Prasad S. Thenkabail, an American National and member of the Landsat Science Team, has 23 years’ experience working as an international expert in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (RS/GIS) and its applications to natural resources management, sustainable development, and environmental studies. He has visited and worked in over 25 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America.
During the last 4 years, Thenkabail has worked for the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) as a principal researcher of the Global Research Division. Currently, he is the head of the RS/GIS & Natural Resource Management Group. In this position he works globally, mostly in economically developing countries, providing leadership for various projects and in spatial data applications for thematic research. Projects he has led include global irrigated area mapping (GIAM), droughts (remote sensing component), wetland mapping, knowledge base systems for Sri Lanka (KBS-Lanka), and water productivity studies. All of the projects involve heavy use of spatial datasets, especially satellite sensor data. Thenkabail has led the development and launch of the following Web portals: Global Irrigated Area Mapping (external link). He has contributed significantly to the IWMI Drought Monitoring System (external link).
Thenkabail is an editor for the Remote Sensing of Environment journal. He is also one of the associate editors-in-chief of the Journal of Spatial Hydrology (JoSH). In June 2007, Thenkabail’s team was recognized by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) for “Special Achievement in GIS” (SAG award) for their Tsunami-related work and for their innovative spatial data portal (external link) and science applications (external link).
Contributor: USGS Landsat Project
Satellites offer a wealth of information pertinent for water and food security. Landsat has long been a foundational piece of the “Space for Ag” initiative.