Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, Chair
Director ND Space Grant and ND NASA EPSCoR
Department of Space Studies
John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences
University of North Dakota
Phone: (701) 777-2355
Santhosh Seelan joined the Space Studies faculty in fall 2005. He was the first Chair of UND’s newly formed Department of Earth System Science and Policy before he came to the Space Studies Department. He has been with UNDs Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium since 1998 where he helped establish a sophisticated geospatial lab and lead a NASA sponsored project on Crop and Range Alert System aimed at promoting geospatial technologies among farmers and ranchers of the Upper Midwest. This project involves near real time delivery of satellite data products and services to end users, application development, and training. The project had grown from ten participating end users in 1999 to over six hundred by 2005. Before joining UND, Seelan worked as a Land Information Consultant with Terralink, Wellington, a New Zealand government owned enterprise, creating a nationwide land cover database using SPOT, Landsat and IRS imagery. Prior to that, he worked with India's remote sensing program for 17 years, initially in applications development, and later as Head of India's satellite data distribution center and Project Director, Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) data distribution. His early work on researching the use of remote sensing for targeting groundwater, and his later contributions to India's technology mission on drinking water through practical use of the technology, earned him nationwide recognition and a nomination for the National Mineral Award. He has served on the IRS Mission Management Board, Remote Sensing Applications Mission Council of India, and the Prime Ministers Task Force on providing drinking water to the rural population of India. Preceding his involvement with India's remote sensing program, he had worked with a consultancy firm, providing natural resource management solutions. Seelan has authored or co-authored over 150 articles, conference papers, technical reports, book, book chapters and abstracts.
Having lived in five countries and four continents, Seelan brings a wealth of international experience to the department and actively pursues international collaborations. Seelan enjoys advising students and was recognized as the Outstanding Student Organization Advisor at the UND Memorial Union Leadership Awards Ceremony in 2009 and again in 2011 & 2012 for serving as advisor to both Student Association of India, and International Student Organization, and in helping to organize Feast of Nations an annual cultural event.