Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Research Interests

Ecosystems and Restoration Ecology

Earth Science: Ecosystem function

I have long been interested in restoring ecosystems functionality.  To facilitate this I am a member of  the IUCN's Commission on Ecosystem Management in support of the Bonn Challenge's goal of beginning the restoration of 150 million hectares of degraded land by 2020.

Algorithm Design

Earth Science: Theory & Modeling

One of my specialities is working with collaborators to develop, implement, and test new algorythms to address their needs.

Water Balance

Earth Science: Hydrology / Water Cycle

Water is an important limiting resource globally.  I am interested in where our water comes from, its eventual fate, and how we can ultimately manage this limited resource.

Brief Bio

I like to tell people that working here at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is the dream job I never knew enough to fantasize about. I started college at 15 as an early admittance student focusing on computer science, artificial intelligence, robotics and art. Years later I got interested in applied restoration ecology, and continue to work in areas that support ecological restoration efforts including hydrological modeling, remote sensing, spatial statistics and analysis, and occasional forays into the field.

Current Projects

Sub-Saharan Sahel Tree Counting and Biomass Estimation

Classifying individual trees across the entire Sub-Saharan Sahel as part of a biomass estimation project.  This work is partially funded through an Intel Challenge grant, and received the 2015 HPCwire Awards – Readers Choice Award for Best HPC Collaboration Between Government & Industry at SC15

The WAter BAlance Tool

Hydrology / Water Cycle

The The WAter BAlance Tool (WABAT) is being developed to provide a global course scale total water budget using remote sensed data products.  We are working with the United Nations Statistical Division and several NASA partners to provide end users with easy and automated access to user specified queries.


Senior Programmer/Analyst


November 2011 - April 2021

Working on near real-time flood and inundation modeling and remote sensing.


NASA-GSFC - Greenbelt MD

September 2011 - November 2011

Worked on near real-time flood and inundation modeling, calibration, and validation.

Student Intern

International Business Machines, Austin Research Labs - Austin TX

April 2011 - August 2011

Summer of Code Intern

Google - Mountain View CA

May 2010 - August 2010

Instrumentation Engineer (UCPEA-X)

University of Connecticut, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment - Storrs CT

May 2005 - May 2008

Wetlands Restoration Crew Supervisor (seasonal)

US Forest Service, Kamas Rangers District - Kamas UT

May 1996 - October 1998

Software Engineer

KBR - Greenbelt

April 2019 - September 2023

I helped maintain the GOES-R L2 products.

Data Scientist

KBR - Greenbelt

September 2023 - Present

Working on sea ice products for the ICESat-2 Mission.

Teaching Experience

I have taught a number of specialty workshops such as two week intensive flood modeling training of the Coupled Routing and Excess STorage model (CREST) hydrological model.  I also tutor DEVELOP interns on how to use the Linux operating system.


Arizona State University.  MS, Plant Biology.  2002

University of New Mexico.  BS, Computer Science (with distinction).  1996


Professional Societies

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Member of their Commission of Ecosystem Management and the Commission of Environmental, Economic and Social Policy.

2013 - Present

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Student Member

2010 - Present

Society for Conservation Biology (SCB)


2013 - Present

Society for Ecological Restoration (SER)

Member. Please note that I have not kept a continuous membership.

1997 - 2014

Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS)


2008 - 2013

New Mexico Riparian Council

Board Member. Head of Volunteer Programs. President Elect (unfortunately I had to give that up to take the instrumentation engineer position at UConn)

2003 - 2005

Professional Service

I serve as a Member on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Commission on Ecosystem Management (IUNC-CEM).  April 2013 - Present.  My primary interest is in ecosystem restoration where I have over the years gained experience restoring wetlands, dryland forests, grasslands, and other ecotypes.

I serve as a Member on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (IUNC-CEESP).   October 2013 - Present.  I work mainly with Specialist Group on Indigenous Peoples, Customary & Environmental Laws & Human Rights (SPICEH) to support native communities interests in economics, education and the environment.

Represented IUCN-CEM and participated on the United Nation Statistical Division's Expert Group Meeting on the Guidelines for the Compilation of Water Accounts and Statistics, 20-22 November 2013, New York, New York.

Represented IUCN-CEM and participated on the United Nation Statistical Division's Expert Group Meeting on Modelling Approaches and Tools for Testing the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting, 18-20 November 2013, New York, New York


Creating Useful Products from Connecticut's 2000 LiDAR Dataset

Creating Useful Products from Connecticut's 2000 LiDAR Dataset - Connecticut Cooperative Highway Research Program - Awarded: 2007-01-01

Dates: 2007-01-01  - 2008-01-01

Coverage: 0.5

Amount 49,768

Other Professional Information

Besides my background in computer science and restoration ecology, I also have a technical diploma in electronics, and served apprenticeships with a tool and die machinist and a master blacksmith.  In addition, I am an official developer for LinuxCNC (nee EMC) which provides the real-time kinematics to build and retrofit industrial machine tools for CNC.  This combined experience gives me the ability to work with very diverse teams of researchers, scientists, engineers, and technicians.



2022. "Trends in vegetation and height of the topographic surface in a tidal freshwater swamp experiencing rooting zone saltwater intrusion." Ecological Indicators 145 (109637): 11 [10.1016/j.ecolind.2022.109637] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Application of GRACE to the estimation of groundwater storage change in a data poor region: a case study of Ngadda catchment in the Lake Chad Basin." Hydrological Processes hyp.13613 [10.1002/hyp.13613] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Reduction of tree cover in West African woodlands and promotion in semi-arid farmlands." Nature Geoscience [10.1038/s41561-018-0092-x] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Using cloud bursting to count trees and shrubs in Sub-Saharan Africa." 2016 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data) [10.1109/bigdata.2016.7840947] [Proceedings]

2011. "Distribution and biological cycle of iron in freshwater peatlands of Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China." Geoderma 164 (3) 238-248 [Journal Article/Letter]

2003. "Linking land-use change with ecosystem processes: a hierarchical patch dynamic model." [Article in Book]

2002. "A spatially explicit hierarchical approach to modeling complex ecological systems: theory and applications." Ecological Modelling 153 (1) 7-26 [Journal Article/Letter]

1998. "The behavior of landscape metrics commonly used in the study of habitat fragmentation." Landscape ecology 13 (3) 167-186 [Journal Article/Letter]

1997. "Understanding measures of landscape pattern." Wildlife and Landscape Ecology 231-261 [Article in Book]

1996. "Detection of Critical Densities Associated with Piñon-Juniper Woodland Ecotones." Ecology 805-821 [Journal Article/Letter]

Selected Public Outreach

STEM, STEAM, and Science Fair Judge

2012 - Present

I serve as a judge at local and regional STEM, STEAM, and Science Fairs.