Research Foci

We use remote sensing, in-situ measurements, and biogeophyical models to study local, regional, and global patterns and processes related to land cover and ecosytem properties that affect water, carbon and energy fluxes between the land surface and the atmosphere. We are especially interested in characterizing how terrestrial ecosystems are changing, and how these changes affect the climate system. Current investigations are organized into three broad and interrelated scientific focus areas:

Global Land Cover and Land Cover Change

The MODIS Global Land Cover Type product (MCD12Q1) provides information related to the state of global land cover at 500-m spatial resolution in five different classification systems at annual time steps. A key focus of ongoing research is development of Bayesian statistical models that incorporate land cover change detection and characterization in the mapping process. Learn More

Land Cover Dynamics and Phenology

The MODIS Land Cover Dynamics product (MCD12Q2) provides global maps of phenological metrics for ecosystems exhibiting seasonal dynamics in vegetation properties.  In addition, we are actively involved in research to develop multiscale data sets and models that can be incorporated into large-scale climate-ecosystem models. Learn More

Human Dominated Ecosystems

Humans have dramatically altered the face of the planet.  Agriculture is the most globally extensive land use, but more than 50% of the Earth’s population now lives in cities and nearly 75% of carbon dioxide emissions come from urban areas. Using remote sensing to understand how urban and agroecosystems are changing and affecting regional to global hydrology and biogeochemical cycles is an increasingly important focus of our group. Learn More

For information related to ongoing funding and projects, please click on the “Current Projects” link in the menu at the top of this page.