Fred Limp Jr.
Fred Limp Jr., a university professor in the Department of Geosciences, inaugural holder of the Leica Geosystems Chair in Geospatial Imaging and founding director of the Center for Advanced Space Technologies, will retire at the end of the fiscal year after more than 41 years working on campus U of A.
Please come celebrate with us at a meeting for attendees from 4 to 4 p.m., June 4, in the gardens of Campus U of A. More information can be found on the event page. If you are unable to attend, but would like to send your best regards, check out our digital card.
While at U of A, Limp made consistent and lasting contributions in many areas of research and education. In the area of geoinformatics, he was the founder and was a member of the Open Geospatial Consortium Council, the Intergraph Geospatial Executive Committee, AmericaView, SPOT Image Academic Advisory Board, the National Consortium for Rural Geospatial Innovations Board, the ‘Oracle North America Users Forum, by Sam M. Walton College of Business Information Technology Research Board Board, the steering committee of the U of A RFID Center and the OGC Interoperability Institute.
He was part of the development community that led the free and open source software (FOSS) GIS – GRASS – in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. He served as a GRASS software instructor in many places, including Colorado State, Rutgers, NASA and others. He was appointed by Governor Jim Guy Tucker to the Arkansas Board of Mapping and Land Records Modernization Board and later appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee to the Arkansas State Land Information Board, which eventually became the board Arkansas GIS. He is the co-author of two pieces of legislation that implemented geospatial technologies throughout the state. He has been a leader in the development of online geoinformatics education, including the development of two certificate programs, both approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE).
He has also been one of the strongest supporters of K-12 geospatial education thanks to his first support of the Initiative. He received the Arkansas GIS Users Forum Lifetime Achievement Award and was a founder of the Arkansas Academy of Computer Science. For his research, he received the GAIA Award from the GRASS Community, the Fulbright College Master Researcher Award, and the U of A Distinguished Research Award.
Archeology and heritage preservation – and its intersection with geoinformatics – have been a professional passion for him. While completing his graduate studies at Indiana University, he led the development of an archaeological computer mapping system and DELOS information systems, one of the first complete database systems in archeology. As an anthropologist in the late 1970s, he participated in various excavations and surveys; however, his dissertation included the development and programming of what would later be called “GIS,” which he used to apply location choice analysis to pre-Columbian settlement locations.
After receiving his doctorate in anthropology (with an emphasis in archeology) from Indiana University, he was co-director of the Center for American Archeology of the Contract Archeology Program (1978-1979) and as an assistant and interim director. of the Arkansas Archaeological Survey (1979-1990). He was elected treasurer and then, in 2010, as president of the Society of American Archeology and served on the board of the Foundation for American Archeology and the University Consortium for Preservation Technology. In 2014 he was appointed by Home Secretary Ken Salazar to the board of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. Limp is currently a board member of the Field Research Institute.
In the world of archeology, he is known for his skills in applying various high-tech methods used for the discovery, analysis and preservation of archaeological and global heritage resources. He has participated in heritage preservation projects on six continents involving the application of geographic information systems, global satellite navigation systems, remote sensing, laser scanning and photogrammetry. He saw the future of geospatial technologies long before most people. In 2006, he wrote a three-part series entitled “An Impending Massive 3-D Mashup,” for Geoplace.com, in which he predicted the future fusion of technologies in the geospatial, gaming, and CAD / CAM sectors. Today we see that his prediction was accurate.
In 1991, Limp founded the Center for Advanced Space Technologies, often referred to simply as CAST, one of the first ADHE-approved centers on the U campus of A. CAST was the embodiment of the ideas he developed in his first career and, under his leadership, it became one of the world’s leading geospatial research centers, not only applied to archeology, but as a true multidisciplinary center. In the late 1990s, CAST developed the first uninterrupted statewide geospatial data warehouse for the state of Arkansas, known as GeoStor. GeoStor made Arkansas geospatial data easily accessible to the public and had broad educational and economic impacts for the state. The framework developed by Limp and the CAST team can still be seen in the geospatial data repositories that are used today, not just in Arkansas, but around the world.
“I think everyone who has worked with Fred over the years – and there have been many – would agree that he is the happy warrior. Always optimistic and curious, we all grew up expecting those emails from 2 p.m. in the morning with a “check it out! “subject line,” remarked Jackson Cothren, current director of CAST and Limp’s successor in that position. Cothren also said, “Of all his accomplishments, his selfless and energetic devotion to his colleagues and students is how he will be remembered and missed here.”
If you would like to attend Limp’s retirement celebration and perhaps hear some stories or tell some of them, visit on Friday 4 from 2pm to 4pm. Parking is available on Lot 56B, near the intersection of Razorback Road and Nolan Richardson Drive (formerly Leroy Pond Drive). To maximize the number of guests who can attend while socially distancing themselves, we recommend that you keep the time at the event to 30 minutes.