Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Daniel A Slayback


Daniel A Slayback's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.6687
Org Code: 618
Mail Code 618
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Slayback's work focuses on the application of remotely sensed imagery to study a variety of earth system elements, and building systems to generate and deliver data products. His current activities include: examining the causes and impacts of landcover and landuse change in high-altitude Andean peatlands; development and operation of a near-real time system to generate global, daily flood map products; monitoring and quantifying the evolution of a new volcanic island in Tonga; and building data services for query and distribution of petabytes of high-resolution imagery. Previously, he’s worked on a range of projects including: Andean glacier change; studies on monarch butterfly overwintering habitat; evaluation of environmental correlates of vertebrate diversity in the western US; local and regional deforestation assessments; examining trends in global vegetation dynamics; and calibration of AVHRR data products.


Research Scientist

Science Systems & Applications, Inc. - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

August 1998 - Present

  • Research on landcover/landuse change (forests, glaciers, alpine peatlands).
  • Development of near real-time data processing systems for flood mapping.
  • Development of ArcGIS services for discovery and delivery of high-resolution imagery.
  • Field instrumentation for microclimatic and hydrological monitoring.
  • Projects in: central and west Africa, Andes, Mexico, SE Asia, Turkey, global.
  • Field experience: Bolivia, Mexico, Cameroon, Turkey.

Graduate Research Assistant

Boston University - Boston, MA

October 1996 - May 1998

  • Scientific programming to analyze polar cloud data and radiation flux

Peace Corps Volunteer

Peace Corps - Kembong and Limbe, SW Province, Cameroon

September 1992 - January 1996

  • Introduced alley cropping to farmers in the Mamfe area of SW Province
  • Environmental Education at the Limbe Wildlife Center

Junior Development Engineer

University of California, San Diego - IGPP, La Jolla, CA

1990 - 1992

  • Built and maintained fiber optic strainmeter components for instrumentation at IGPP field installations
  • Analyzed strainmeter data


B.S. Physics, University of California, San Diego, 1992
B.A. Third World Studies, University of California, San Diego, 1992
M.A. Environmental Remote Sensing and GIS, Boston University, 1998
Ph.D. Geography, University of Maryland, College Park, 2006

Selected Publications


2023. "Public Health Data Applications Using the CDC Tracking Network: Augmenting Environmental Hazard Information With Lower‐Latency NASA Data." GeoHealth 7 (12): [10.1029/2023gh000971] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "An API for Spaceborne Sub-Meter Resolution Products for Earth Science." IGARSS 2019 - 2019 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium [10.1109/igarss.2019.8898358] [Proceedings]

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]

2015. " Growth and Organic Carbon Production in Peatlands Dominated by Distichia muscoides , Bolivia, South America ." Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 47 (3): 505-510 [10.1657/aaar0014-060] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Agriculture and deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: A synthesis of the current state of knowledge." CIFOR Occasional Paper (119): 18 [10.17528/cifor/005458] [Report]

2014. "Characteristics of precipitation features and annual rainfall during the TRMM era in the Central Andes." Journal of Climate 27 (11): 3982-4001 [10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00592.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Forest degradation in the Lower Mekong and an assessment of protected area effectiveness c1990-c2009: a satellite perspective." Evidence-based Conservation: Lessons from the Lower Mekong 332-350 [Article in Book]

2011. "Impacts of co-management on western chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) habitat and conservation in Nialama Classified Forest, Republic of Guinea: a satellite perspective." Biodivers Conserv 20 (12): 2745-2757 [10.1007/s10531-011-0102-4] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Decline of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico: is the migratory phenomenon at risk?." Insect Conservation and Diversity 5 (2): 95-100 [10.1111/j.1752-4598.2011.00142.x] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Overwintering Clusters of the Monarch Butterfly Coincide with the Least Hazardous Vertical Temperatures in the Oyamel Forest." Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 65 (1): 27-46 [10.18473/lepi.v65i1.a3] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "Oyamel fir forest trunks provide thermal advantages for overwintering monarch butterflies in Mexico." Insect Conservation and Diversity 2 (3): 163-175 [10.1111/j.1752-4598.2009.00052.x] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "Further aerial Surveys confirm the extreme localization of overwintering monarch butterfly colonies in Mexico." American Entomologist 53 (3): 146-149 [10.1093/ae/53.3.146] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "Establishing the Presence and Absence of Overwintering Colonies of the Monarch Butterfly in Mexico by the Use of Small Aircraft." American Entomologist 53 (1): 28-40 [10.1093/ae/53.1.28] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "Human impacts, plant invasion, and imperiled plant species in California." Ecological Applications 16 (4): 1338-1350 [10.1890/1051-0761(2006)016[1338:hipiai];2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "An extended AVHRR 8-km NDVI dataset compatible with MODIS and SPOT vegetation NDVI data." International Journal of Remote Sensing 26 (20): 4485-4498 [10.1080/01431160500168686] [Journal Article/Letter]

2004. "Anthropogenic impacts upon plant species richness and net primary productivity in California." Ecology Letters 8 (2): 127-137 [10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00706.x] [Journal Article/Letter]

2003. "Landcover change in the Takamanda Forest Reserve, Cameroon: 1986-2000." Takamanda: the biodiversity of an African rainforest 173-179 [Article in Book]

2003. "The effect of vegetation on surface temperature: A statistical analysis of NDVI and climate data." J. Geophysical Research Letters 30 2147-2152 [Journal Article/Letter]

2003. "Northern hemisphere photosynthetic trends 1982-1999." Global Change Biology 9 1-15 [Journal Article/Letter]


2017. "The NASA Global Flood Mapping System." Remote Sensing of Hydrological Extremes 47-63 [DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-43744-6_3] [Article in Book]