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NASA and Archaeology from Space


UPDATE: The location of this symposium has been changed and the deadline for proposals has been extended to July 15, 2024.

A Symposium in Honor of Dr. Thomas L. Sever 

September 18–19, 2024 
Huntsville, Alabama 

NASA and Archaeology from Space: A Symposium in Honor of Dr. Thomas L. Sever
NASA and Archaeology from Space: A Symposium in Honor of Dr. Thomas L. Sever

Call for Papers

The organizers invite proposals for papers to be presented at a two-day symposium to be held in person September 18–19, 2024, in Huntsville, Alabama. We welcome diverse voices and perspectives to examine the history of NASA and Archaeology from Space.

The purpose of this symposium is to honor the pioneering work of former NASA Archaeologist Dr. Thomas L. Sever in the field of archaeology and remote sensing over his many decades of service and numerous contributions. The symposium also seeks to provide insight and contextualization of past archaeology projects at NASA, highlight the current state of the field in terms of research and capabilities, and point to new opportunities in government and commercial sectors.

Satellite image of Angkor ruins
The ancient city of Angkor sat at the center of the once powerful Khmer Empire of Southeast Asia. Located north of Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia, the capital city flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Perhaps the most famous site in Angkor is Angkor Wat, a vast temple complex built by Suryayarman II in the early 12th century to honor the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple complex is clearly visible in the above image as the small black frame just below the image center. The simulated natural color image was acquired on February 17, 2004, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and the U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, past archaeological projects, technology/capability developments, geopolitical considerations, assessments of the current state of remote sensing/archaeology, future trajectories, potential breakthroughs, and interdisciplinary approaches.

Presentations might also consider the impact of environmental, geopolitical, social, and cultural issues on archaeology/remote sensing projects over the decades and today. 

The symposium will be a combination of panel discussions, keynote talks, and presentations on current NASA and industry capabilities. The intention is to publish an anthology of selected papers.

Archaeologist Tom Sever (left) and SERVIR project director Dan Irwin (right) working together in Guatemala.

Submission Procedures

If you are interested in presenting, please send your presentation’s title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, and a short biography or curriculum vita, including affiliation, by June 15, 2024 to Brian C. Odom or Kelsey Herndon. Questions about the symposium are also welcome.