and environmental fields, including NASA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and NSF. She has also written or edited 11 books and more than 75 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. In 1999, Dr. Cutter was elected a fellow of AAAS and was president of the Association of American Geographers in 1999–2000. Dr. Cutter currently serves on the NRC Geographical Sciences Committee, the Committee on Disaster Research in the Social Sciences, and the Panel on Social and Behavioral Science Research Priorities for Environmental Decision Making.


RUTH DeFRIES is a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, with joint appointments in the Department of Geography and the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center. Her research investigates the relationships between human activities, the land surface, and the biophysical and biogeochemical processes that regulate Earth’s habitability. She is interested in observing land-cover and land-use change on regional and global scales with remotely sensed data and exploring the implications for ecological services, such as climate regulation, the carbon cycle, and biodiversity. Dr. DeFries is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). She is currently serving as a chair of the NRC Committee on Earth System Science for Decisions about Human Welfare: Contributions of Remote Sensing, and as a member of the Geographical Sciences Committee and the U.S. National Committee’s Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment. Dr. DeFries has taught at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay. She is a fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program.


WILLIAM B.GAIL is director of Strategic Development within Virtual Earth at Microsoft Corporation, with responsibility for expanding the capabilities of Virtual Earth and its use throughout the community. He was previously vice president of the Mapping and Photogrammetric Solutions Division at Vexcel Corporation (acquired in 2006 by Microsoft), where he directed a global organization responsible for a range of Earth information systems and services. Before joining Vexcel, he was director of Earth Science Advanced Programs at Ball Aerospace, where he led the development of space-borne instruments and missions for Earth science and meteorology. Dr. Gail received his undergraduate degree in physics and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, focusing his research on wave-particle interactions in Earth’s magnetosphere. During that period, he spent a year as a cosmic ray and upper atmospheric field scientist at South Pole Station. Dr. Gail is on the board of directors of Peak Weather Resources, Inc., is a member of the editorial boards for Imaging Notes magazine and the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, and is the director of industry relations for the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society. He has served on the following NRC studies: the Committee on Earth Studies (2002–2005), the Task Group on Principal-Investigator-Led Earth Science Missions (2001–2003), the Committee on NASA-NOAA Transition from Research to Operations (2002–2003), the Committee to Review the NASA Earth Science Enterprise Strategic Plan (2003), and the NASA Earth Science and Applications from Space Strategic Roadmap Committee (2005).


BRADFORD H.HAGER is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Earth Sciences in the Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is best known for his research on the physics of geologic processes. He has focused his work on applying geophysical observations and numerical modeling to the study of mantle convection, the coupling of mantle convection to crustal deformation, and precision geodesy. From 1980 until he joined MIT, he was a professor of geophysics at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Hager has chaired or been a member of several NRC committees concerned with solid-Earth science. These include the U.S. Geodynamics Committee, the Geodesy Committee, the Committee for Review of the Science Implementation Plan of the NASA Office of Earth Science, and the Committee to Review NASA’s Solid-Earth Science Strategy. Dr. Hager is a fellow of AGU. He was the 2002 recipient of the Geological Society of America’s Woollard Award in recogni-



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