Director Reda Amer
Dr. Reda Amer is a highly accomplished researcher and professor in the field of Geospatial Sciences. He received his Bachelor's and master’s degrees in Geology and Remote Sensing from Al-Azhar University, Egypt, as well as a PhD in Geophysics and a Graduate Certificate in GIS and Remote Sensing from Saint Louis University.
Throughout his career, Dr. Amer has made significant contributions to the field of Geospatial Sciences, particularly in the application of Remote Sensing and GIS techniques to address a wide range of hydrological, geological, and environmental problems, including water resources, water quality, mineral resources, land use and land cover changes, urban flooding, sea-level rise, coastal land loss, coastal restorations, and resilience. He has authored numerous research papers and given presentations at national and international conferences.
In addition to his research achievements, Dr. Amer is a dedicated educator who has taught a wide range of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has supervised many graduate students, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry.
Currently, Dr. Amer is the Director of UMSL Geospatial Collaborative at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he continues to conduct groundbreaking research and inspire the next generation of Geospatial scientists.
VADM Robert Sharp
Former Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Vice Admiral Bob Sharp, USN (Ret.) served as the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, one of our nation’s premier intelligence agencies, from February 2019 until June 2022.
As Director, he and his team were responsible for delivering world-class geospatial intelligence to provide a decisive advantage to policy makers, military service members, intelligence professionals, first responders, and international partners. He was accountable for over 14,000 civilian, military and contractor employees working around the clock and globe in over 120 locations world-wide.
Bob served as a Naval Intelligence Officer for over 34 years, and as a leader within the Navy’s Information Warfare Community since its inception. He has decades of leadership experience in the Intelligence, Defense, and National Security arenas.
He is known for his extensive experience developing and motivating cohesive teams to solve complex problems in dynamic situations. He leveraged the global pandemic challenges as an opportunity to reimagine and improve business processes, helping his agency emerge stronger, more agile, and more human from the experience.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of the Pacific and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Professor Jessie Bleile
Jessie Bleile started in her role as professor of practice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in January 2022, serving on behalf of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The overarching purpose of the role is to help fulfil the objectives laid out in the Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the agency and UMSL, signed into effect in 2021.
Jessie is a St. Louis-area native and attended the UMSL for her undergraduate studies in mathematics. Jessie started at NGA as an intern in 2013 while seeking her Master’s degree in applied mathematics and certificates in GEOINT and GIS at the University of Missouri. She started full time upon graduation in 2016 as a geodetic orbit analyst, monitoring GPS satellites for accuracy and precision.
Jessie also served as an academic outreach officer at NGA, where she used her passion for education and networking to connect NGA analysts and university students in St. Louis to collaboratively address some of the nation’s most pressing challenges.
Dr. Innocensia Owuor started her role which involves teaching GIS and conducting geospatial research in October 2023. She earned her Ph.D. in Geomatics from the University of Florida in 2023, building upon her prior master’s degree in GIS and a Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Engineering from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Before pursuing her doctorate, Innocensia worked as a Geospatial Engineer in the power distribution sector at Kenya Power applying geospatial techniques to enhance power infrastructure management while providing GIS training to company staff.
Innocensia’s Ph.D. research explored novel geodata sources such as social media for applications in disease surveillance, natural disaster and tourism management where she leveraged computer programming, advanced spatial and time series analysis techniques.
Innocensia has received awards, including the Marshallplan Fellowship from Carinthia University of Applied Science in Austria, the University of Florida International Student Achievement ALEC Courtelis Award in 2022, the ASPRS 2021 Paul R. Wolf Memorial Scholarship and the Jack A. Falk III Scholarship for Everglades Conservation, Restoration, and Sustainability in 2021.
During her Ph.D., Innocensia was engaged in outreach activities aimed at inspiring high school students to explore the discipline of geospatial science, both in Austria and the USA. As a teaching assistant, she instructed modules in GIS python programming. These efforts highlight her commitment to nurturing a passion for geospatial technology among future generations.