – March 29, 2021 at 1pm and Careers of Women in GIS: Finding Your Authentic Voice – April 27, 2021 at 1pm.

Another webinar and storymap to view from the 2020 ESRI User Conference, “Women in GIS/ The New Analyst” which feature seven women in GIS who discuss their career paths, obstacles they’ve overcome, and the transformative role of GIS. Here’s the link for the webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9K3ZDT7KOk

Click below to explore the Story Map.