Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Celio Helder Resende De Sousa

(Associate Research Scientist)

Celio Helder Resende De Sousa's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.6660
Org Code: 618
Mail Code 618
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Sousa obtained his BSc. degree in Forest Engineering in 2011. During his undergraduate studies, he worked as an analyst on a governmental project for mapping the native flora and reforested areas of Minas Gerais state in Brazil. This experience was the stepping stone to his MSc. in Forest Engineering and Management with emphasis in Remote Sensing of Forest Resources, obtained in 2013. During his MSc, he joined Dr. Olaf Niemann's research group at University of Victoria (UVic), British Columbia in 2012/2013 as a visiting researcher. In 2013, Dr. Sousa was admitted into the Forest Ecosystems & Society doctoral program at Oregon State University. During his Ph.D, he worked with stress related changes in the light use efficiency of the Amazonian rainforests using space-borne multi-angle remote sensing data.

Research Interests

Land cover-land use

Earth Science: Remote Sensing

Dr. Celio Sousa' research focus on using cloud-computing and multi-temporal/ multi-sensor data for characterizing and quantifying land cover extent and change in tropical regions and its biophysical and socioeconomic impacts.

Current Projects

Mapping Ecosystem Extent for the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa

Land Cover/Use

In partnership with Conservation International, Dr. Sousa is providing decision support tools for African countries who have committed themselves to incorporating ecosystem service accounting into national decision making through the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa. Along with Conservation International, Dr. Sousa's goal is to developed repeatable methodologies to map ecosystem extent, meet international standards for ecosystem accounting, and satisfy the requirements of a broad range of nation specific decision support needs.


Assistant Researcher

University of Maryland - Baltimore County - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

November 2021 - Present

Associate Researcher

Universities Space Research Association - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD 20771

October 2020 - November 2021

Visiting Researcher I

University Space Research Association - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD 20771

November 2018 - October 2020


Dr. Sousa is currently supported through the NASA Earth Science Division’s Partnerships Program which seeks to build commercial and NGO relationships that amplify our understanding of the Earth as an integrated system and enable societal benefits.


  • BSc in Forest Engineering - 2011 [Universidade Federal de Lavras (Federal University of Lavras – Brazil)]

Thesis: Analise do Comportamento Espectral de Areas em Regeneracao Natural no Bioma Cerrado [Analysis of the Spectral Behavior of Areas under Natural Regeneration in the Cerrado Biome, Brazil]

  • MSc in Forest Engineering - 2013 [Universidade Federal de Lavras/ University of Victoria, BC (Federal University of Lavras – University of Victoria, BC)]

Thesis: Evaluating Segmentation and Classification Approaches using RapidEye Data for Vegetation Mapping in Minas Gerais, Brazil

  • PhD in Forest Ecosystems & Society - 2017 [Oregon State University]

Dissertation: Remote Sensing of Photosynthetic Light-Use Efficiency of Amazonian Rainforests

Teaching Experience

  • Teaching Assistant - 'Dendrology' - Federal University of Lavras, 2008
  • Teaching Assistant - ‘Forest Photogrammetry and Introduction into Remote Sensing’  - Oregon State University, 2015
  • Teaching Assistant - ‘Forest Photogrammetry and Introduction into Remote Sensing’  - Oregon State University, 2016
  • Teaching Assistant - ‘Forest Biology' - Oregon State University, 2017

Professional Service

FINESST Earth Science Carbon Cycle and Ecosystem (CC&E) Panel Review May 2-3, 2019.


  • 2019 NASA Headquarters Honor Award in Earth Science Partnerships Award
  • Science Without Borders [Ministry of Education - CAPES/Brazil] - 2013
  • Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program – ELAP [Government of Canada] - 2012



2022. "A review of carbon monitoring in wet carbon systems using remote sensing." Environmental Research Letters 17 (2): 025009 [10.1088/1748-9326/ac4d4d] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Cloud-computing and machine learning in support of country-level land cover and ecosystem extent mapping in Liberia and Gabon." PLOS ONE 15 (1): e0227438 [10.1371/journal.pone.0227438] [Journal Article/Letter]