An Introduction

I am an anthropologist and archaeologist by education; a remote sensing, GPS, and GIS specialist by training, and a teacher and scientist by vocation.

I have conducted research projects around the world for over 35 years, looking at various environmental and cultural resource issues which all focus around the complex and interrelated nature of the interaction between human civilizations and their environments over time. I am interested in the application of advanced space technologies for complex regional issues such as land use and human settlement patterns over time, including how societies respond and prepare for environmental change and natural disasters.


Two New Books!

I am very pleased to announce that my 10th book:

Practicing Historical Ecology: Methods for the Collection, Analysis, and Integration of Interdisciplinary Historical Data 

is now published. It was a very large project, a multi-author book which I have edited (along with Elizabeth Jone and Anna Westin) and to which I have contributed several chapters.

It is a major work, a comprehensive guide to how to conduct inter-disciplinary research in Historical Ecology. It has 19 chapters and some 12 co-authors, covering a wide range of subjects ranging from ecology, anthropology, archaeology, history, GIS, remote sensing, and more importantly, how these can be woven together into a transdisciplinary whole.

The book is now published as an e-book by the SLU Swedish Biodiversity Centre, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in Upsalla, Sweden (Centrum för biologisk mångfald). We decided to have the e-book to be published without cost, in order to have it be widely available for educators, students, and the public without regard to cost.

The print version of the book will be published soon by Locate Press, a Canadian publisher, and will also be available through Amazon and Ingram books as a paperback or Kindle version as well.

It is a significant work, with some 425 pages and many color illustrations. It was the result of over three years of effort and we are very pleased with the result. I hope you may find it to be interesting as a textbook for classes, as a research guide, or just a good read about the many ways to study the complex relationships between human societies and their environments over time.

My latest book, my 11th (!) is just about to be released by Springer Nature.

It is titled:

An Introduction to Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Satellites: An Introduction to Global Navigation Satellite Systems and their Applications, Second Edition

It is the second edition of my book on Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Satellites (PNT) Also known as Global Navigation Satellite Systems, which was originally published in 2015. It is a major update, as the field has changed so much, including new NPT systems and even systems being designed for use on the Moon and beyond. If you are interested in this topic, give it a look. It will be available as both a print and e-book through Springer and also on Amazon.

Elected a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics

I was elected a full member of the IAA this year, and received my diploma and rosette at a formal dinner in Paris in April of 2024. It is quite an honor and I am very grateful to my international colleagues and peers for electing me. It is a life appointment, and I will be active in the work of the academy, including editing and writing a ‘Cosmic Study’ on the role of culture in space exploration and applications.












I recently did an interview from down in New Zealand with the SpaceBase team about my interest in the intersection of space and anthropology.

Check it out.

Please join me in my first lectures in the Metaverse on Satellite Applications and Space Remote Sensing. It is very interesting new technology, and I am learning how to lecture effectively in this new environment.


And here is my Metaverse lecture on Satellite Positioning, Navigation and Timing systems… Take a look!


A hands-on 3-day QGIS short course Oct. 10, 12, and 14 at the UNC library. Come and learn some Open Source GIS!

I have been invited to speak at the upcoming Science Summit at the United Nations General Assembly in September. I will be on a panel discussing the application of advanced space technologies in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically in disaster planning and response.




I gave a video lecture for the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, Institute of Classical Studies on 10 June, 2022 on my ongoing collaborative research in Burgundy, France, now 44 years! Feel free to watch:

I was in Dubai in October of 2021 where I received my associate membership of the International Academy of Astronautics. It is quite an honor.
















Here is a recent interview I did on Aug. 6, 2021 on WCHL radio about space and my committee of the International Astronautical Federation receiving $1 million from Jeff Bezos of Amazon for our educational activities:

And here is a 1 hour webinar I did for the Chapel Hill Historical Society on Jan. 25, 2022 about my new book “The Carolina Union Proudly Presents”

My newest book, (my ninth!) is now available as of August, 2021. It is something quite different from my usual academic works.  The title is “The Carolina Union Proudly Presents… Memories of the Tech Crew of Memorial Hall”. It tells the  story of my years working behind the scenes in technical theater at  UNC  when  I was  younger.  It tells the story of my years working technical theater at UNC in Chapel Hill, including my years as the Technical Director of the Carolina Union. We put on hundreds of concerts, ballets, Broadway shows and more, including working all the major touring acts. You can order or download it here:


In November of 2020 I was elected a corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics.




I participated in a panel discussion on the future of small satellites  for the International Space University’s Alumni Conference in Strasbourg, France on August 1, 2021 along with sever colleagues. It was a very interesting discussion. Take a look:












Prof. Scott Madry involved in $1 million grant from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for space education.

The International Astronautical Federation has been awarded one million dollars by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and a local UNC faculty member is one of those who will be using these funds for space educational programs.

In June of 2021, Blue Origin auctioned off a seat on the first crewed flight of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle, which lifted off from West Texas on July 20. Jeff Bezos himself was on the flight, along with three others, and the seat sold for an astronomical price of $28 million. That money went to Blue Origin’s nonprofit organization, the Club for the Future (, which disbursed much of it with grants of $ 1 million to nineteen non-profit organizations involved in space education and development.

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is the leading space advocacy body in the world, and it is made up of all the major space agencies, major aerospace corporations, research institutions, space societies and others around the world. The IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Program, the IAF Young Space Leaders Recognition Program, and the Students and Young Professionals program at International Astronautical Congresses are administered by the IAF workforce development and young professionals committee, of which Prof. Madry is a long-term member. These programs enable students and young professionals to attend the annual International Astronautical Congress and other programs, and are focused on skills development and learning to work successfully in an international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary environment.

Dr. Madry is a corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics and has participated in student and young professional activities of the IAF annually. He teaches a series of workshops and programs both live at the IAC each year, as well as virtual programs throughout the year, and will be participating again in the upcoming IAC Emerging Space Leaders program in Dubai in October. Dr. Madry is involved in the selection of the winning students and young professionals, who apply from around the world, and works with them to improve their skills.

Dr. Madry is a professor emeritus of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, and is currently a research associate professor of archaeology at UNC-CH and is a research associate of the UNC Research Laboratories of Archaeology. He received his Ph.D. from UNC-CH in 1986 and has worked for NASA and taught at several universities around the world. He is the author of eight scientific and technical books involving space and the use of satellites for monitoring our planet. His professional interests include the application of space technologies and satellite data for a variety of practical uses, including archaeology and disaster management. “These funds will allow many more students and young professionals to pursue their dreams in space, and to use space technologies to create a better world here on Earth. We will look forward to expanding our programs and are very grateful to the Club for the Future for providing this support for our Emerging Space Leaders program” Dr. Madry said.

My latest book, my 8th, is now available. If you want to begin learning the Open Source QGIS, pick ups a copy of my new book Introduction to QGIS Open Source Geographic Information System, which is published by Locate Press as of April 2021. Locate Press is run by Gary Sherman, the founder of the QGIS project, and is the leading publisher for Open Source GIS books. It has a foreword by Tim Sutton of South Africa, one of the main QGIS developers and former manager of the QGIS project. The book is designed to allow you to learn QGIS using a sample database that can be downloaded. It is designed to be useful for beginners and people new to QGIS and Geographic Information Systems.





My 7th book, the Handbook of Small Satellites, has been released by Springer Nature in September of 2020. This is a 1,700 page, two-volume reference work about all facets of the exiting new world of small satellites, cubesats, how they work, and their applications. I am the associate editor, and was the author or co-author on ten of the chapters. It is available now in print and in digital format from Springer Nature.









My latest book with Springer Press, my 6th,  has been released in August 0f 2019.  It is about the amazing era of disruptive technologies and the revolution that these are creating in commercial space activities.  here is the cover:














Our Handbook of Satellite Applications, edited by myself, Prof. Joe Pelton and Dr. Sergio Camacho is in it’s second edition, and has been named one of the Springer Press Top Downloaded New Books in Mechanical Engineering in 2017 with over 377,000 downloads so far. Pretty amazing.



I have been a Fulbright Specialist Program Awardee three times (funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs): in 2006 at the Universite de Bourgogne in Dijon, France, in 2008 at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa, and in 2017 and 2018 at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. You can read a short web story by the Fulbright program about my work in South Africa here.


VolServI am an active volunteer with the American Red Cross and the GISCorps. In 2012 I was awarded, along with the other GISCorps volunteers, the President’s Volunteer Service Award by President Barak Obama. In 2017  I received a second Gold award for my work with the American Red Cross.



Dr. Scott Madry was honored at a luncheon in Chapel Hill on February 25, 2018 where he was named as one of the WCHL Hometown Heroes of 2017 for his continuing work with the American Red Cross.  Scott is in the photo with WCHL on-air personality Ron Stutts.  Each week WCHL recognizes and celebrates a Hometown Hero who contributes selflessly to our local Chapel Hill/Carrboro community.