2024 Student Honors Paper Competition

April 16 – April 20, 2024, Honolulu, HI

Address: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

2005 Kalia Road, Honolulu, HI 96815

Sponsored by: Remote Sensing Specialty Group (RSSG)

The Remote Sensing Specialty Group (RSSG) of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) is pleased to announce the 2024 RSSG Students Honors Paper Competition. Students from all academic levels are invited to submit original research papers on all topics that advance the field of remote sensing. Students selected as finalists will be placed in a special paper session at the 2024 AAG Annual Meeting to be held on April 16 – April 20, 2024, in Honolulu, HI. A virtual participation option is also provided this year.


We encourage papers on innovative remote sensing methods, concepts, theories as well as applications. To be eligible for the competition, ALL the following conditions must be met:

  • The applicant must register for and submit the abstract to the 2024 AAG Annual Meeting.
  • The applicant must be a student when submitting the documents to 2024 RSSG Students Honors Paper Competition.
  • Research must have been completed within the past academic year as part of the applicant’s undergraduate or graduate studies and can include thesis/dissertation topics.
  • While papers may include co-authors, the applicant must be primarily responsible (first author) for the research presented.
  • The paper has not been published or submitted for applications for other awards when submitting the documents to 2024 RSSG Students Honors Paper Competition.

Important Dates

  • November 16, 2023 (extended to Nov 30, 2023): deadline for submitting your abstract to AAG.
  • December 1, 2023: deadline for submitting your extended abstract (different from the regular AAG abstract) and all required documents and forms to the AAG RSSG Student Honors Paper Competition committee.
  • March 1, 2024: deadline for submitting the full paper.
  • April 16-20, 2024: present your project at the 2023 AAG Annual Meeting.

Please note that all time requirements are according to Hawaii–Aleutian Time (UTC-10:00).

Extended Abstract Guidelines

The extended abstract will be used to determine up to 10 competition finalists. Please follow the guidelines below when preparing the extended abstract:

  • Have a separate title page which includes the title, author(s) names, and contact information of the author(s) of the project.
  • Start a new page, repeat the title, and hide author information.
  • Summarize the background, objectives, methods, results, and conclusions of the study.
  • Include references and citations.
  • 600-800 words in length. Words in the title page and the reference list do NOT count towards the word count for the extended abstract.
  • May include up to two additional pages for tables and/or figures, if necessary.
  • Submit the extended abstract as a Microsoft Word document (in DOC or DOCX format). See the “Submission” section below for details.

Paper Guidelines and Structures

Each selected finalist will be required to submit one digital copy of the completed paper as a Microsoft Word document (in DOC or DOCX), which must be prepared in accordance with the format requirements of the PE&RS Journal. Manuscript guidelines for PE&RS can be found on the ASPRS website at https://www.asprs.org/asprs-publications/pers/pers-instructions-for-authors-submitting-a-manuscript-for-peer-review. The length of the paper MUST NOT EXCEED 27 pages including tables and figures. There will be strict enforcement of the page limit and formatting requirements of the papers.


Winners will be selected by considering their performance on both the paper and the oral presentation. Extended abstracts and written papers will be evaluated by the RSSG Judges Committee on the contribution to the field of remote sensing, originality, novelty, research design, organization, and the overall quality of the paper. The oral presentation will be evaluated on professional delivery, organization, clarity, visual aids, and the overall presentation quality. Evaluation will also take the academic level of the applicant into account.


First, second, and third place awards will be determined following the competition sessions. The prizes are:

  • First place: $500
  • Second place: $250
  • Third place: $100

An undergraduate award may also be made to an outstanding undergraduate researcher. All the awards will be presented at the AAG Annual Awards Luncheon, and the luncheon fee will be covered for all the winners. The committee reserves the right not to offer such prizes if the papers are not of appropriate quality.


Students who are interested should electronically submit the following materials to the RSSG Student Co-Director, Zijun Yang, at zijuny2@illinois.edu and use “2024 RSSG Student Honors Paper Competition” as the subject title:

  • A copy of the email receipt (in PDF) received from the AAG online abstract submission process (which includes the abstract code, due December 1, 2023).
  • An extended abstract (in DOC or DOCX, due December 1, 2023).
  • The applicant should complete the student form at https://forms.office.com/r/N1pEaVd7jP (due December 1, 2023).
  • The applicant’s advisor should complete the advisor’s form at https://forms.office.com/r/eHaAuPfrJZ (due December 1, 2023).
  • A Microsoft Word file of the full paper (in DOC or DOCX, due March 1, 2024).

Please note that all time requirements are according to Hawaii–Aleutian Time (UTC-10:00).


If you have any questions about this competition, please send an email to the RSSG Student Co-Director, Zijun Yang, at zijuny2@illlinois.edu, and use “2024 RSSG Student Honors Paper Competition” as the subject title.