Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Miguel O. Román


Org Code: 619

Mail Code: 619
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: Leidos

Brief Bio

Miguel Román, serves as Chief Climate Scientist and Technical Fellow at Leidos. A leading expert in the fields of satellite remote sensing, climate change, disaster risk reduction, and sustainability, Román has championed translational research and data-intensive approaches to assess and address climate-related risks. His work is internationally recognized for shedding light on the disproportionate hardships experienced by socially-vulnerable and underserved communities following major disasters.

In 2022, Román was named the team leader of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) science team for NASA's Terra and Aqua missions.[1] Román also serves as the land discipline leader for the Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) science team, a worldwide group of investigators and technical staff in charge of one of the largest and most comprehensive polar-orbiting satellite systems operated by NASA and NOAA to monitor our planet's vital signs.

In 2016, Dr. Román was recognized by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.[2] He is also a 2014 Service to America Medal Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals finalist, one of the highest honors for federal civil servants.

A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dr. Román holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, a master's degree in systems engineering from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in geography from Boston University.


 - Ph.D. in Geography, Boston University, 2009. (Major: Remote Sensing and GIS)

- M.Eng. in Systems Engineering, Cornell University, 2005.

- B.S. in Electrical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, 2004.



Román, M. O., C. Justice, I. Paynter, et al. P. B. Boucher, S. Devadiga, A. Endsley, A. Erb, M. Friedl, H. Gao, L. Giglio, J. M. Gray, D. K. Hall, G. Hulley, J. Kimball, Y. Knyazikhin, A. I. Lyapustin, R. B. Myneni, P. Noojipady, J. Pu, G. Riggs, S. Sarkar, C. Schaaf, D. Shah, K. H. Tran, E. F. Vermote, D. Wang, Z. Wang, A. Wu, Y. Ye, Y. Shen, S. Zhang, S. Zhang, X. Zhang, M. Zhao, C. C. Davidson, and R. E. Wolfe. 2024. Continuity between NASA MODIS Collection 6.1 and VIIRS Collection 2 land products Remote Sensing of Environment 302 113963 [10.1016/j.rse.2023.113963]

Lyapustin, A., M. Choi, Y. Wang, et al. X. Xiong, A. Angal, A. Wu, D. R. Doelling, R. Bhatt, S. Go, S. V. Korkin, B. A. Franz, G. Meister, A. M. Sayer, M. O. Román, R. E. Holz, K. G. Meyer, J. F. Gleason, and R. C. Levy. 2023. Calibration of the SNPP and NOAA 20 VIIRS sensors for continuity of the MODIS climate data records Remote Sensing of Environment 295 113717 [10.1016/j.rse.2023.113717]

Li, T., Z. Zhu, Z. Wang, et al. M. O. Román, V. L. Kalb, and Y. Zhao. 2022. Continuous monitoring of nighttime light changes based on daily NASA's Black Marble product suite Remote Sensing of Environment 282 113269 [10.1016/j.rse.2022.113269]

Wang, Z., R. M. Shrestha, M. O. Roman, and V. L. Kalb. 2022. NASA’s Black Marble Multiangle Nighttime Lights Temporal Composites IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 19 1-5 [10.1109/lgrs.2022.3176616]

Stokes, E. C., M. O. Román, Z. Wang, et al. C. C. Kyba, S. D. Miller, T. Storch, and K. R. Gurney. 2021. Retired satellites: A chance to shed light Science 373 (6562): 1451-1452 [10.1126/science.abl9965]

Wang, Z., M. O. Román, V. L. Kalb, et al. S. D. Miller, J. Zhang, and R. M. Shrestha. 2021. Quantifying uncertainties in nighttime light retrievals from Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band data Remote Sensing of Environment 263 112557 [10.1016/j.rse.2021.112557]

Duncanson, L., J. Armston, M. Disney, et al. V. Avitable, V. Barbier, K. Calders, S. Carter, J. Chave, M. Herold, N. MacBean, R. McRoberts, D. Minor, M. Réjou-Méchain, S. Roxburgh, M. Williams, C. Albinet, T. Baker, H. Bartholomeus, J. Bastin, D. Coomes, T. Crowther, S. Davies, S. de Bruin, M. De Kauwe, G. Domke, R. Dubayah, M. Falkowski, L. E. Fatoyinbo Agueh, S. Goetz, P. Jantz, I. Jonckheere, T. Jucker, H. Kay, J. Kellner, N. Labriere, R. Lucas, E. Mitchard, F. Morsdorf, E. Næsset, T. Park, O. Philips, P. Ploton, S. Puliti, S. Quegan, S. Saatchi, C. Schaaf, D. Schepaschenko, K. Scipal, A. Stoval, C. Thiel, M. Wulder, F. Camacho, J. E. Nickeson, M. O. Román, and H. Margolis. 2021. Aboveground Woody Biomass Product Validation Good Practices Protocol Good Practices for Satellite Derived Land Product Validation 236 [10.5067/doc/ceoswgcv/lpv/agb.001]

Enenkel, M., R. M. Shrestha, E. Stokes, et al. M. Roman, Z. Wang, M. T. Espinosa, I. Hajzmanova, J. Ginnetti, and P. Vinck. 2019. Emergencies do not stop at night: Advanced analysis of displacement based on satellite-derived nighttime light observations IBM Journal of Research and Development 1-1 [10.1147/jrd.2019.2954404]

Román, M. O., E. C. Stokes, R. Shrestha, et al. Z. Wang, L. Schultz, E. A. Carlo, Q. Sun, J. Bell, A. Molthan, V. Kalb, C. Ji, K. C. Seto, S. N. McClain, and M. Enenkel. 2019. Satellite-based assessment of electricity restoration efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria PLOS ONE 14 (6): e0218883 [10.1371/journal.pone.0218883]

Jiao, Z., X. Zhang, F.-M. Bréon, et al. Y. Dong, C. B. Schaaf, M. Román, Z. Wang, L. Cui, S. Yin, A. Ding, and J. Wang. 2018. The influence of spatial resolution on the angular variation patterns of optical reflectance as retrieved from MODIS and POLDER measurements Remote Sensing of Environment 215 371-385 [10.1016/j.rse.2018.06.025]

Román, M. O., Z. Wang, Q. Sun, et al. V. Kalb, S. D. Miller, A. Molthan, L. Schultz, J. Bell, E. C. Stokes, B. Pandey, K. C. Seto, D. Hall, T. Oda, R. E. Wolfe, G. Lin, N. Golpayegani, S. Devadiga, C. Davidson, S. Sarkar, C. Praderas, J. Schmaltz, R. Boller, J. Stevens, O. M. Ramos González, E. Padilla, J. Alonso, Y. Detrés, R. Armstrong, I. Miranda, Y. Conte, N. Marrero, K. MacManus, T. Esch, and E. J. Masuoka. 2018. NASA's Black Marble nighttime lights product suite Remote Sensing of Environment 210 113-143 [10.1016/j.rse.2018.03.017]

Wang, Z., M. O. Román, Q. Sun, et al. A. L. Molthan, L. A. Schultz, and V. L. Kalb. 2018. MONITORING DISASTER-RELATED POWER OUTAGES USING NASA BLACK MARBLE NIGHTTIME LIGHT PRODUCT ISPRS - International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences XLII-3 1853-1856 [10.5194/isprs-archives-xlii-3-1853-2018]

Jiao, Z., Y. Dong, C. B. Schaaf, et al. J. M. Chen, M. Román, Z. Wang, H. Zhang, A. Ding, A. Erb, M. J. Hill, X. Zhang, and A. Strahler. 2018. An algorithm for the retrieval of the clumping index (CI) from the MODIS BRDF product using an adjusted version of the kernel-driven BRDF model Remote Sensing of Environment 209 594-611 [10.1016/j.rse.2018.02.041]

Wang, Z., C. B. Schaaf, Q. Sun, Y. Shuai, and M. O. Román. 2018. Capturing rapid land surface dynamics with Collection V006 MODIS BRDF/NBAR/Albedo (MCD43) products Remote Sensing of Environment 207 50-64 [10.1016/j.rse.2018.02.001]

Guillevic, P., F. Göttsche, J. E. Nickeson, et al. G. Hulley, D. Ghent, Y. Yu, I. Trigo, S. Hook, J. A. Sobrino, J. Remedios, M. O. Román, and F. Camacho. 2018. Land Surface Temperature Product Validation Best Practice Protocol Good Practices for Satellite-Derived Land Product Validation, 58 [10.5067/doc/ceoswgcv/lpv/lst.001]

Guillevic, P., F. Göttsche, J. E. Nickeson, and M. O. Roman. 2018. Land Surface Temperature Product Validation Best Practice Protocol. Version 1.0. CEOS-LPV Best Practice for Satellite-Derived Land Product Validation [doi:10.5067/doc/ceoswgcv/lpv/lst.001]

Liu, Y., Z. Wang, Q. Sun, et al. A. M. Erb, Z. Li, C. B. Schaaf, X. Zhang, M. O. Román, R. L. Scott, Q. Zhang, K. A. Novick, M. Syndonia Bret-Harte, S. Petroy, and M. SanClements. 2017. Evaluation of the VIIRS BRDF, Albedo and NBAR products suite and an assessment of continuity with the long term MODIS record Remote Sensing of Environment 201 256-274 [10.1016/j.rse.2017.09.020]

Moustafa, S. E., A. K. Rennermalm, M. O. Román, et al. Z. Wang, C. B. Schaaf, L. C. Smith, L. S. Koenig, and A. Erb. 2017. Evaluation of satellite remote sensing albedo retrievals over the ablation area of the southwestern Greenland ice sheet Remote Sensing of Environment 198 115-125 [10.1016/j.rse.2017.05.030]

Wang, Z., C. B. Schaaf, Q. Sun, et al. J. Kim, A. M. Erb, F. Gao, M. O. Román, Y. Yang, S. Petroy, J. R. Taylor, J. G. Masek, J. T. Morisette, X. Zhang, and S. A. Papuga. 2017. Monitoring land surface albedo and vegetation dynamics using high spatial and temporal resolution synthetic time series from Landsat and the MODIS BRDF/NBAR/albedo product International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 59 104-117 [10.1016/j.jag.2017.03.008]

Riggs, G. A., D. K. Hall, and M. O. Román. 2017. Overview of NASA's MODIS and VIIRS Snow-Cover Earth SystemData Records Earth System Science Data Discussions 1-30 [10.5194/essd-2017-25]

Cole, T., D. Wanik, A. Molthan, M. Román, and R. Griffin. 2017. Synergistic Use of Nighttime Satellite Data, Electric Utility Infrastructure, and Ambient Population to Improve Power Outage Detections in Urban Areas Remote Sensing 9 (3): 286 [10.3390/rs9030286]

Pahlevan, N., S. Sarkar, S. Devadiga, et al. R. E. Wolfe, M. Roman, E. Vermote, G. Lin, and X. Xiong. 2017. Impact of Spatial Sampling on Continuity of MODIS–VIIRS Land Surface Reflectance Products: A Simulation Approach IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 55 (1): 183-196 [10.1109/tgrs.2016.2604214]

Jiao, Z., C. B. Schaaf, Y. Dong, et al. M. Román, M. J. Hill, J. M. Chen, Z. Wang, H. Zhang, E. Saenz, R. Poudyal, C. Gatebe, F.-M. Bréon, X. Li, and A. Strahler. 2016. A method for improving hotspot directional signatures in BRDF models used for MODIS Remote Sensing of Environment 186 135-151 [10.1016/j.rse.2016.08.007]

Kang, Y., M. Özdoğan, S. Zipper, et al. M. Román, J. Walker, S. Hong, M. Marshall, V. Magliulo, J. Moreno, L. Alonso, A. Miyata, B. Kimball, and S. Loheide. 2016. How Universal Is the Relationship between Remotely Sensed Vegetation Indices and Crop Leaf Area Index? A Global Assessment Remote Sensing 8 (7): 597 [10.3390/rs8070597]

Wang, Z., A. M. Erb, C. B. Schaaf, et al. Q. Sun, Y. Liu, Y. Yang, Y. Shuai, K. A. Casey, and M. O. Román. 2016. Early spring post-fire snow albedo dynamics in high latitude boreal forests using Landsat-8 OLI data Remote Sensing of Environment [10.1016/j.rse.2016.02.059]

Campagnolo, M. L., Q. Sun, Y. Liu, et al. C. Schaaf, Z. Wang, and M. O. Román. 2016. Estimating the effective spatial resolution of the operational BRDF, albedo, and nadir reflectance products from MODIS and VIIRS Remote Sensing of Environment 175 52-64 [10.1016/j.rse.2015.12.033]

Román, M. O., and E. C. Stokes. 2015. Holidays in lights: Tracking cultural patterns in demand for energy services Earth's Future 3 (6): 182-205 [10.1002/2014ef000285]

Guillevic, P. C., J. C. Biard, G. C. Hulley, et al. J. L. Privette, S. J. Hook, A. Olioso, F. M. Göttsche, R. Radocinski, M. O. Roman, Y. Yu, and I. Csiszar. 2014. Validation of Land Surface Temperature products derived from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) using ground-based and heritage satellite measurements Remote Sensing of Environment 154 19-37 [10.1016/j.rse.2014.08.013]

Gatebe, C., C. Ichoku, R. Poudyal, M. O. Roman, and E. Wilcox. 2014. Surface albedo darkening from wildfires in northern sub-Saharan Africa Environ. Res. Lett. 9 (6): 065003 [10.1088/1748-9326/9/6/065003]

Wang, Z., C. B. Schaaf, A. H. Strahler, et al. M. J. Chopping, M. O. Roman, Y. Shuai, C. E. Woodcock, D. Y. Hollinger, and D. R. Fitzjarrald. 2014. Evaluation of MODIS albedo product (MCD43A) over grassland, agriculture and forest surface types during dormant and snow-covered periods Remote Sensing of Environment 140 60-77 [10.1016/j.rse.2013.08.025]

Justice, C., M. O. Roman, I. Csiszar, et al. E. Vermote, R. E. Wolfe, S. J. Hook, M. Friedl, Z. Wang, C. B. Schaaf, T. Miura, M. Tschudi, G. Riggs, D. K. Hall, A. I. Lyapustin, S. Devadiga, C. C. Davidson, and E. J. Masuoka. 2013. Land and cryosphere products from Suomi NPP VIIRS: Overview and status J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 118 (17): 9753-9765 [10.1002/jgrd.50771]

Roman, M. O., C. K. Gatebe, Y. Shuai, et al. Z. Wang, F. Gao, J. Masek, T. He, S. Liang, and C. L. Schaaf. 2013. Use of In Situ and Airborne Multiangle Data to Assess MODIS- and Landsat-Based Estimates of Directional Reflectance and Albedo IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 51 (3): 1393-1404 [10.1109/TGRS.2013.2243457]

Zhao, F., X. Yang, A. Strahler, et al. C. Schaaf, T. Yao, Z. Wang, M. Román, C. Woodcock, W. Ni-Meister, D. L. Jupp, J. Lovell, D. Culvenor, G. Newnham, H. Tang, and R. Dubayah. 2013. A comparison of foliage profiles in the Sierra National Forest obtained with a full-waveform under-canopy EVI lidar system with the foliage profiles obtained with an airborne full-waveform LVIS lidar system Remote Sensing of Environment 136 330–341 [10.1016/j.rse.2013.05.020]

Hill, M. J., M. O. Roman, and C. B. Schaaf. 2012. Dynamics of vegetation indices in tropical and subtropical savannas defined by ecoregions and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land cover Geocarto International 27 (2): 153-191 [10.1080/10106049.2011.626529]

Zhuosen, W., C. B. Schaaf, M. J. Chopping, et al. A. H. Strahler, J. Wang, M. O. Roman, A. V. Rocha, C. E. Woodcock, and Y. Shuai. 2012. Evaluation of Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow albedo product (MCD43A) over tundra Remote Sensing of Environment 117 264–280 [10.1016/j.rse.2011.10.002]

Roman, M. O., I. Csiszar, C. Justice, et al. J. Key, J. Privette, S. Devadiga, C. Davidson, R. E. Wolfe, and E. J. Masuoka. 2012. Status of the Suomi NPP visible/infrared imager radiometer suite's (VIIRS) land environmental data records (EDRs) after early evaluation of on-orbit performance Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), 2012 IEEE International 1084-1087 [10.1109/IGARSS.2012.6351360]

Cescatti, A., B. Marcolla, S. K. Vannan, et al. J. Y. Pan, M. O. Roman, X. Yang, P. Ciais, R. B. Cook, B. E. Law, G. Matteucci, M. Migliavacca, E. Moors, A. D. Richardson, G. Seufert, and C. B. Schaaf. 2012. Intercomparison of MODIS albedo retrievals and in situ measurements across the global FLUXNET network Remote Sensing of Environment 121 323–334 [10.1016/j.rse.2012.02.019]

Roman, M. O., C. Justice, I. Csiszar, et al. J. Y. Key, S. Devadiga, C. Davidson, R. E. Wolfe, and J. Privette. 2011. Pre-launch evaluation of the NPP VIIRS Land and Cryosphere EDRs to meet NASA's science requirements Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) 2011 IEEE International 154-157 [10.1109/IGARSS.2011.6048921]

Zhao, F., X. Yang, M. A. Schull, et al. M. O. Roman, T. Yao, Z. Wang, Q. Zhang, D. L. Jupp, J. L. Lovell, D. S. Culvenor, G. J. Newnham, A. D. Richardson, W. Ni-Meister, C. B. Schaaf, C. E. Woodcock, and A. H. Strahler. 2011. Measuring effective leaf area index, foliage profile, and stand height in New England forest stands using a full-waveform ground-based lidar Remote Sensing of Environment 115 (11): 2954-2964 [10.1016/j.rse.2010.08.030]

Hill, M. J., M. O. Roman, C. B. Schaaf, et al. L. Hutley, C. Brannstrom, A. Etter, and N. P. Hanan. 2011. Characterizing vegetation cover in global savannas with an annual foliage clumping index derived from the MODIS BRDF product Remote Sensing of Environment 115 (8): 2008-2024 [10.1016/j.rse.2011.04.003]

Román, M., C. K. Gatebe, C. Schaaf, et al. R. Poudyal, Z. Wang, and M. D. King. 2011. Variability in surface BRDF at different spatial scales (30m–500m) over a mixed agricultural landscape as retrieved from airborne and satellite spectral measurements Remote Sensing of Environment 115 (9): 2184-2203 [10.1016/j.rse.2011.04.012]

Hill, M. J., M. O. Román, and C. B. Schaaf. 2010. Biogeography, Ecology and Dynamics of Global Savanna: A Geospatial View Ecosystem Function in Savannas: Measurement and Modeling at Landscape to Global Scales

Román, M. O., C. Schaaf, P. Lewis, et al. F. Gao, G. Anderson, J. Privette, A. Strahler, C. Woodcock, and M. Barnsley. 2010. Assessing the coupling between surface albedo derived from MODIS and the fraction of diffuse skylight over spatially-characterized landscapes Remote Sensing of Environment 114 (4): 738-760 [10.1016/j.rse.2009.11.014]

Román, M. O., C. Schaaf, C. Woodcock, et al. A. Strahler, X. Yang, R. Braswell, P. Curtis, K. Davis, D. Dragoni, L. Gu, M. Goulden, D. Hollinger, T. Kolb, T. Meyers, J. Munger, J. Privette, A. Richardson, T. Wilson, and S. Wofsy. 2009. The MODIS (Collection V005) BRDF/albedo product: Assessment of spatial representativeness over forested landscapes Remote Sensing of Environment 113 (11): 2476-2498 [10.1016/j.rse.2009.07.009]

Rutan, D., F. Rose, M. O. Román, et al. N. Manalo-Smith, C. Schaaf, and T. Charlock. 2009. Development and assessment of broadband surface albedo from Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System Clouds and Radiation Swath data product J. Geophys. Res. 114 (D8): D08125 [10.1029/2008JD010669]

Liu, J., C. Schaaf, A. Strahler, et al. Z. Jiao, Y. Shuai, Q. Zhang, M. O. Román, J. Augustine, and E. Dutton. 2009. Validation of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) albedo retrieval algorithm: Dependence of albedo on solar zenith angle J. Geophys. Res. 114 (D1): D01106 [10.1029/2008JD009969]

Lewis, P. E., G. P. Anderson, S. S. Shen, et al. J. Chetwynd, M. O. Roman, C. B. Schaaf, D. D. Turner, D. A. Rutan, A. Berk, D. P. Miller, and R. Kroutil. 2009. MODTRAN5 analysis of clear-sky, co-located space- and ground-based infrared atmospheric measurements: AERI, AIRS, CERES, MODIS Proc. SPIE 7334, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XV 7334 733410 [10.1117/12.819920]

Knobelspiesse, K. D., B. Cairns, B. Schmid, M. O. Román, and C. B. Schaaf. 2008. Surface BRDF estimation from an aircraft compared to MODIS and ground estimates at the Southern Great Plains site J. Geophys. Res. 113 (D20): D20105 [10.1029/2008JD010062]

Anderson, G., C. Schaaf, K. Loukachine, et al. R. Stone, E. Andrews, E. Shettle, E. Dutton, M. O. Roman, A. Stohl, and A. Berk. 2008. Assessing the radiative impact of aerosol smoke using MODTRAN5 Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XIV 6966 696617 [10.1117/12.782364]

Stone, R., G. Anderson, E. Shettle, et al. E. Andrews, K. Loukachine, E. Dutton, C. Schaaf, and M. O. Román. 2008. Radiative impact of boreal smoke in the Arctic: Observed and modeled J. Geophys. Res. 113 (D14): D14S16 [10.1029/2007JD009657]

Coddington, O., K. Schmidt, P. Pilewskie, et al. W. Gore, R. Bergstrom, M. O. Román, J. Redemann, P. Russell, J. Liu, and C. Schaaf. 2008. Aircraft measurements of spectral surface albedo and its consistency with ground-based and space-borne observations J. Geophys. Res. 113 (D17): D17209 [10.1029/2008JD010089]


Kostis, H.-N., M. O. Román, V. Kalb, et al. E. C. Stokes, R. M. Shrestha, Z. Wang, L. Schultz, Q. Sun, J. Bell, A. Molthan, R. Boller, and A. Anyamba. 2020. Reaching Broad Audiences from a Large Agency Setting Foundations of Data Visualization 319-340 [10.1007/978-3-030-34444-3_18]

Roman, M. O. 2018. After the Hurricane The Economist (April 14 Issue): 18-20

Roman, M. O., C. Justice, and I. Csiszar. 2014. Land, Cryosphere, and nighttime enviromental products from Suomi NPP VIIRS: Overview and status Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), 2014 IEEE International 3530 - 3533 [10.1109/IGARSS.2014.6947244]

Fatoyinbo Agueh, L. E., R. F. Rincon, D. J. Harding, et al. C. K. Gatebe, K. J. Ranson, G. Sun, and M. O. Román. 2012. The 2011 Eco3D flight campaign: Vegetation structure and biomass estimation from simultaneous SAR, lidar and radiometer measurements 2012 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) 3387–3390 [10.1109/IGARSS.2012.6350694]