OBITUARY : Frederick Campbell


In memoriam: Dr. Frederick Campbell (1944-2015)

Dr. Frederick Campbell, Treasurer of the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), passed away on February 11, 2015, in Ottawa, Canada, at age 71.

Fred Campbell was one of the founders and executive committee members of the Society which was established in May 2006. His involvement to the ISDE could be dated back to the first International Symposium on Digital Earth held in Beijing in 1999, in which he and his colleagues from Canadian Center for Remote Sensing and other institutions attended the symposium. Two years later, the 2nd ISDE was convened in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Fred played an important role in promoting Digital Earth initiatives in Canada.

Fred has made tremendous contributions to the development of ISDE. At the Society’s executive committee meetings, he always provided constructive suggestions to the healthy development of the society. He helped the secretariat with editing many documents, especially writing up the guidelines for hosting ISDE’s symposium and summits. In support to the society, he attended the 2nd Executive Committee meeting in Berkeley, USA at his own expenses. As a treasurer, he evaluated the bidding proposals very seriously, and always gave useful input to the bidder for best organizing the ISDE event with lost cost. He also served many important roles in ISDE’s events, such as chairperson and speaker. In the launch ceremony of ISDE, he co-chaired the event very smoothly, which impressed us forever in the ISDE’s history.   

Born in 1944, Dr. Campbell held a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Manitoba, Canada, and started his career at NRCan as a research scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada. After holding various senior management positions in NRCan, he joined the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) in 1990, and developed and managed remote sensing research, training, and technology transfer programs in Asia, Latin and South America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Fred was at times a larger than life character possessed of a great sense of humor. He was a very frankly and easy going person, upright and willing to help others, and very much dedicated to the cause of the ISDE. We felt very sad to loss him from our Society. He will be greatly missed by all of us in the Digital Earth Community.

Changlin Wang
Executive Director, ISDE