"I stumbled into the IC by accident. While working on my graduate degree, I won a student award funded by ITT Space Systems Division (now L3Harris). A few months later, I received a call that ITT was interested in interviewing me for a position in Northern Virginia for its emerging Geospatial Systems group. My first task in that role was helping image scientists understand how geospatial data and tools could be incorporated into their workflow, especially with object detection and LiDAR."
"One of my first opportunities to see how my work could directly impact mission was in 2010 following the devastating earthquake in Haiti. My team was part of a group that had the first LiDAR collection over the island and we were able to generate multiple products, including helicopter landing zone and “blue tent detection” datasets to provide NGOs in the field. The biggest lesson I learned from that experience is that mission support requires a dynamic and diverse team to provide the best result. I’ve had the good fortune to continue to work with talented people throughout my career, especially at Maxar. I get to be a part of an end-to-end solution where some of my colleagues are building satellites, others are processing and analyzing imagery, and I carry out production workflows and derive geospatial features from the imagery. In this role, I get the opportunity to directly engage with end users to learn how Maxar data and technology provide them the critical information required to achieve their mission."
"[Automation] is a term I often hear when it comes to “what’s next," but I believe we as a community still need to define what that actually means and continue to clarify that automation does not mean replacing the human workforce with artificial intelligence. Instead, we should continue to explore how automation can be used to reduce the time it takes for an end user to generate actionable intelligence from vast datasets, especially as the amount of data gathered increases exponentially. "
"My advice to anyone starting in the IC is to be a sponge. There are so many different opportunities within this community that it can be overwhelming at first, but take every opportunity to hear different perspectives on mission support to build your own view on the role you will play."
Favorite movie/book/TV show/podcast: I like Shark Tank and How I Built This because you get the opportunity to learn how other people have built their companies and products. They can offer lessons in what to do (or what not to do).
"My advice to anyone starting in the IC is to be a sponge. There are so many different opportunities within this community that it can be overwhelming at first, but take every opportunity to hear different perspectives on mission support to build your own view on the role you will play."Josh Sisskind