Dr. Cordula Robinson

Dr. Cordula Robinson

Academic Specialist

School of Professional and Continuing Studies
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
14 Holmes Hall
Northeastern University
Boston, MA 02215
Phone:(617) 373-2510
Fax: (617) 373-4378

Research Associate
Center for Remote Sensing
Boston University
725 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Telephone: (617)353-5148

Citizen of America and the U.K.

Dr. Cordula Robinson joined the Center for Remote Sensing in 1996. She is currently working on a project that uses satellite images for ground-water exploration in the U.A.E. Dr. Robinson oversees the processing, enhancement and interpretation of SAR imagery radar data and thermal ASTER data for this project. She is also using ASTER data and high resolution imagery in environmental change detection in and around Dubai. Other project involvements include remote sensing studies in southwest Egypt and Oman. Dr. Robinson teaches the undergraduate and graduate radar remote sensing course (GG442/642) in the Geography department.

Before coming to Boston University, Dr.Robinson worked in Berlin, Germany, at the German Aerospace Center, to help prepare for the Mars 1996 mission. She also worked in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. There she analyzed Magellan radar data to investigate the surface electrical properties of Venus with respect to geochemical and weathering processes. She completed her Ph.D. in 1991 at University College London, England, where she used Viking data to study the crustal dichotomy of Mars.


University College London: 1987-1991, (Physics and Astronomy department)
Awarded Ph.D.
Thesis Title: The Crustal Dichotomy of Mars
Supervisor: Professor JE Guest

Durham University: 1984-1987
BSc(Hons) Geology, Class 2I
Subsidiary subjects: Chemistry, Mathematics, and Computing (programming in Pascal)

Bradford Girls’ Grammar School: 1978-1984,
Seven O-levels, three A-levels (Chemistry, Geography, Physics)

Employment Experience

Northeastern University (January 2007-present)
Academic Specialist, School of Professional and Continuing Studies, Department of Earth and Evironmental Sciences.

Boston University (June 1996-present)
January 2007-present: Research Associate, Center for Remote Sensing
February 2004-2006: Environmental change detection in the Emirate of Dubai, U.A.E.
June 2001: Using satellite images (LS, Radarsat, SIR-C) for groundwater exploration in the northern UAE. The approach is two-fold. First, multi-spectral images are examined to assess the potential of ground water in fracture zones in the highlands. Second, radar images are processed and analyzed to reveal the courses of former rivers and streams that are now buried up to 5 m beneath the desert sands. All mapping is performed within a GIS database.
Jan 2000-June 2001: project involvements included the use of radar data (primarily to understand hydrological conditions and tectonic settings) in SW Egypt and NW Sudan, and also southern Alaska.
June 1996-Dec 2000: Used satellite images for groundwater exploration in the Sultanate of Oman, specifically to process, enhance and interpret JPL Spaceborne imaging radar (SIR-C) and RADARSAT data for the generation of a model for groundwater concentration.

Lecture Courses
Spring 2002: GG442/642 Radar Remote Sensing, Department of Geography .
Fall 2003: GG302 Remote Sensing of the Environment, Department of Geography .
Spring 2003: GG442/642 Radar Remote Sensing, Department of Geography .
Winter 2004: GIS3120 Introduction to Remote Sensing, Northeastern, Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Spring 2005: GIS3120 Introduction to Remote Sensing, Northeastern, Earth and Environmental Sciences.

DLR Berlin, Germany (March 1995-June 1996)
Worked on preparations for Mars’ 1996 mission, including image processing and tectonic analysis of HRSC (high-resolution stereo camera) images; testing VICAR programs required for Mars’ 1996 data analysis; and a detailed geological investigation of Ares and Kasei Valles, using Viking orbiter data. Other major projects involved: inspecting the classification capabilities of multispectral channel CCD data (obtained for highly vegetated and cultivated areas on Earth) in order to minimize aircraft and satellite payloads, and the processing of and analysis of MOMs (Modular Optoelectronic Multispectral Stereo Scanner) data over the Great Sand Sea (Egypt) in order to investigate any possible relationship between sand dunes and sub-surface water existing there.

Boston University: (December 1994-March 1995)
Analyzed SIR-C/X-SAR data of the Middle East to understand the development of ground-water systems. Digital Landsat (thematic mapper) and SAR data were used for the geomorphic interpretation of surface drainage and structure.

Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory: (September 1991-November 1994)
Analyzed Magellan synthetic aperture radar data (SAR) of the venusian surface,as well as associated emissivity and altimetry data types. The research involved close work with colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and MIT. Carried out detailed analyses of the SAR data and surface electrical properties (contained in the emissivity data) in order to develop a chronology of geological processes operating on Venus, in the context of surface weathering. Other responsibilities included senior thesis advisor, public talks and open day events.

London University: (1987-91)
Analyzed black and white Viking image and altimetry data of the martian surface to research “The Crustal Dichotomy of Mars”.The work required an in depth understanding of geomorphological processes and geophysical phenomena operating on Mars. It draws comparisons to sedimentary basins, and regions of doming (especially in a belt between Turkey and Iran) on Earth. Terrestrial remote-sensing images have been used to make these comparisons. Other responsibilities included teaching and lecturing in structural geology, planetary geology and geomorphology, examination marking, and editing and reviewing of books in geology.

Principal Research Interests

Fluvio-aeolian processes in hot deserts
Remote sensing and image processing
Locating areas with ground-water resource potential in arid lands using satellite imagery
Environmental change detection

Awards and Recognition

Asteroid, 2942: Cordie. Named in honor of Cordula Robinson by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 1993.
Harrie Massey prize for post-graduate research in physics and astronomy, University College London, 1991.
Varsity Letters : Durham University, 1987

Additional Qualifications

Data analysis experience using either a VAXstation 3100, a Sunsparcstation or a Macintosh, depending on image processing requirements and facilities available.

Operation of Hewlett Packard Design Jet 750c plotter.

Professional Societies

1. Royal Geological Society of London (fellow)
2. American Association for the Advancement of Science
3. American Geophysical Union
4. Geological Society of America
5. Association for Women Geoscientists


  1. Robinson, C.A. (1990) Water and evolving magma bodies on Mars. LPI Tech. Report No. 90 04, 48-49.
  2. Robinson, C.A. (1990) The Highland-lowland boundary formed on Mars between the late Noachian and early Hesperian. LPSC XXI, 1025-1026.
  3. Robinson, C.A. (1991) Thesis: The Crustal Dichotomy of Mars. University College London, pp.1-212.
  4. Robinson, C.A. and J.A. Wood (1992) Recent volcanic activity on Venus. Evidence from emissivity measurements. LPSC XXIII, 1163-1164.
  5. Robinson, C.A. and J.A. Wood (1992) Recent volcanic activity on Venus, evidence from radiothermal emissivity measurements. Icarus 102, 26-39.
  6. Robinson, C.A. (1993) Subduction on the margins of coronae on Venus: Evidence from radiothermal emissivity measurements. LPSC XXIV, 1205-1206.
  7. Stewart, C.A., M.R. Rampino, and C.A. Robinson (1993) Impact shocks in the transition zone: Enough energy to trigger a plume? Venus coronae linked to missing population of large Venus impact craters? EOS Supplement, Oct. 26, 80.
  8. Robinson, C.A. (1994) The weathering process on Venus takes 2-3 hundred million years: Evidence from radiothermal emissivity signatures at coronae. LPSC XXV, 1137-1138.
  9. Robinson, C.A. and G.D. Thornhill (1994) SO2 and CH4 levels in the Venusian atmosphere, measured by Pioneer Venus: Caused by plinian-style volcanic activity at Maat Mons? LPSC XXV, 1139-1140.
  10. Robinson, C.A. (1995) The Magellan mission to Venus. Astronomy, February issue, 32-41.
  11. Robinson, C.A., G.D. Thornhill, and E.A. Parfitt (1995) Large-scale volcanic
    activity at Maat Mons: Can this explain the fluctuations in atmospheric chemistry observed by Pioneer Venus
    ? J. Geophys. Res. (planets) V.100, No. E6., June 25th., 11755-11763.
  12. Robinson, C.A. (1995) The crustal dichotomy of Mars. Earth, Moon, and Planets V. 69, No. 3, 249-269.
  13. Hauber, E., J. Oberst, J. Flohrer, V. Mertens, A. Zaglauer, M. Weiss, W. Schrieder, C. Robinson, W. Zhang, I. Sebastian, R. Jaumann, G. Neukum (1995). High Resolution Stereo Camera Outdoor Tests: Verification of Geometric and Radiometric Accuracy. DPS, 27th Annual Meeting, 98.
  14. Hoffmann, H., C.Robinson, F.Trauthan (1995). A study of the early utilization of the Russian modules on the International Space Station for Earth observations. Phase A1 Study, Adlex Experiment, Annex 3, 1-13.
  15. C.A. Robinson, A.C. Cook and W. Zeitler (1996). Semi-automated Extraction of DEMs for Studies of Ares Vallis using Viking Orbiter Imagery. LPSC XXVII, 1081-1082.
  16. C.A. Robinson, G. Neukum, A. Marchenko, A.T. Basilevsky and G.G. Ori (1996). A Suggested Geological Development for Ares Vallis, Mars. LPSC XXVII, 1083-1084.
  17. C.A. Robinson, G. Neukum and G.G.Ori (1996). Cratering Age Analysis for Ares Vallis, Mars: Implications for its Sedimentary History. Journal Annales Geophysicae, Suppliment V14.
  18. Hauber, E., J. Oberst, J. Flohrer, W. Zhang, I. Sebastian, C. Robinson, R. Jaumann, G. Neukum (1996). The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) for Mars 96: Results of Outdoor Tests. International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, V. 31, B4, Commission 4, 349-354.
  19. C.A. Robinson, F. El-Baz and K.C. Seto (1996) Imaging Radar (SIR-C) Data of the Eastern Sahara, International Geological Correlations Program (IGCP), Project 391, ROSTAS/UNESCO, 37-39.
  20. R.E. Morency and C.A. Robinson (1996) Desert Pavement as an Indicator of Ground-water Accumulation: Evidence from Multispectral Landsat and SIR-C Radar Data. International Geological Correlations Program (IGCP), Project 391, ROSTAS/UNESCO.
  21. C.A. Robinson and F. El-Baz (1997) A Lake Beneath the Selima Sand Sheet, Southwest Egypt: Evidence from Radarsat Data. Geomatics in the Era of Radarsat, 5.
  22. C.A. Robinson, F. El-Baz and K.C. Seto (1997) The Role of the Image Processor in Planetary Instrument Definition, DPS 29th Annual Meeting, Bulletin of the Astronomical Society, Vol. 29, No. 3, 971.
  23. F. El-Baz and C.A. Robinson (1997) Inferences of Palaeotopography from palaeochannels revealed by SIR-C data in the Western Desert of Egypt: Implications to Sand Dune Accumulation, Proc. Of the 12th International Conference of Applied Geologic Remote Sensing, Volume 1, 469-476.
  24. K.C. Seto, C.A. Robinson and F. El-Baz (1997) Digital Image Processing of Landsat and SIR-C data to emphasize drainage patterns in Southwestern Egypt, Proc. of the 12th International Conference Applied Geologic Remote Sensing, Volume I, 93-100.
  25. K.M. Bergen, C.A. Robinson, R. DeRoo, L.E. Pierce (1998) SIR-C Analysis of Desert Sabkha, IGARSS, Seattle, Washington, 6-10 July, CD ISBN: 0-7803-4406-5, Paper No. C06_07.pdf.
  26. C.A. Robinson and F. El-Baz (1998) Radarsat Images of the Eastern Sahara: Implications for Ground-water Resources, Radarsat ADRO Symposium, Montreal, Canada, October, 41.
  27. J. Wiseman, C.A. Robinson and C. Stein (1998) Archaeological applications of radar imagery in Northwestern Greece, Radarsat ADRO Symposium, Montreal, Canada, October, 242-243.
  28. T. Kusky, C. A. Robinson, F. El-Baz, P. Considine, D. Blanco, M. Ledwith, and M. Ozdogan (1998) Tertiary and Quaternary faulting in the Northern Oman Mountains, GSA Annual Meeting, October 26-29, Vol. 30, No. 7., A-238.
  29. C. Robinson and T. Kusky (1998) Tertiary sinistral movement along the Maradi Fault, Oman: Evidence from SIR-C radar data, GSA Annual Meeting, October 26-29, Vol. 30, No. 7., A-288.
  30. C.A. Robinson (1998) Potential and Applications of Radar Images in Egypt, Egypt Jour. Remote Sensing & Space Sciences, V.1, 25-56, (Requested paper).
  31. C.A. Robinson, T. Kusky, F. El-Baz, and H. El-Etr (1999) Using Radar data to assess structural controls from variable channel morphology: Examples from the Eastern Sahara. Proc. of the 13th International Conference Applied Geologic Remote Sensing, Volume II, 381-386.
  32. C.A. Robinson, M. Mainguet, and F. El-Baz (1999) Channel morphologies observed in radar data: Implications to the development of the Selima Sand Sheet. Proc. of the 13th International Conference Applied Geologic Remote Sensing, Volume II, 405-410.
  33. L.W. Fielding and C.A. Robinson (1999) Application of Integrated Directional Filtering (IDF) to Radar Data for Drainage and Structure Identification. Proc. of the 13th International Conference Applied Geologic Remote Sensing, Volume II, 397-403.
  34. C.A. Robinson and F. El-Baz (1999) Relationships Between Fluvial Features, Topographic Depressions and Sand Accumulations: Implications for Ground-water Reserves on Earth and Permafrost in the North Polar Region of Mars, EOS Transactions, AGU, 1999 Spring Meeting, April 27th, Vol. 80, No. 17, S213.
  35. C.A. Robinson, F. El-Baz and V. Singhroy (1999) Subsurface Imaging By Radarsat: Comparison with Landsat TM Data and Implications to Ground Water in the Selima Area, Northwestern Sudan, Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 25, No. 3, 268-277.
  36. C.A. Robinson and T. Kusky (1999) Results of Structural Mapping Using Radarsat Data Obtained for the Sleetmute and Medfra Areas, Alaska, GSA Annual Meeting, October 25-28, Vol. 31, No. 7, A-176.
  37. F. El-Baz, M. Mainguet and C.A. Robinson (2000) Fluvio-aeolian dynamics in the North-eastern Sahara: Interrelation between fluvial and aeolian systems and implications to ground water, Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 44, 173-183.
  38. C.A. Robinson, F. El-Baz, M. Ozdogan, M. Ledwith, D. Blanco, S. Oakley, and J. Inzana (2000) Use of Radar Data to Delineate Palaeodrainage Flow Directions in the Selima Sand Sheet, Eastern Sahara, PE&RS, Vol. 66, No. 6: 745-753
  39. M.G. Abdelsalam, C.A. Robinson, F. El-Baz and R.J. Stern (2000) Applications of Orbital Imaging Radar for Geologic Studies in Arid Regions: The Saharan Testimony, PE&RS, Vol. 66, No. 6: 717-726.
  40. Contributor to Atlas of the State of Kuwait from Satellite Images. (F. El-Baz and M. Al-Sarawi, editors). Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, Safat, Kuwait. ISBN 99906-30-00-3, 145 p. (2000)
  41. F. El-Baz, C.A. Robinson, M.M. Mainguet, M. Said, M. Nabih, I.H. Himida, H.A. El-El-Etr (2001), Distribution and morphology of palaeo-channels in southeastern Egypt and northwestern Sudan, Palaeoecology of Africa (Klaus Heine, editor), Vol. 27: 239-258.
  42. C.A. Robinson (2001), Sinistral movement along the Maradi Fault, Oman: Evidence from SIR-C radar data, GSA Annual Meeting, November 1-10, Vol. 33, No. 6., A-320.
  43. Contributor to Dictionary of Geophysics, Astrophysics, and Astronomy, (2001) Richard A. Matzner, editor, CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp. 1-526.
  44. N. G. Barlow, T. Farr, V. R. Baker, N. Bridges, F. Carsey, N. Duxbury, M. S. Gilmore, J. R. Green, E. Grin, V. Hansen, L. Keszthelyi, P. Lanagan, R. Lentz, L. Marinangeli, P. A. Morris, G. G. Ori, P. Paillou, C. Robinson, and B. Thomson (2001) Community Decadal Panel for Terrestrial Analogs to Mars, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 33, 1055.
  45. C.A. Robinson (2002) Application of satellite radar data suggest that the
    Kharga Depression in Southwestern Egypt is a fracture rock aquifer
    , International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 23, No. 19, pp. 4101-4113.
  46. Community Contributions to the NRC Solar System Exploration Decadel Survey (2002) The Future of Solar System Exploration, 2003-2013, Ed. Mark V. Sykes, Univ. of Arizona, Published by: The Astronomical Society of the Pacific, ASP Conference Series, Vol. CS-272, pp. 1-433.
  47. Kusky, T.M., El-Baz, F., and Robinson, C.A., 2002, Uplift and neotectonics of the northern Oman Mountains, Workshop on the tectonic evolution of the Tethysides, Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy, Oct 2002.
  48. Contributor to Wadis of Oman, Satellite Image Atlas. (F. El-Baz, editor). Sultanate of Oman, Office of the Advisor to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs, 281 p. (2002)
  49. C.A. Robinson (2003). Educational Profile, Boston University Center for Remote Sensing. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society Newletter, December 2003: 13-15
  50. C. Vita-Finzi, R.J. Howarth, S. Tapper and C.A. Robinson (2004) Venusian Craters and the origin of coronae, LPSC XXXV, Abs 1564.
  51. C.A. Robinson, F.El-Baz and M. Mainguet (2004) The development of the Wahiba Sands, northeastern Oman: A remote sensing perspective, 32nd, International Geological Congress, Florence, August 27.
  52. C. Vita-Finzi, R. J. Howarth, S. Tapper and C.A. Robinson (2005) Venusian Craters
    and the Origin of Coronae. In: Plates, Plumes and Paradigms
    (pdf), edited by: G.R. Foulger, J.H. Natland, D.C. Presnall and D.L. Anderson, GSA Special Paper 388, p. 815-824, pp. 861.
  53. T.M. Kusky, C.A. Robinson and F. El-Baz (2005) Tertiary-Quaternary Faulting
    and Uplift in the northern Oman Hajar Mountains
    (pdf), Journal of Geological Society,Vol. 162, 2005, pp. 871–888. (Copyright and all rights therein are retained by The Geological Society of London. You may search fo GSL publications at http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/geol/jgs)
  54. C.A. Robinson, F. El-Baz, T.S.M. Al-Saud and S.B. Jeon (2006) Use of Radar
    Data to Delineate Palaeodrainage Leading into the Kufra Oasis in the Eastern
    , Journal of African Earth Sciences, Vol. 44, p. 229-240.
  55. F. El-Baz, C.A. Robinson and T.S.M. Al-Saud (2005) Radar Images and Geoarchaeology of the eastern Sahara, Book in progress: Remote Sensing in Archaeology, Eds J. Wiseman and F. El-Baz.
  56. C.A. Robinson, F.El-Baz, M. Mainguet, F. Dumay and T.Kusky (2005) Role of Aeolian and Fluvial Processes in the Evolution and Origin of the Wahiba Sands, IGARSS, July 25th.
  57. C.A. Robinson, A. Buynevich, F. El-Baz and A. Shaban (2005). Integrative
    Remote Sensing Techniques to Detect Coastal Fresh-Water Seeps
    , Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 37, No. 7, p. 1
  58. C.A. Robinson and F. El-Baz, September (2006), Future Initiatives in
    Desalination Research,
    Arab Water World, p.98.
  59. C.A. Robinson, F. El-Baz et M. Mainguet (2006), L’eau une resource limitée en quantité et en qualité, Clin d’Oeil, No. 3, p. 16-19
  60. C.A. Robinson, A. Werwer, M. El-Shazly, F. El-Baz, A. Buynevich, T. Kusky (2006), Effects of Fluvial and Structural Controls on the Nubian Aquifer System in SW Egypt (Western Desert), 8th International Conference on the Geology Of The Arab World, February 13-16, p. 42
  61. Shaban, A., Robinson, C.A., El-Baz, F. and Al-Sulaimani, Z., (2006), Using thermal imagery to identify water seeps into the sea: a comparative analysis to Lebanon and the Omani Gulf-Arabian Sea coasts, 6th International Conference on the Geology of the Middle East, March 20th-23rd, 2006.
  62. Shaban, A. and Robinson, C.A., (2006), A systematic approach using* *MODIS and TRMM data to monitor rainfall peaks versus water flow from rivers. Regional Workshop On: Monitoring of coastal zones and legislation for the implementation of a national observatory on environment and development, Batroun Lebanon, 25-26th May, 2006.
  63. C. A. Robinson, (2006) RADARSAT-2 multi polarization data for groundwater exploration, Darfur Sudan. Radarsat-2 Symposium, September 11th -15th , 2006.
  64. C. A. Robinson, A. Werwer, F. El-Baz, M. El-Shazly, E. Ghoneim and H. El-Kaliouby. (2006). Remote sensing to support a better hydrogeological understanding of the Nubian Aquifer systems in the Western Desert of Egypt. GSA Annual Meeting/Abstracts with Programs/, Vol. 38, No. 7, p. 564,* October 22-25 2006.
  65. A. Shaban, C.A. Robinson and F. El-Baz. (2006). Use of satellite images and aerial photos to monitor water flow into the sea: A case study from along the Lebanese coast. Environmental Seminar*, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, California State University, Fresno, Thursday December 7th, 2006.
  66. E. Ghoneim, C.A. Robinson and F. El-Baz, (2006). Radar Topography Data Reveal Drainage Relics in the Eastern Sahara, International Journal of Remote Sensing, Accepted.
  67. C.A. Robinson, A. Werwer, F. El-Baz, M. El-Shazly, T. Fritch and T. Kusky, (2007). The Nubian Aquifer in Southwest Egypt, Hydrogeology Journal. Requested paper, Vol. 15, Number 1. DOI 10.1007/s10040-006-0091-7
  68. C.A. Robinson (2007) Radar data contributes to groundwater exploration in the eastern Sahara, SPIE Newsroom, Remote Sensing, Febrauray 2007.
  69. C.A. Robinson, F. El-Baz, T. Kusky, M. Mainguet, F. Dumay, Z. Al Suleimani and A. Al Marjeby, (2007). Role of Fluvial and Aeolian Processes in the Evolution
    and Origin of the Wahiba Sands: A Remote Sensing Perspective
    , Journal Arid Environments, Volume 69, Issue 4 , June 2007, Pages 676-694.
  70. A. Shaban, C.A. Robinson and F. El-Baz, (2007). Using MODIS-Terra and TRMM data to correlate rainfall peaks and freshwater discharges from Lebanese coastal rivers,Hydrological Science Journal. /Submitted./

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