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Hosted jointly by the College of Engineering and the College of FHSS, the BYU Center for Remote Sensing (CERS) will coordinate research and academic activities across multiple colleges and departments.

CERS Organization Chart

Center Management Model

The Center will be headded by a Director who will have the authority of a department chair to make policy and conduct Center business. He will be assisted by an Associate Directory, astaff administrative assistant, student secretaries, and a computer hardware-software specialist. The Director will report to the Agent Dean and governing council.

Reporting Lines

The Deans of the two colleges will rotate the job of Agent Dean for the center at the pleasure of the Office of the Academic Vice President. This Agent Dean would be the point of contact between the administration and the Center. Resources would be requested through the Agent Dean. Routine items normally requiring College approval would be addressed and approved by the Agent Dean. In the absence of the Agent Dean, the other Dean has the authority to conduct all the business of the center with the administration.

Governing councils

The Center will be governed by a representative of the Academic VP and the Deans of FHSS and Engineering who will, in turn, involve Department Chairs and Program Directors as appropriate. Most issues will be resolved by the two Deans without appeal to the representative of VP, and such will be operating policy of the Center. Governing council meetings can be conducted without the presence of the VP's representative, as long as they are informed. The Director of the Center sits on the governing council, and may invite other center members to attend. Meetings of the Governing Council will be held at least a year.

The Director and Associate Director are nominated by the Governing Council. The duties of the director and associate director are presented with the descriptions of the other Center staff. When he is not there, the Associate Director assumes most of his responsibilities. The Associate Director also functions as the academic program coordinator.

Review Process and Metrics

Periodic internal reviews will be conducted to review and evaluate the status of the Center. Annual reviews will be presented to the Deans of the Colleges of EngTech and FHSS. A formal review with the Office of the Academic Vice President will be conducted in the fourth year in order to determine the continuation of the Center.

The key goals of the Center are:


  • Enhance the academic experience for students through research opportunities.
  • Enhance the reputation and visibility of BYU through a) increased high quality research in a highly visible research area, b) well-educated, highly capable students who will rise to positions of responsibility and visibility, and c) an innovative academic program in an emerging interdisciplinary field.
  • Expand interdisciplinary research opportunities for faculty and students in remote sensing and their applied sciences.
  • Facilitate recruitment of top-level faculty in Geography and in the Earth Sciences.
  • Expand the base of support for the Center and the University by industry, business, and government.
  • Enhance the academic experience for students through creation of a new interdisciplinary Master's degree Option/Certificate program in Remote Sensing and improved interdisciplinary course offerings in remote sensing and Earth sciences.


The following are the metrics or measures to be used in reviewing the status of the Center. These metrics address key elements of the goals.

  • Goal: Enhanced student academic experience.

    The primary metrics for evaluating student enhancement are: 1) student involvement in research 2) student publications and 3) the Certificate program (discussed separately below). The following lists the metrics for evaluation.

    • Students involved in funded and unfunded research projects
    • Students with fellowships
    • Student publications
    • Student participation in conferences, workshops, and national meetings
    • Involvement of both graduate and undergraduate students

  • Goal: Enhanced reputation and visibility of BYU.

    Key factors in improving BYU's reputation include publication; public outreach; faculty and student participation in national and international organizations, conferences and science teams. Public outreach activities include maintenance of a Center web site, publication of a newsletter, organization of symposia and workshops. Graduating students will be tracked to evaluate their success in their professions and careers.

  • Goal: Enhanced interdisciplinary research.

    Metrics for evaluating enhanced interdisciplinary research are the number of proposals and publications crossing disciplinary and departmental boundaries, increasing faculty involvement in Center research, the involvement of additional laboratories and research groups with the Center, increased external funding, and supportive documentation from multiple departments and colleges.

  • Goal: Facilitating faculty recruitment.

    Noting faculty hiring is a departmental decision, the metric for this goal will be in demonstrating a supportive role in faculty requirement and in assisting departments in recruiting faculty where the Center can be a recruiting aid.

  • Goal: Expand the base of support for the University.

    By increasing the pool of organizations faculty propose to and/or collaborate and cooperate with in research, public service, publication and other activities, and by otherwise enhancing BYU's reputation, the support base for the University can be expanded. Further, by placing highly-qualified students in key positions in industry and government, these organizations can be come benefactors to BYU and the Church. BYU-sponsored workshops and symposia will also play a role. Metrics for these activities will be based on the breadth of publication, proposal organizations, workshops, and student placement.

  • Goal: An approved Certificate Program in Remote Sensing.

    The obvious metric for this goal is successful approval and implementation of the Certificate program. However, the precise form for completion of this goal is subject to changing University policies and timetables and may require revision of this metric.