Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Dalia B Kirschbaum

(Director, Earth Sciences Division)

Dalia B Kirschbaum's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.5810
Org Code: 610
Mail Code 610
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Dalia B. Kirschbaum is the Director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. As Director she manages a staff of 200 civil servants and 1200 people serving as contractors, technicians, support staff and those on cooperative agreements, all dedicated to studying the Earth as an integrated system that includes the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, cryosphere, and geosphere. Prior to this role, she was Chief of the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory, a group of scientists focused on conducting large-scale hydrological science research using data from NASA’s satellites, land surface models, and fieldwork. Dr. Kirschbaum’s research has focused on rainfall-triggered landslide modeling, monitoring and mapping using remotely sensed information to conduct landslide hazard and risk studies at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Previously, she also served as the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission Deputy Project Scientist for Applications, and on the Atmosphere Observing System (AOS) Science and Applications Leadership Team. She has also supported the agency as a Disaster Response Coordinator, working with other NASA centers as well as domestic and international partners to bring satellite data and products to bear during natural hazard events to improve situational awareness and inform decision making. Dr. Kirschbaum received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University with a focus in Natural Hazards and Remote Sensing. She received her A.B. in Geosciences from Princeton University.

Research Interests

Landslide Hazard Modeling

Earth Science: Hydrology / Water Cycle

My research interests center on rainfall-triggered landslide modeling, focusing on applying remotely sensed surface and precipitation information to landslide hazard models at multiple spatial and temporal scales. My current research focuses on advancing a regional landslide hazard and forecasting system with more quantitative and deterministic models to improve landslide hazard assessment. I am also developing a web-based interface for visualization of landslide hazard and remote sensing products for improved situational awareness of landslide hazards and reported events. This landslide interface represents the first regional/global interface to access landslide reports and contribute events to a global database. A prototype of our current system can be seen at

Application of remotely sensed precipitation data

Earth Science: Precipitation

This research involves evaluation and application of remotely sensed precipitation data from GPM and analyzing precipitation extremes as they relate to hydrometeorological hazards

Landslide Citizen Science

Earth Science: Human Dimensions

Dr. Kirschbaum and her team have developed a landslide citizen science system called "Landslide Reporter" that enables anyone to submit a report through the website: All reports are evaluated and then posted publicly on the Landslide Viewer portal.

Global Landslide Catalog

Earth Science: Applications

This work involves developing and maintaining a Global Landslide Catalog focused on rainfall-triggered landslides. Through this effort we are also working to developed a landslide citizen science portal, "Landslide Reporter" that will be an online portal to visualize, export, and edit this catalog and add additional events that is openly available to the public. This site will launch early in 2018.

Slope-stability modeling: sensitivity analysis and applications

Earth Science: Surface Properties

This work involves testing a physically-based slope-stability model over local and regional scales for improved assessment of landslide triggering conditions and sensitivity analysis of the inputs required to effectively model these processes.



Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Natural Hazards, Geomorphology, Remote Sensing

Dissertation: Multi-Scale Landslide Hazard and Risk Assessment: A Modeling and Multivariate Statistical Approach

Research Advisor: Dr. Arthur Lerner-Lam

Doctoral Degree Received: July 2009


M. Phil. Geomorphology, Remote Sensing, Climate


M.A. Earth and Environmental Sciences


A.B. Geosciences and Environmental Policy

Advisors: Dr. S. George Philander, Dr. Gregory van der Vink

Thesis: A Comparative Analysis of Drought and Famine in the Sahel and India


Research Physical Scientist

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Hydrological Sciences Laboratory - Greenbelt, MD

January 2011 - May 2020

Develop new techniques for rainfall-triggered landslide hazard assessment and forecasting using statistical and deterministic landslide models and remote sensing data.

Specific objectives:

• Develop a regional landslide hazard and forecasting system focused on a prototype in Central America with the goal of expanding the model to other regional nodes

• Implement a web-based visual interface to view landslide hazard and remote sensing products for improved situational awareness for landslide hazards

• Advance a global satellite-based rainfall-triggered landslide hazard algorithm through improved susceptibility, rainfall threshold and soil moisture calculations.

• Compile a Global Landslide Catalog (data available from 2007-present) to be viewed in the online landslide hazard visualization tool and use the GLC for validation of landslide hazard algorithms to characterize model performance accuracy.

• Perform sensitivity analysis of a physically-based slope-stability model (TRIGRS) within the Land Information System (LIS) framework developed within the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory and test input parameters for several case studies using uncertainty testing of model variables and error characterization of slope stability outputs.

Global Precipitation Measurement Mission Deputy Project Scientist for Applications

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, Maryland

September 2014 - June 2022

Lead scientific support for applications research and activities for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. Specific objectives and activities:

  • Coordinate and facilitate data access issues in terms of TRMM and GPM data format, accessibility and availability for expert to non-expert users
  • Coordinate GPM Applications Workshop (Fall 2013, planned for Spring 2015) to bring together the applications community to discuss both the applications of TRMM and GPM data as well as identify existing issues relating to data quality control, data access, and provenance.
  • Communicate with end users on data and product access, availability and needs
  • Work with the Office of Communications and Visualization groups to release GPM data imagery, including first light and subsequent data releases
  • Represent GPM Science and Applications at both domestic and international conferences and meetings
  • Serve as a GPM science liaison for many media activities, including Live Shots, Hyperwall Presentations, interviews, and other presentations
  • Supervised, planned and implemented GPM’s Education and Public Outreach projects by leading a team of scientists, educators, and technical specialists to communicate the science and societal activities of the GPM mission to the general public.

Acting Associate Director for Applied Sciences at GSFC

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, Maryland

January 2016 - February 2017

Serves as the principal operating official in the Division for planning, coordinating, and implementing strategies for applied science research at NASA GSFC. Responsible for the strategic initiatives and organizational processes leading to applied science research that strategically supports the mission of the Division.
Specific objectives and activities:

  • Promote and facilitate coordination amongst scientists, missions and current/future partnerships within GSFC in the area of applied research and applications.
  • Works with the ESD senior management team to guide the development of specific new business plans, including the development of the Division's investment plans, to foster strategic applied science research with the required institutional support.
  • Manages and reports on Earth science applied research and mission applications activities to GSFC senior management and HQ representatives.
  • Serves as the principal liaison and main point of contact between the Division and the NASA HQ Earth Sciences applied science research program and GSFC Mission applications activities and communicates activities throughout the organization

Research Associate

Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), University of Maryland - Greenbelt, MD

July 2010 - January 2011

Collaborated with scientists in the Hydrological Sciences Branch at NASA Goddard to develop and test statistical and deterministic landslide models within the Land Information System (LIS) framework developed within the Hydrological Sciences Branch. Evaluation strategies consider how model inputs and spatial scaling impact performance accuracy.
Specific objectives:
• Improve a global satellite-based rainfall-triggered landslide hazard algorithm using LIS-based optimization strategies for threshold detection and characterize system uncertainty using sensitivity testing of input parameters.
• Integrate a physically-based slope-stability model into LIS and test input parameters using uncertainty testing of model variables and error characterization of slope stability outputs.

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA Post Doctoral Program - Greenbelt, MD

July 2009 - June 2010

Collaborated with scientists in the Hydrological Sciences Branch at NASA Goddard to develop and evaluate satellite-based landslide hazard assessment tools within the Land Information System (LIS) framework in order to improve global and regional landslide modeling capabilities.
Specific objectives:
• Integrate a newly developed landslide forecasting algorithm into Land Information System (LIS), an Earth system modeling and data assimilation platform
• Consider how the different spatial scales and accuracy of satellite and in situ data affect hazard evaluation and model outputs
• Characterize data and model sensitivity and within an uncertainty framework
• Advance modeling capabilities to improve satellite-based landslide hazard assessment and real-time hazard forecasting

Visiting Graduate Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Columbia University - Cambridge, MA

August 2008 - June 2009

Collaborated with the Hydrology Research group in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department to develop landslide susceptibility methodologies and compare results within Central America and the Caribbean region
Specific objectives:
• Focus on how the spatial and temporal resolution of surface and atmospheric satellite data effect landslide susceptibility assessment
• Work with colleagues in the Hydrology Group to developed two static landslide susceptibility methodologies
• Develop and evaluate two landslide susceptibility methodologies and compared model results for Central America and Puerto Rico
• Participated in bi-monthly Hydrology Research group meetings
• Continuing collaboration with several colleagues in the research group to improve landslide susceptibility and hazard modeling results and compare evaluation methodologies

GSFC Disaster Coordinator


June 2015 - June 2022

Leads disaster response activities for NASA to enable the use of satellite data and products during natural disasters to improve situational awareness and inform decision making. Also periodically represents at the OSTP Subcommittee for Disaster Reduction on behalf of NASA, which meets monthly.

Director, Earth Sciences Division

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

June 2022 - Present

Chief of the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, Maryland

May 2020 - June 2022


2019: Robert H. Goddard Science Honor Award for Scientific Achievement

2018: Scientific Achievement Award NASA’s Hydrospheric and Biospheric Lab

2017: Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) - Awarded by Obama, January 2017

2017: Arthur S. Flemming Award

2016: Scientific Achievement Award NASA’s Hydrospheric and Biospheric Labs

2015: Robbert H Goddard Exceptional Achievement Outreach Team - GPM Outreach Team Award

2014: NASA Agency Award - Early Career Achievement Medal

2014: Achievement in Outreach Award from NASA's Hydrospheric and Biospheric Labs

2013 Best Publication from NASA’s Hydrospheric and Biospheric Labs

2005 Sara F. Langer Book Prize, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

2004 William Bonini Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Geosciences, Princeton University


Selected Public Outreach

Guest Scientist on NASA Science Live Episode 4 - Storms Across the Solar System

June 2019 - June 2019

NASA Science Live is a 30 minute show put on by the NASA Communications team that takes viewers behind-the-scenes alongside expert to explore the secrets of the universe. Episode 4 featured storms across the universe, including our home planet Earth.

Media Liveshots for GPM IMERG 20-year Release

May 2020 - May 2020

Conducted 15 Media interviews with outlets across the U.S. to talk about the recent roll-out of the near 20-year GPM IMERG product, that now spans 2000-2020.

Facebook Live Coverage of Hurricane Matthew

November 2016 - November 2016

Live coverage of Hurricane Matthew as it was traversing the Caribbean Ocean and making landfall in the United States in September-October 2016.

Facebook Live Event for GPM

July 2016 - July 2016

I hosted a Facebook Live event on 6/21/2016 on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission and how we can use this data to better understand our weather, climate, monsoons, etc. and also to show the public how we control satellites from the GPM Mission Operations Control center. The event reached over 2 million people and was shared over 110,000 times. You can check it out at: or at

Hurricane Joaquin Live Shots, Oct. 2nd 2015:

November 2015 - November 2015

Fielded questions from tens of news outlets about Hurricane Joaquin

Faces of GPM: Dalia Kirschbaum

February 2014 - February 2014

I was one of several scientists and engineers that are contributing to the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission. My specific "Faces of GPM" piece can be found at:

Live Launch Coverage of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory

March 2014 - March 2014

I was the science host for 3 hours of Live launch coverage on NASATV for the launch of the GPM Core Observatory satellite from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. I was the co-host to provide information to the public about what was happening prior to the launch, give people a background on the the mission and its relevance, and interview other scientists about the mission. A link to this coverage can be found at

Communicating GPM Science to the community

August 2010 - Present

Presented GPM overview talks on applications and E/PO activities to thousands of people and tens of talks, including (but not limited to): Museum Alliance, Earth to Sky Workshop, NOAA User Workshop on GPM, PMM Science Team Meetings, IGARSS Annual Meeting, AGU Hyperwall, GSA Hyperwall, classroom visits (K-12, college)

GPM Education and Outreach Coordinator

August 2009 - Present

As the Education and Outreach coordinator for GPM, I have given a large number of presentations to groups ranging from elementary and middle school students, to high schoolers, community and 4-year college audiences, Capitol Hill staff members, congressmen, and delegations from other countries. I have given many tours of the GPM satellite when it was being built and tested at GSFC and was the science host of the program covering GPM's launch on February 27th, 2014. I have also participated in Live Shots and given a large number of hyperwall presentations relating to GPM and the water cycle.

Editor/reviewer of Journal articles

2014 - Present

• Served as guest editor for the Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Special Issue: Remote Sensing and Modeling of Landslides: Detection, Monitoring and Risk Evaluation.

• Reviewed at least 1 research paper per month for various journals (Natural Hazards, Natural Hazards and Earth Systems Sciences, International Journal of Remote Sensing, Earth and Environmental Sciences, etc.)



2024. "Multitemporal landslide inventory and susceptibility map for the Arun River Basin, Nepal." Geoscience Data Journal [10.1002/gdj3.240] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "An urban drainage scheme for large-scale flood models." Journal of Hydrology 130410 [10.1016/j.jhydrol.2023.130410] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Learnings from rapid response efforts to remotely detect landslides triggered by the August 2021 Nippes earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace in Haiti." Natural Hazards [10.1007/s11069-023-06096-6] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Earth observations into action: the systemic integration of earth observation applications into national risk reduction decision structures." Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal [10.1108/dpm-09-2022-0186] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Global Landslide Reporting Using a Decade of the Global Landslide Catalog." Sustainability 15 (4): 3323 [10.3390/su15043323] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission: Leveraging Stakeholder Engagement & Applications Activities to Inform Decision-making." Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment 29 100853 [10.1016/j.rsase.2022.100853] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "A dynamic landslide hazard monitoring framework for the Lower Mekong Region." Frontiers in Earth Science 10 [10.3389/feart.2022.1057796] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "A Scalable Framework for Post Fire Debris Flow Hazard Assessment Using Satellite Precipitation Data." Geophysical Research Letters 49 (18): [10.1029/2022gl099850] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "The influence of land use and land cover change on landslide susceptibility in the Lower Mekong River Basin." Natural Hazards 115 1499–1523 [10.1007/s11069-022-05604-4] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Global Landslide Forecasting System for Hazard Assessment and Situational Awareness." Frontiers in Earth Science 10 [10.3389/feart.2022.878996] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Insights from the topographic characteristics of a large global catalog of rainfall-induced landslide event inventories." Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 22 (3): 1129-1149 [10.5194/nhess-22-1129-2022] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Generating landslide density heatmaps for rapid detection using open-access satellite radar data in Google Earth Engine." Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 22 (3): 753-773 [10.5194/nhess-22-753-2022] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Rainfall‐induced landslide inventories for Lower Mekong based on Planet imagery and a semi‐automatic mapping method." Geoscience Data Journal 9 (2): 315-327 [10.1002/gdj3.145] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Investigating the potential of a global precipitation forecast to inform landslide prediction." Weather and Climate Extremes 33 100364 [10.1016/j.wace.2021.100364] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "A closer look at factors governing landslide recovery time in post-seismic periods." Geomorphology 391 107912 [10.1016/j.geomorph.2021.107912] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Satellites Support Disaster Response to Storm-Driven Landslides." Eos 102 [10.1029/2021eo161725] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "New Insight into Post-seismic Landslide Evolution Processes in the Tropics." Frontiers in Earth Science 9 [10.3389/feart.2021.700546] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Data-Driven Landslide Nowcasting at the Global Scale." Frontiers in Earth Science 9 [10.3389/feart.2021.640043] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Global connections between El Nino and landslide impacts." Nature Communications 12 (1): 2262 [10.1038/s41467-021-22398-4] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Landslide mapping using object-based image analysis and open source tools." Engineering Geology 282 106000 [10.1016/j.enggeo.2021.106000] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Landslide Hazard and Exposure Modelling in Data‐Poor Regions: The Example of the Rohingya Refugee Camps in Bangladesh." Earth's Future 9 (2): [10.1029/2020ef001666] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Potential of GPM IMERG Precipitation Estimates to Monitor Natural Disaster Triggers in Urban Areas: The Case of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil." Remote Sensing 12 (24): 4095 [10.3390/rs12244095] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "New global characterisation of landslide exposure." Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 20 (12): 3413-3424 [10.5194/nhess-20-3413-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "InSAR-based detection method for mapping and monitoring slow-moving landslides in remote regions with steep and mountainous terrain: An application to Nepal." Remote Sensing of Environment 249 111983 [10.1016/j.rse.2020.111983] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Incorporation of Satellite Precipitation Uncertainty in a Landslide Hazard Nowcasting System." Journal of Hydrometeorology 21 (8): 1741-1759 [10.1175/jhm-d-19-0295.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Earth Observations Informing Cities’ Operations and Planning." Eos 101 [10.1029/2020eo146808] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Landslides across the USA: occurrence, susceptibility, and data limitations." Landslides 17 2271–2285 [10.1007/s10346-020-01424-4] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Review article: Natural hazard risk assessments at the global scale." Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 20 (4): 1069-1096 [10.5194/nhess-20-1069-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Extreme Precipitation in the Himalayan Landslide Hotspot." Satellite Precipitation 69 1087-1111 [10.1007/978-3-030-35798-6] [Article in Book]

2020. "Building a landslide hazard indicator with machine learning and land surface models." Environmental Modelling & Software 129 104692 [10.1016/j.envsoft.2020.104692] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Changes in Extreme Precipitation and Landslides Over High Mountain Asia." Geophysical Research Letters 47 (4): [10.1029/2019gl085347] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "The September 18-20 2020 Medicane Ianos Impact on Greece - Phase I Reconnaissance Report." Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Report GEER-068 [10.18118/G6MT1T] [Report]

2019. "Use of Very High-Resolution Optical Data for Landslide Mapping and Susceptibility Analysis along the Karnali Highway, Nepal." Remote Sensing 11 (19): 2284 [10.3390/rs11192284] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "The State of Remote Sensing Capabilities of Cascading Hazards Over High Mountain Asia." Frontiers in Earth Science 7 [10.3389/feart.2019.00197] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Using citizen science to expand the global map of landslides: Introducing the Cooperative Open Online Landslide Repository (COOLR)." PLOS ONE 14 (7): e0218657 [10.1371/journal.pone.0218657] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Evaluating the uncertainty of terrestrial water budget components over High Mountain Asia." Frontiers in Earth Science 7 [10.3389/feart.2019.00120] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Automated Satellite-Based Landslide Identification Product for Nepal." Earth Interactions 23 (3): 1-21 [10.1175/ei-d-17-0022.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Bayesian analysis of the impact of rainfall data product on simulated slope failure for North Carolina locations." Computational Geosciences [10.1007/s10596-018-9804-y] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Evaluating TMPA Rainfall over the Sparsely Gauged East African Rift." Journal of Hydrometeorology 19 (9): 1507-1528 [10.1175/jhm-d-18-0103.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM): Unified Precipitation Estimation from Space." Springer Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry 175-193 [10.1007/978-3-319-72583-3_7] [Article in Book]

2018. "The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission's scientific achievements and societal contributions: reviewing four years of advanced rain and snow observations." Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 144 27-48 [10.1002/qj.3313] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Satellite-Based Assessment of Rainfall-Triggered Landslide Hazard for Situational Awareness." Earth's Future 6 (3): 505-523 [Full Text] [10.1002/2017ef000715] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission for Science and Society." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 98 (8): 1679-1695 [10.1175/bams-d-15-00306.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Satellite Precipitation Characterization, Error Modeling, and Error Correction Using Censored Shifted Gamma Distributions." Journal of Hydrometeorology 18 (10): JHM-D-17-0060.1 [10.1175/jhm-d-17-0060.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Effects of inventory bias on landslide susceptibility calculations." Landslides: Putting Experience, Knowledge And Emerging Technologies Into Practice, AEG Special Publication No. 27 794-806 [Proceedings]

2017. "NASA’s Remotely-sensed Precipitation: A Reservoir for Applications Users." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 98 (6): 1169-1184 [10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00296.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Approximating Long-Term Statistics Early in the Global Precipitation Measurement Era." Earth Interactions 21 (3): 1-10 [10.1175/ei-d-16-0025.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Statistical approaches for the definition of landslide rainfall thresholds and their uncertainty using rain gauge and satellite data." Geomorphology 285 16-27 [10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.02.001] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "A heuristic approach to global landslide susceptibility mapping." Natural Hazards 87 145–164 [10.1007/s11069-017-2757-y] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "So, how much of the Earth’s surface is covered by rain gauges?." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 98 (1): 69-78 [10.1175/bams-d-14-00283.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Landslides in West Coast metropolitan areas: The role of extreme weather events." Weather and Climate Extremes 14 67-79 [10.1016/j.wace.2016.11.004] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Hydrometeorological Hazards: Monitoring, Forecasting, Risk Assessment, and Socioeconomic Responses." Advances in Meteorology 2016 1-3 [10.1155/2016/2367939] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Role of Earth Observation data in disaster response and recovery: from science to capacity building." Earth Science Satellite Applications: Current and Future Prospects 119-146 [10.1007/978-3-319-33438-7_5] [Article in Book]

2016. "Unlocking the full potential of Earth observation during the 2015 Texas flood disaster." Water Resources Research 52 (5): 3288-3293 [10.1002/2015wr018428] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Precipitation data key to food security and public health." Eos 97 [Full Text] [10.1029/2016EO045583] [Magazine]

2015. "Geomorphic and geologic controls of geohazards induced by Nepals 2015 Gorkha earthquake." Science 351 (6269): aac8353-aac8353 [10.1126/science.aac8353] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Spatial and temporal analysis of a global landslide catalog." Geomorphology 249 (Geohazard Databases): 4-15 [Full Text] [10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.03.016] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "A Dynamic Landslide Hazard Assessment System for Central America and Hispaniola." Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 15 (10): 2257-2272 [Full Text] [10.5194/nhess-15-2257-2015] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Modeling Landslide Susceptibility over Large Regions with Fuzzy Overlay." Landslides 13 485-496 [Full Text] [10.1007/s10346-015-0577-2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "A cloud-based global flood disaster community cyber-infrastructure: Development and demonstration." Environmental Modelling & Software 58 86–94 [10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.04.007] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Assessing the Impact of L-Band Observations on Drought and Flood Risk Estimation: A Decision-Theoretic Approach in an OSSE Environment." J. Hydrometeor 15 (6): 2140-2156 [Full Text] [10.1175/JHM-D-13-0204.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Spatial and temporal dust source variability in northern China identified using advanced remote sensing analysis." Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 38 (8): 793–809 [10.1002/esp.3321] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Precipitation from Space: Advancing Earth System Science." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 94 (3): 365-375 [10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00171.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Global Distribution of Extreme Precipitation and High-Impact Landslides in 2010 Relative to Previous Years." J. Hydrometeor. 13 (5): 1536-1551 [10.1175/JHM-D-12-02.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Assessment of shallow landslides from Hurricane Mitch in central America using a physically based model." Environmental Earth Sciences 66 (6): 1697-1705 [10.1007/s12665-011-0997-9] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Remote sensing and modeling of landslides: detection, monitoring and risk evaluation." Environmental Earth Sciences 66 (6): 1583 [10.1007/s12665-012-1543-0] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Advances in landslide nowcasting: evaluation of a global and regional modeling approach." Environmental Earth Sciences 66 (6): 1683-1696 [10.1007/s12665-011-0990-3] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Capacity Building for Disaster Prevention in Vulnerable Regions of the World: Development of a Prototype Global Flood/Landslide Prediction System." Disaster Advances 3 (3): 14-19 [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "A global landslide catalog for hazard applications: method, results, and limitations." Natural Hazards 52 (3): 561-575 [10.1007/s11069-009-9401-4] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "Evaluation of a Satellite-based Landslide Algorithm using Global Landslide Inventories." Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 9 673-686 [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "Evaluation of a preliminary satellite-based landslide hazard algorithm using global landslide inventories." Natural Hazards and Earth System Science 9 (3): 673-686 [10.5194/nhess-9-673-2009] [Journal Article/Letter]


2017. "A view from above: Earth Observation." Crisis Response Journal 12 (4): 64-67 [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Measuring Rain and Snow for Science and Society: The Second GPM Applications Workshop." The Earth Observer 27 (5): 4--11 [Magazine]

Professional Societies

American Geophysical Union

2013-present: Natural Hazards Focus Group Fall Meeting Program Committee

2003 - Present

American Meteorological Society

2010 - 2012

Geological Society of America

2009 - 2011

Professional Service

2019-present: President-Elect for AGU Natural Hazards Section

2019-present: Editor for Remote Sensing in Earth System Sciences Journal

2013-present:  Executive Committee for the Remote Sensing and Hydrology Focus Group for AGU

2014-present: Executive Committee for Natural Hazards Focus Group

2015-present CEOS Disaster Working Group Landslide Pilot Lead

2013-2015: Program Committee for AGU Natural Hazards Focus Group

2009-present Convened landslide sessions in the Natural Hazards Focus Group at the Fall AGU Conference in San Francisco

November 2013: 1st GPM/TRMM Applications Workshop: November, 2013 - Coordinated and ran meeting.

June 2015: 2nd GPM/TRMM Applications Workshop - Coordinated and ran meeting.

Talks, Presentations and Posters


Global Landslide Hazard Assessment with Satellite Data

October 28, 2017

Remote presentation to group of landslide experts from Indonesia regarding the use of satellite capabilities for landslide hazard assessment and monitoring.

Presenter at Library of Congress NASA Series

September 11, 2015

Panelist on National Research Council Agenda for NRC Special Workshop on Landslides

March 24, 2015

Finding the Slippery Slope: “Detecting” Landslides from Space

3, 2014

NASA Goddard Science Colloquim

Finding the Slippery Slope: Detecting Landslides from Space

1, 2014

Gerald Soffen Public Lecture at NASA GSFC VIsitor's Center

Evaluation of a Satellite-based Landslide Algorithm using Global Landslide Inventories

9, 2011

Colorado School of Mines/USGS Hazards Seminar Series


Uncertainty evaluation of a regional real-time system for rain-induced landslides

May 15, 2015

A new prototype regional model and evaluation framework has been developed over Central America and the Caribbean region using satellite-based information including precipitation estimates, modeled soil moisture, topography, soils, as well as regionally available datasets such as road networks and distance to fault zones. The algorithm framework incorporates three variables: a static susceptibility map; a 24 rainfall triggering threshold; and an antecedent soil moisture variable threshold, which have been calibrated using historic landslide events. Dynamic thresholds are regionally heterogeneous and are based on the percentile distribution of the rainfall or antecedent moisture time series. A simple decision tree algorithm framework integrates all three variables and generates a landslide nowcast in real-time based on the previous 24 hours over this region.

This system has been evaluated using several available landslide inventories over the Central America and Caribbean region. Spatiotemporal uncertainty and evaluation metrics are presented here based on evaluation of landslides reported within the catalog as well as comparisons with other regional models. This work also presents a probabilistic representation of potential landslide activity over the region which can be used to further refine and improve the real-time landslide hazard assessment system as well as better identify and characterize the uncertainties inherent in this type of regional approach. The landslide algorithm provides a flexible framework to improve hazard estimation and reduce uncertainty at any spatial and temporal scale.

Uncertainty and Sensitivity analysis of a physically-based landslide model

May 17, 2015

Rainfall-induced landslides are hazardous to life and property. Rain data sources like satellite remote sensors combined with physically-based models of landslide initiation are a potentially economical solution for anticipating and early warning of possible landslide activity. In this work, we explore the output uncertainty of the physically-based USGS model, TRIGRS (Transient Rainfall Infiltration and Grid-Based Regional Slope-Stability) under both an a priori model parameter specification scenario and a model calibration scenario using a powerful stochastic optimization algorithm. We study a set of 50+ historic landslides over the Macon County in North Carolina as an example regional robust analysis. We then conduct a robust multivariate sensitivity analysis of the modeled output to various factors including rainfall forcing, initial and boundary conditions, and model parameters including topographic slope. Satellite rainfall uncertainty distributions are prescribed based on stochastic regressions to benchmark rain values at each location. Information about the most influential factors from sensitivity analysis will help to preferentially direct field work efforts towards associated observations. This will contribute to reducing output uncertainty in future modeling efforts. We also show how we can conveniently reduce model complexity considering negligibly influential factors to maintain example required levels of predictive accuracy and uncertainty.

Other Professional Information

Developed Landslide Catalog and Model Framework: Website