Tom Achtor with Izabela at ITSC-15

The ITWG community lost a good friend and colleague recently when Izabela Dyras passed away. She had joined the ITWG community in 2002, attending ITSC-XII in Lorne, Australia and every conference thereafter. Izabela became a friend to many of us and brought to the group an excellent perspective of applying satellite data to solving real problems that improve people’s lives.

She was pioneering the use of AMSU and AVHRR data in Poland to improve the forecast and presented a number of papers at the conferences:

  • Meteorological Products Generation Using Combined Analysis of NOAA AVHRR and ATOVS Data
  • The retrieval of the atmospheric humidity parameters from NOAA/AMSU data for winter season
  • Precipitation estimation from NOAA/AMSU data

which demonstrated her active research in Poland. She was always keen to learn more from some of the more experienced scientists at the conferences.

Izabela (middle) hiking with ITSC-13 colleagues

Izabela made friends quickly and kept in contact with many other ITWG members between meetings. She was always a keen participant in the weekend walks we organized at the conferences and we remember conversations on many topics during those walks. Her close friend and colleague, Bozena Lapata and other colleagues from the Satellite Remote Sensing Centre in Krakow, Poland have contributed a very thoughtful note on Izabela that follows. We will all miss Izabela’s spirit, her enthusiasm, her friendship and her contributions to our science.

Tom Achtor and Roger Saunders
past ITWG co-chairs



We are deeply saddened by the death of our friend and colleague Izabela Dyras in the middle of August 2007. She was very devoted to her work and always enthusiastic about every new challenge.

Izabela (far right) with colleagues at ITSC-14 dinner

Having graduated in mathematics and computer science from the Jagiellonian University, Izabela started her adventure with satellite remote sensing at the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management in Krakow. Izabela’s educational background kept her interested in expert systems. She worked on creating such a system for the classification of satellite images (AVHRR) and its use in meteorology. Her Ph.D. thesis also referred to that subject, and no one was surprised when she got deeply interested in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) later on. She devoted her last years to the promotion of GIS techniques in meteorology and climatology. She worked actively and briskly in COST Action 719 as a vice-chairman, attended conferences and organized numerous oral and poster sessions like the EMS GIS session which was her ‘child.’

Izabela was open to new challenges and always seized opportunities to gain new experiences. In 1991 she moved to Salalah in Oman, where she supervised implementation of GIS techniques for environmental protection in Dhofar Province. She spent 3 years there, together with her family, and she went there again in 1995. At that time, however, she was appointed as a manager of section for Satellite Data Processing in Muscat. She studied the changes in arable land with the use of satellite data.

Bozena Lapeta, Paolo Antonelli, and Izabela Dyras
at ITSC-15

Izabela was an enthusiastic promoter of microwave satellite data. She initiated work on applications of AMSU data for precipitation and atmospheric humidity retrievals in the Satellite Research Department of IMWM. That interest led her to the ITWG community. She attended her first ITSC conference in 2001 in Lorne, Australia and since then continued participating until the last one, held in Maratea, Italy, in 2006. Being seriously ill, she found the strength to go there and meet people she liked and valued.

Work was not the only thing Izabela was committed to. She was the member of many organisations and societies, always ready to help others. She put all her energy and abilities to anything she was involved in, no matter whether it was a new research project, a course organization or simple meeting. She was always optimistic and active. She enjoyed life up to the end of her days. Izabela may you rest in peace. We will miss you.

Bozena Lapeta and the Colleagues from the Satellite Remote Sensing Centre, IMWM