2019 Geo-Resolution Conference

Over 650 regional leaders attended Saint Louis University’s inaugural Geo-Resolution Conference, which opened with a moderated discussion between Vice Admiral Robert Sharp and University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.

St. Louis is poised to become a national hub for geospatial science and technology. On the morning of Geo-Resolution 2019, NGA revealed new design concepts of the Next NGA West (N2W) campus which is planned to be operational in 2025.

For its part, SLU has been at the center of the nation’s geospatial enterprise since the Corps of Discovery returned to St. Louis with maps of the Louisiana Territory in 1806. Building on this rich history, in January 2019, SLU and NGA signed an agreement establishing a special relationship that positioned the University and NGA as collaborators on geospatial research, training and innovation initiatives.

Geo-Resolution 2019 can be viewed in its entirety below. Use the links in the agenda below to revisit specific sessions.

Moderated Discussion on the Future of St. Louis

  • NGA Director, VADM Robert Sharp
  • SLU President, Dr. Fred Pestello
  • Moderator: Kristin Robertson, Vice President and General Manager for Boeing’s Autonomous Systems Division

Morning Keynote Address

Dr. Annette Sobel, former Major General in the Arizona Air National Guard, first Director of Intelligence for the National Guard Bureau, Arlington, VA., second Homeland Security Director to serve the State of New Mexico, Senior Advisor to Saint Louis University

Panel One: Changing Patterns of Human Settlement and Mobility

A critical part of a more holistic worldview is a better understanding of the impact of geography and location on its human inhabitants, and the impact of humans on the world. While this applies to all places in which people live, urban settings are consistently the most complex and hardest to understand. How have geospatial tools and expertise been able to improve our insights into the mobility of people in cities, and how can they inform our efforts to improve outcomes, opportunities and human dignity? And what are the ethical considerations of our growing geospatial capabilities, and how do we ensure that they benefit the people we serve?


  • Elizabeth Lyon, NGA, Senior GEOINT Authority for Geography and Cartography
  • Dr. Ness Sandoval, Saint Louis University, Associate Professor, Sociology
  • Dr. Lee Schwartz, The Geographer, U.S. Department of State
  • Dr. Steven Ward, Senior Director of Geospatial and Weather Sciences at The Climate Corporation
  • Moderator: Dr. Marie Price, President, American Geographical Society

Evolving Capabilities for the GEOINT Enterprise

Automation, artificial intelligence and augmentation are just a few areas where significant advances are impacting the GEOINT tradecraft. This conversation will be an opportunity to shed light on emerging technologies, trends and how industry, academia and Government can work together to pave the way forward

  • Mark Munsell, Chief Technology Officer, NGA
  • Jack Dangermond, President, Esri
  • Moderator: Francis Rose

Afternoon Keynote Address

  • Dr. Stacey Dixon, Director, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)

Panel Two: The Holistic Worldview: Advanced Analytics and Predictive Tools

We now produce more geospatial data in a day than millions of analysts could ingest and process within years. Computational tools, artificial intelligence and machine/human partnering are now obligatory capabilities for us to be able to tease knowledge and informed decisions out of mountains of data, and to gain insight on possible futures. Where have our new tools been able to make the greatest impact, and how does that inform where we apply them next? Have we gained a more holistic view of the world, and where have we improved our ability to predict future events?


  • Sue Kalweit, NGA, Director of Analysis
  • Dr. Sharlee Climer, University of Missouri, Saint Louis (UMSL), Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • The Honorable Jeffrey Harris, Chairman of the Board, USGIF
  • Robert Shelton, Jr., Chief Technical Officer and Advisor for Microsoft’s National Intelligence Division
  • Moderator: Andy Dearing, CEO, Boundless Spatial, Inc.

Panel Three: Public/Private Partnerships, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship in the Geospatial Ecosystem

The 21st Century Geospatial Ecosystem is the shared domain of many government agencies, corporations and academic institutions. Does the geospatial ecosystem currently lead or trail other technical disciplines in its inter-disciplinary and inter-organization collaboration? How do we leverage the industry base and academia to achieve the daunting goals described in the previous panels? What lessons can we draw from the innovation and entrepreneur communities to advance the geospatial ecosystem, meet the mission goals of our government partners and the needs of citizens here and abroad?


  • Christy Monaco, NGA, Director, Office of Ventures and Innovation
  • Dr. Dedric Carter, Washington University, Associate Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Dr. Dwyane Smith, Harris-Stowe State University, Provost
  • Jim Kavanaugh, CEO, World Wide Technology
  • Moderator: Jason Hall, CEO, Arch to Park

Closing Remarks by Director Sharp