DATE:  July 5, 2005
CONTACT: Dr. Joseph Loon, Professor, College of Science and Technology, (361) 825-5854; Steve Paschal, Public Affairs, (361) 825-2336 

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Professor Receives Lifetime Service Award for Work in Geographic Sciences

Dr. Joseph Loon honored during annual Surveying and Mapping Conference

Dr. Joseph Loon, a professor of Geographic Information Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Surveying and Mapping Education during the 20th Surveying and Mapping Educators Conference held at the University recently.

Loon, an A&M-Corpus Christi faculty member since 1995, was presented with the award by colleague Dr. Gary Jeffress, a professor of Computer and Mathematical Sciences at A&M-Corpus Christi. It is only the fourth time the award has been bestowed since the conference was first held in the United States in the 1930s.

In addition to holding the Conrad Blucher Endowed Chair at the University, Loon is also a Fellow of the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping and is the current Editor of "Surveying and Land Information Science" - a national technical journal. Over the last 50 years he has served as a consultant and taught surveying and mapping courses at universities in South Africa, Israel and the United States and he has given short courses in Panama and the Philippines.

“Geographic information sciences have evolved tremendously during my lifetime,” points out Loon. “Just 20 or 30 years ago if you needed a map you had to go to a land office to get a map of any given area. Today, computers make things much quicker and easier… Anyone who needs a map can just download it.”

Loon earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering/land surveying from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1954 and received his master’s from the University in 1967. A decade later he was awarded a master’s in geodetic science/cartography from Ohio State followed by his doctorate in 1978.

In the mid-1980s, while serving as an advisor to undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students at Ohio State University he designed and taught courses for the Department of Geodetic Science and Surveying. In 1989 he was in installed as a member of the Alpha Epsilon Chapter of Phi Beta Delta, the honor society for international scholars and, in 2004, was awarded the title of Fellow of the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping.