Farouk El-Baz is Research Professor and director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University; his research has resulted in important advances in archaeology, geology, and geography.
In 1966, Dr. El-Baz participated in the discovery of the first offshore oil in the Gulf of Suez. From 1967 to 1972, he was supervisor of lunar science planning for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Apollo Program, and from 1973 to 1982, he established and directed the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. From 1978 to 1981, Dr. El-Baz was science advisor to Anwar Sadat, then president of Egypt.
Dr. El-Baz has conducted field investigations in every major desert in the world and is known for his pioneering work in using space images to explore for groundwater in arid lands; he is credited with the discovery of groundwater resources in Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. In 1999, the Geological Society of America Foundation established the Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research to encourage and reward excellence in arid-land studies worldwide. Dr. El-Baz has participated in projects with the Smithsonian Institution, National Science Foundation, International Astronomical Union, and UNESCO and is president of the Arab Society of Desert Research.
Among the many awards Dr. El-Baz has received are: the Apollo Achievement Award, Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, and Special Recognition Award, all from NASA; University of Missouri Alumni Achievement Award for Extraordinary Scientific Accomplishments; Certificate of Merit of the World Aerospace Education Organization; Arab Republic of Egypt Order of Merit-First Class; Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; State of Nevada Medal (2004); and Pioneer Award of the Arab Thought Foundation. He is a fellow of the Explorers Club, Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), African Academy of Sciences, Arab Academy of Sciences, Islamic Academy of Sciences, Academia Bibliotheca Alexandrinae, Royal Moroccan Academy of Sciences and Technology, and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.