One geography professor’s expertise is traveling beyond the state’s border and going national.

Rick Landenberger, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor of geography in the West Virginia University Department of Geology and Geography, was invited to sit on two prestigious science advisory committees tasked with providing guidance on national science and education programs: the Landsat Advisory Group and the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program Office Science Advisory Committee.

“Professor Landenberger’s appointment further underscores our growing national prominence,” said Robert Jones, dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU. “Our faculty are increasingly being tapped to participate in critical discussions about the future of science and science education in this country.”

Landsat is the longest-functioning global observation satellite mission, dating back to 1972. As a member of the Landsat Advisory Group, a nine-member subcommittee of the U.S. Department of the Interior-sponsored National Geospatial Advisory Committee, Landenberger provides advice on the requirements, objectives and actions of the Landsat Program as they apply to continued delivery of societal benefits for the nation and the global Earth observation community.

Landsat is recognized as the gold standard of civilian Earth-observing (remote sensing) systems, providing global coverage as well as detecting smaller developments such as urban growth. The Landsat Advisory Group is currently authoring two papers that will guide federal decision-making with respect to the operational requirements of the Landsat Program in the next decade.

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program Office Science Advisory Committee is an eight-member advisory body organized to support the program, an international Earth system science education program sponsored by NASA, NOAA, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. State Department. The Science Advisory Committee’s primary purpose is to provide the program office with a formal mechanism for community contributions to the scientific aspects of the program. In his role as a member of the committee, Landenberger will provide input on scientific policies, science education campaigns such as the Student Climate Research Campaign, outreach events, research opportunities and priorities and assistance in all scientific aspects of the program including elevating science-related community issues directly to the program office. Landenberger has been involved with Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment since 2003 and has trained several dozen West Virginia science teachers in program protocols, including the use of Landsat data for understanding local and global environmental change.

Rick Landenberger received a master’s degree in forest resource management from State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry in 1989. In 1999, received his doctoral degree in forest resource science at WVU. He did post-doctoral work and was a research assistant professor in the WVU Department of Biology from August 2003 until January 2006. In July 2008, Landenberger became the executive director of AmericaView, a non-profit applied science and education organization. In this role, he interacts with both federal and non-governmental scientific and educational organizations across the country.

For more information, contact Rick Landenberger at 304-293-9468 or



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