Outstanding Cooperator 2011

Outstanding Cooporater Award Presented to Amy Eller

The Outstanding Cooperator Award is given to the individual who or organization that has provided a significant contribution to or support of ISGS programs. Such contributions might include significant collaboration on research projects, donations of data or equipment, or monetary support of research through cooperative research efforts.

This year’s Outstanding Cooperator Award is presented to Amy Eller, engineer of Aerial Surveys and chief of the Aerial Surveys Section, Bureau of Design & Environment, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The Aerial Surveys Section has cooperated with the ISGS on several projects in the past, both large and small, but has collaborated on two major research projects begun in the past 5 years.

The Illinois Height Modernization Program is improving statewide elevation information by installing new surveying benchmarks tied to a common datum, by densifying the benchmark network to improve precision, and by acquiring and distributing high-resolution elevation Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data through the Illinois Geospatial Data Clearinghouse. Eller has served as a co-principal investigator of the Height Modernization Program since its inception 5 years ago.

Eller worked within IDOT to designate the Height Modernization Program as a priority project to receive funding via the Federal Highway Administration State Planning and Research Program. In partnership with the Aerial Surveys Section, the ISGS is administering the $17.5 million in program funding over a 5-year period. In addition, the Aerial Surveys Section supported the restriction-free sharing of LiDAR data acquired with IDOT district funding and contributed data from the 10 counties in IDOT District 2 and in-kind resource matching to promote public access and government agency cooperation.

Eller and the Aerial Surveys Section have also made important contributions to the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC). High-quality aerial photography is being acquired on a regular schedule as part of the monitoring of the ADM site, and Aerial Surveys has contributed all the costs necessary to accomplish this responsibility for the past 4 years. As a result of their contribution, IDOT is a member of the MGSC Project Advisory Group.

The ISGS is pleased to recognize the commitment and service of Amy Eller and the IDOT Aerial Surveys Section to Illinois and to the programs and research of the Illinois State Geological Survey with the 2012 Outstanding Cooperator Award.

The plaque that commemorates this award reads, “2012 Outstanding Cooperator Award: Amy Eller, in appreciation of your commitment to broadly based data and information sharing with ISGS programs for the benefit of the people of Illinois.”