Jay Feuquay, director of the Land Remote Sensing program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), died June 12 of pancreatic cancer. He was 49.
Feuquay worked for more than 20 years at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center of USGS, moving to USGS headquarters in 2002. He served as a long time advocate for the importance of the Landsat mission and land remote sensing in general, said Bruce Quirk, a chief scientist for remote sensing at EROS, who was Feuquay’s officemate for years and worked with him since 1982.
Feuquay frequently lobbied for Landsat funding with organizations like the White House Office of Management and Budget, Quirk said.
“That led into the Landsat data continuity mission and even the future of land imaging in the U.S.,” Quirk said. He noted that a working group at the Office of Science and Technology Policy that is examining the program’s future was created in part because of the work Feuquay did educating policymakers.
Feuquay was also a strong advocate for international cooperation, Quirk said.
“He did recognize that it’s not just the U.S., and you get more bang for your buck if you cooperate with other countries,” Quirk said. “He was very adamant about working internationally.”
Feuquay was diagnosed with cancer around December 2005, and continued to work for USGS on a part-time basis after his diagnosis, Quirk said.
“He kind of worked up to the end,” he said.
Out of the office, Feuquay enjoyed golf, food, wine, cooking and travel, Quirk said, and was always seeking new recipes and new adventures. He was known for his quick wit, Quirk said.
Feuquay is survived by his wife Connie, his mother Norma Lea, his brothers Michael and Steven, and his children Meredith and Jason.