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ASSAF Anyamba

Distinguished R&D Staff Member, Group Lead - Remote Sensing

Dr. Assaf Anyamba is a Distinguished R&D Staff Member and Group Lead, Remote Sensing, Geographic Data Science Section in the Geospatial Science and Human Security Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The remote sensing group develops algorithms for multimodal sensors and platforms, sensor characterization and modeling, spatial and spectral exploitation using photogrammetry, image science, and computational science approaches in addressing various questions of National Security Science and Applications.

Prior to joining ORNL, he was a principal scientist and senior scientist with the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center where he led teams to develop applications for vector-borne disease early warning systems and global agricultural monitoring utilizing time series satellite derived climate data sets  to support various federal government agencies including the Department of Defense, the United States Department of Agriculture - Foreign Agricultural Service and Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology and Defense Threat Reduction Agency among others.

He has been involved in various cross-cutting forums including National Academy of Sciences/ National Academy of Medicine (NAM): Vector-borne Diseases, Human Health and Climate Change – 2019,The Brookings Institution and The Rockefeller Foundation 17 Rooms Initiative on Transforming National and Global Epidemic Intelligence Systems – 2020, World Organization for Animal Health/ Office International des Epizooties (OIE): Approaches to Improving Sustainable Management of Animal Health Emergencies, World Health Organization (WHO) - Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) on Rift Valley fever and other vector-borne disease outbreaks, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) - Global Land Degradation Assessment (GLADA), Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO): Developing a Strategy for Global Agricultural Monitoring in the Framework of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Group on Earth Observations, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) - Emergency Prevention System  for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES) and United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP): Atlas of African Lakes; 2005: Greening of the Sahel; 2002: Global Environmental Outlook: GEO 3 Past, Present and Future Perspectives. In addition, his work has been featured in various media outlets including National Public Radio (NPR) – Morning Edition, Science Friday, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) – Science in Action, Voice of America (VoA), print and was recently featured in the Netflix Documentary Connected series, The Hidden Science of Everything.

He holds an adjunct appointment with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville and collaborates with universities through the GEO Health Community of Practice (CoP) for scientific collaborations and student engagement for research in global agricultural monitoring and ecologically coupled vectorborne diseases. 

Dr. Anyamba received his Ph.D. in Geography from Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts.  He has a MA from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio and BA in Geography and Economics from Kenyatta University, Kenya.

2018 Piers J. Sellers Award for Interdisciplinary Science, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

2017 USRA Presidents Scientist of the Year for Individual Excellence

2013 FDA Leveraging/Collaboration Award

2010 Interagency Partnership Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC)

2009 USDA ARS Technology Transfer Award

2008 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Group Achievement Award to the Goddard Applied Sciences Team

2006 Certificate of Contribution to the World Health Organization

2003 Department of Defense, Global Emerging Infections System Outstanding Support Award for Support to for Providing Monitoring and Prediction Capability for Rift Valley fever.

2003 John I. Davidson President's First Place Award for Practical Papers presented by the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) for the paper "Mapping Potential Risk of Rift Valley Fever Outbreaks in African Savannas Using Vegetation Index Time Series Data” (PERS, February 2002; 68-2, pp. 137-145).