Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Elizabeth M Middleton


Org Code: 618

Mail Code: 618
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: EMERITUS

Brief Bio

Research Scientist, focusing on the photobiology and remote sensing of vegetation, with expertise in field and laboratory measurements of plant physiological and spectral optical properties, project management, and satellite remote sensing of ecosystems.

Current Projects

Mission Scientist, Earth Observing (EO-1) Satellite

Remote Sensing

GSFC HyspIRI lead.

Remote Sensing


Project Manager and Remote Sensing Specialist

Regional Remote Sensing Applications Center (ERRSAC), NASA/GSFC - Greenbelt, MD

1978 - 1983

Research Scientist

NASA GSFC - Greenbelt, MD

1984 - Present

Mission Scientist for Earth Observer 1 (EO-1) satellite

NASA GSFC - Greenbelt, MD

2008 - Present


1967 - B.S. Zoology, University of Maryland
1976 - M.S. Ecology, University of Maryland
1993 - Ph.D. Botany (Plant Physiological Ecology), University of Maryland

Professional Societies

Ecological Society of America (ESA); American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS); Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc. (IEEE); American Geophysical Union (AGU).

2014 - Present


GSFC Nordberg Award 2012
GSFC Nordberg Award, 2012 Earth Scientist of Year.

NASA/GSFC HOBI Career Achievement Award (Laboratory 614), 2011;

NASA/GSFC Performance Awards: 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
NASA/GSFC Special Achievement, Outstanding Achievement, or Special Act Awards: 1979, 1981, 1993, 2003, 2005, 2008
NASA Group Achievement Award: Eastern Regional Remote Sensing Applications Center, 1983
NASA Group Achievement Award: PARABOLA Instrument Team, 1994
NASA Group Achievement Award: Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS), 1995
NASA Group Achievement Award: Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA)-Ecology Proj. Office Team, 2003

Selected Publications


Joiner, J., Y. Yoshida, A. P. Vasilkov, et al. K. Schaefer, M. Jung, L. Guanter, Y. Zhang, S. Garrity, E. M. Middleton, K. F. Huemmrich, L. Gu, and L. Belelli Marchesini. 2014. The seasonal cycle of satellite chlorophyll fluorescence observations and its relationship to vegetation phenology and ecosystem atmosphere carbon exchange Remote Sensing of Environment 152 375-391 [10.1016/j.rse.2014.06.022]

Cheng, Y.-B., Q. Zhang, A. I. Lyapustin, Y. Wang, and E. M. Middleton. 2014. Impacts of light use efficiency and fPAR parameterization on gross primary production modeling Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 189-190 187–197 [10.1016/j.agrformet.2014.01.006]

Zhang, Q., Y.-B. Cheng, A. I. Lyapustin, et al. Y. Wang, X. Xiao, A. Suyker, S. Verma, B. Tan, and E. M. Middleton. 2014. Estimation of crop gross primary production (GPP): I. impact of MODIS observation footprint and impact of vegetation BRDF characteristics Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 191 51-63 [10.1016/j.agrformet.2014.02.002]

Cook, B. D., L. A. Corp, R. F. Nelson, et al. E. M. Middleton, D. C. Morton, J. T. Mccorkel, J. Masek, and P. M. Montesano. 2013. NASA Goddard’s LiDAR, Hyperspectral and Thermal (G-LiHT) Airborne Imager Remote Sensing 5 (8): 4045-4066 [10.3390/rs5084045]

Huemmrich, K. F., J. Gamon, C. Tweedie, et al. P. K. Campbell, D. R. Landis, and E. M. Middleton. 2013. Arctic Tundra Vegetation Functional Types Based on Photosynthetic Physiology and Optical Properties IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 6 (2): 265-275 [10.1109/JSTARS.2013.2253446]

Cheng, Y., E. Middleton, Q. Zhang, et al. K. Huemmrich, P. Campbell, L. Corp, B. Cook, W. Kustas, and C. Daughtry. 2013. Integrating Solar Induced Fluorescence and the Photochemical Reflectance Index for Estimating Gross Primary Production in a Cornfield Remote Sensing 5 (12): 6857-6879 [10.3390/rs5126857]

Thenkabail, P., I. Mariotto, M. Gumma, et al. E. Middleton, D. Landis, and K. Huemmrich. 2013. Selection of Hyperspectral Narrowbands (HNBs) and Composition of Hyperspectral Twoband Vegetation Indices (HVIs) for Biophysical Characterization and Discrimination of Crop Types Using Field Reflectance and Hyperion/EO-1 Data IEEE J. Sel. Top. Appl. Earth Observations Remote Sensing 6 (2): 427-439 [10.1109/JSTARS.2013.2252601]

Campbell, P. K., E. M. Middleton, K. J. Thome, et al. F. Kokaly, K. F. Huemmrich, D. Lagomasino, K. Novick, and N. Brunsell. 2013. EO-1 Hyperion Reflectance Time Series at Calibration and Validation Sites: Stability and Sensitivity to Seasonal Dynamics IEEE J. Sel. Top. Appl. Earth Observations Remote Sensing 6 (2): 276-290 [10.1109/JSTARS.2013.2246139]

Joiner, J., L. Guanter, R. Lindstrot, et al. M. Voigt, A. P. Vasilkov, E. M. Middleton, K. F. Huemmrich, Y. Yoshida, and C. Frankenberg. 2013. Global monitoring of terrestrial chlorophyll fluorescence from moderate-spectral-resolution near-infrared satellite measurements: methodology, simulations, and application to GOME-2 Atmos. Meas. Tech. 6 (10): 2803-2823 [10.5194/amt-6-2803-2013]

Cheng, B., E. Middleton, Q. Zhang, J. Corp, and J. Corp. 2012. The photochemical reflectance index from directional cornfield reflectances: Observations and simulations Remote Sensing of Environment 124 444-453 [10.1016/j.rse.2012.05.030]

Joiner, J., Y. Yoshida, A. P. Vasilkov, et al. E. M. Middleton, P. K. Campbell, A. Kuze, and L. A. Corp. 2012. Filling-in of near-infrared solar lines by terrestrial fluorescence and other geophysical effects: simulations and space-based observations from SCIAMACHY and GOSAT Atmos Meas Tech 5 (4): 809-829 [10.5194/amt-5-809-2012]

Joiner, J., Y. Yoshida, A. Vasilkov, et al. Y. Yoshida, L. Corp, and E. Middleton. 2011. First observations of global and seasonal terrestrial chlorophyll fluorescence from space Biogeosciences 8 (3): 637-651 [10.5194/bg-8-637-2011]

Corp, L., E. M. Middleton, P. Campbell, et al. K. F. Huemmrich, C. Daughtry, A. Russ, and Y.-B. Cheng. 2010. Spectral indices to monitor nitrogen-driven carbon uptake in field corn Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 4 (1): [10.1117/1.3518455]

Middleton, E. M., Y. Cheng, T. Hilker, et al. T. Black, P. Krishnan, N. Coops, and K. F. Huemmrich. 2009. Linking foliage spectral responses to canopy-level ecosystem photosynthetic light-use efficiency at a Douglas-fir forest in Canada Canadian J Remote Sens 35 (2): 166-188 [ISSN 1712-7971]

Campbell, P. K., E. M. Middleton, L. A. Corp, and M. Kim. 2008. Contribution of chlorophyll fluorescence to the apparent vegetation reflectance Science of The Total Environment 404 (2-3): 433-439 [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.11.004]

Middleton, E. M., L. A. Corp, and P. K. Campbell. 2008. Comparison of measurements and FluorMOD simulations for solar induced chlorophyll fluorescence and reflectance of a corn crop under nitrogen treatments International Journal of Remote Sensing 29 (17-18): 5193-5213 [10.1080/01431160802036524]

Drolet, G., E. M. Middleton, K. Huemmrich, et al. F. G. Hall, B. Amiro, A. Barr, T. Black, J. McGaughey, and H. Margolis. 2008. Regional mapping of gross light-use efficiency using MODIS spectral indices Remote Sens Environ 112 (6): 3064-3078

Hilker, T., N. Coops, F. G. Hall, et al. T. Black, B. Chen, P. Krishnan, M. Wulder, P. J. Sellers, E. M. Middleton, and K. F. Huemmrich. 2008. A modeling approach for upscaling gross ecosystem production to the landscape scale using remote sensing data J. Geophys. Res. 113 (G3): 10.1029/2007JG000666 [10.1029/2007JG000666]

Hall, F. G., T. Hilker, N. Coops, et al. A. Lyapustin, K. Huemmrich, E. M. Middleton, H. Margolis, G. Drolet, and T. Black. 2008. Multi-angle remote sensing of forest light use efficiency by observing PRI variation with canopy shadow fraction Remote Sensing of Environment 112 (7): 3201-3211 [10.1016/j.rse.2008.03.015]

Campbell, P. K., E. M. Middleton, J. E. McMurtrey, L. A. Corp, and E. Chappelle. 2007. Assessment of Vegetation Stress Using Reflectance or Fluorescence Measurements J Environ Qual 36 (3): 832-845 [10.2134/jeq2005.0396]

Corp, L. A., E. M. Middleton, J. McMurtrey, et al. P. K. Entcheva Campbell, P. K. Campbell, and L. Butcher. 2006. Fluorescence sensing techniques for vegetation assessment Appl Opt 45 (5): 1023-1033

Drolet, G. G., K. F. Huemmrich, F. G. Hall, et al. E. M. Middleton, T. A. Black, A. G. Barr, and H. A. Margolis. 2005. A MODIS-derived photochemical reflectance index to detect inter-annual variations in the photosynthetic light-use efficiency of a boreal deciduous forest Remote Sens Environ 98 (2-3): 212-224 [10.1016/j.rse.2005.07.006]

Esper, J., J. Gervin, F. Kirchman, et al. E. M. Middleton, R. G. Knox, W. Gregg, A. Mannino, C. R. Mcclain, J. Herman, and F. G. Hall. 2005. Low/medium density biomass, coastal and ocean carbon: a carbon cycle mission Acta Astro 56 25-34

Entcheva Campbell, P. K., B. N. Rock, M. E. Martin, et al. C. D. Neefus, J. R. Irons, E. M. Middleton, and J. Albrechtova. 2004. Detection of initial damage in Norway spruce canopies using hyperspectral airborne data International Journal of Remote Sensing 25 (24): 5557-5584 [10.1080/01431160410001726058]

Deering, D. W., E. M. Middleton, J. Irons, et al. B. L. Blad, E. A. Walter-Shea, C. J. Hays, C. Walthall, T. F. Eck, and B. P. Banerjee. 1992. Prairie grassland bidirectional reflectances measured by different instruments at the FIFE Site J. Geophys. Res 97 (D17): 18,887–18,903 [10.1029/92JD02163]


Corp, L. A., Y.-B. Cheng, E. M. Middleton, et al. G. G. Parker, K. F. Huemmrich, and P. K. Campbell. 2009. Hyperspectral-LIDAR system and data product integration for terrestrial applications SPIE Optics Photonics, Optical Engineering plus Applications, Imaging Spectrometry

Corp, L. A., E. M. Middleton, P. K. Campbell, et al. K. F. Huemmrich, Y.-B. Cheng, and C. S. Daughtry. 2009. Remote Sensing techniques to monitor Nitrogen driven Carbon dynamics in vegetation SPIE Optics Photonics, Optical Engineering plus Applications, Remote Sensing and Modeling of Ecosystems for Sustainability

Cheng, Y.-B., L. A. Corp, E. M. Middleton, et al. K. F. Huemmrich, Q. Zhang, P. E. Campbell, and G. Parker. 2008. Comparisons between in Situ Anisotropic Reflectance Measurements and Simulations for Vegetation Canopies: Validation and Sensitivity Analysis IGARSS 2008 - 2008 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 3 III-790 - III-792 [10.1109/IGARSS.2008.4779467]

Middleton, E. M., L. A. Corp, P. K. Campbell, and C. S. Daughtry. 2006. Relating canopy hyperspectral reflectance and fluorescence indices to carbon related parameters Symposium on Recent Advances in Quantitative Remote Sensing II (RAQRSII) 6 pp