By Rick Mueller
While most NASS statisticians studied mathematics, economics or agriculture in school, my career path started in a completely different place. I came to NASS in the 1990s as an IT specialist to help the agency evolve its use of geospatial technology and contribute to the remote sensing acreage estimation program.
When I began working with the remote sensing program, budget constraints limited satellite coverage and analysis to just one county in one state—Craighead County, Arkansas. NASS created this program to derive acreage estimates from satellite imagery, and to provide timely updates of state and county area estimates.