Dr. Richard Sacher received the 2010 Delaware GIS Service Award during the morning plenary session at the 2010 Delaware GIS Conference on March 30, in Dover, Delaware. He was selected for the honor, by votes of the conference attendees, from among a group of nominees. It is worth noting that Dr. Sacher was nominated multiple times for the award.
Dick Sacher, as most of us think of him, received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 1970 and his M.S.E in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Hopkins in 1971. He received a PhD from Stanford University in Operations Research in 1974.
Between 1974 and 1985, he taught mathematics and statistics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, before coming to the University of Delaware as Associate Director in charge of several programs, including the Research and Data Management Section.
His deep interest in all things mathematical and geographic has made him a natural part, and valued leader, of the Delaware GIS community. He has been a part of the Delaware Geographic Data Committee since the beginning of the DGDC and now serves as the representative of the academic community on the DGDC Executive Council.
Dick was the first person to offer the State a metadata clearinghouse; before most people in the GIS community even knew what metadata was.
Without Dick Sacher, there would be no Delaware DataMIL. There was an idea that suggested the DataMIL, but it was Dick who showed the way. He served as Principal Investigator in the National Map prototype grant under which DataMIL was developed in 2000 and 2001. He allowed his then-employee John Callahan (2007 Service Award winner) to take the time needed to make DataMIL a reality. In 2003, he received the USGS’ John Wesley Powell Award for his DataMIL work.
And Dick Sacher has been a tireless supporter of the Delaware GIS Conference for the last decade. His work is mostly behind the scenes — helping the Conference Planning Subcommittee with important financial decisions, editorial comments and suggestions, IT support, and more.
On a personal note: Dick is serious and fun, generous and genuine. He works harder than any of us, for all of us. I’d hate to try to foster GIS coordination in Delaware without his friendship and help.