Douglas C Morton

Douglas C Morton

  • RSCH AST, EARTH SCIENCES REMOTE SENS
  • 301.614.6688
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 618
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Douglas Morton is an Earth scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. He leads an interdisciplinary lab at NASA to conduct large-scale ecological research using data from NASA’s satellites and airborne platforms, ecosystem models, and fieldwork. Dr. Morton’s work focuses on tropical forests, fires, and food production. He has worked in Brazil for the past 15 years, with an emphasis on agricultural frontiers in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes and dynamics of deforestation, forest degradation, and agricultural management following forest conversion. Dr. Morton contributes to the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED, www.globalfiredata.org), a collaborative effort to characterize the impact of global burned area and carbon emissions from fire activity on the Earth system. Dr. Morton is also actively engaged in international efforts to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), and serves as a technical advisor to SilvaCarbon, a US-Government initiative to build capacity in tropical forest countries to monitor and manage their forest resources.

    Research Interests

    Vegetation Dynamics

    Remote sensing of vegetation phenology, fire, forest disturbances, and land cover change.

    Global Fire Emissions

    Modeling carbon emissions from tropical deforestation and global fire activity.

    Lidar

    LiDAR remote sensing of vegetation structure, composition, and forest disturbances.

    REDD+

    Policy strategies for climate change mitigation, including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and enhancing forest carbon stocks (REDD+).

    Science Communication

    Engaging the public in a dialog about NASA's unique capaibilities for Earth system science.

    Positions/Employment

    2010 - Present

    Research Physical Scientist

    NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center
    2010 - Present

    Adjunct Assistant Professor

    University of Maryland, Collage Park, Department of Geographical Sciences
    2009 - 2010

    NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow

    ORAU, Goddard Space Flight Center
    2008 - 2008

    Lecturer

    University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Geography
    2003 - 2008

    Faculty Research Assistant

    University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Geography
    2001 - 2003

    Consulatant

    Woods Hole Research Center, Woods Hole, MA
    2001 - 2002

    Teaching Fellow

    Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT

    Teaching Experience

    Fall, 2008 Lecturer, Causes, Impacts, and Implications of Global Change (GEOG123), University of Maryland, College Park

    2005 Instructor, MODIS Data Analysis, XII Simpósio Brasileiro de Sensoriamento Remoto, Goiânia, Brazil (in Portuguese).

    2001-2002 Teaching Fellow, Geographic Information Systems & Cartographic Modeling, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

    Education

    2008 Ph.D. Geography, University of Maryland, College Park
    Changes in Amazon Forest Structure from Land-use Fires: Integrating Satellite Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Modeling. Advisor: Ruth DeFries

    2002 M.F.S. Forest Ecology, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
    1999 B.A. Environmental Studies, Chemistry Minor, Dartmouth College

    Professional Service

    2013-            NASA Live Shots Presenter (LDCM, Fires, Air Quality)
    2012-2013    Lead, Goddard Task Group on Changes in the Arctic and Boreal System (CABS)
    2011             Co-organizer, SilvaCarbon Expert Workshops on Forest Degradation and Uncertainty         
    2011-            Technical Team Member, SilvaCarbon
    2011             Co-organizer and Reviewer, NASA LBA Data Legacy Review Panel
    2010             Co-Chair, Land Use and Forest Options for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction, AGU
    2009-            Reviewer, NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program
    2009-2012    Science Advisor, School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL), Washington DC
    2008-2012    Member, DIVERSITAS Biome Boundary Shifts (BBS) Working Group
    2008             Chair, Sustainable Forest Management Session, NASA LBA Conference
    2008             Co-Chair, Future Directions for Fire Research at NASA, NASA Carbon Cycle Meeting
    2007-2008    Reviewer, National Institute for Climate Change Research (NICCR)
    2006             Co-chair, Land Use Change Session, NASA LBA Science Team Meeting
    2005             Co-Chair, Observing Land Cover Session, NASA LBA Science Team Meeting

    Awards

    2014-2016  Ciências sem Fronteiras (Science Without Borders) Visiting Scientist Fellowship, Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI)
    2013           NASA Early Career Achievement Medal
    2013           Visiting Scholar, Université Toulouse
    2013           National Space Club David Johnson Award
    2012           NASA Group Achievement Award, Team Leader, MODIS NDVI Anomaly
    2012           NASA Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory “HOBI” Award Scientific Achievement
    2010           AGU Meeting of the Americas, Biogeosciences Section, Outstanding Student Paper Award
    2006           AGU Fall Meeting, Biogeosciences Section, Outstanding Student Paper Award
    2005           NASA LBA Student Paper Award, in Portuguese


    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Noojipady, P., D. C. Morton, M. N. Macedo, et al. D. C. Victoria, C. Huang, H. K. Gibbs, and E. L. Bolfe. 2017. "Forest carbon emissions from cropland expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado biome." Environmental Research Letters, 12 (2): 025004 [10.1088/1748-9326/aa5986]

    Gastellu-Etchegorry, J.-P., N. Lauret, T. Yin, et al. L. Landier, A. Kallel, Z. Malenovsky, A. A. Bitar, J. Aval, S. Benhmida, J. Qi, G. Medjdoub, J. Guilleux, E. Chavanon, B. Cook, D. Morton, N. Chrysoulakis, and Z. Mitraka. 2017. "DART: Recent Advances in Remote Sensing Data Modeling With Atmosphere, Polarization, and Chlorophyll Fluorescence." IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 1-10 [10.1109/jstars.2017.2685528]

    Alonzo, M., D. C. Morton, B. D. Cook, et al. H.-E. Andersen, C. Babcock, and R. Pattison. 2017. "Patterns of canopy and surface layer consumption in a boreal forest fire from repeat airborne lidar." Environmental Research Letters, 12 (6): 065004 [10.1088/1748-9326/aa6ade]

    Andela, N., D. C. Morton, L. Giglio, et al. Y. Chen, G. R. van der Werf, P. S. Kasibhatla, R. S. DeFries, G. J. Collatz, S. Hantson, S. Kloster, D. Bachelet, M. Forrest, G. Lasslop, F. Li, S. Mangeon, J. R. Melton, C. Yue, and J. T. Randerson. 2017. "A human-driven decline in global burned area." Science, 356 (6345): 1356-1362 [10.1126/science.aal4108]

    Noojipady, P., D. C. Morton, W. Schroeder, et al. K. M. Carlson, C. Huang, H. K. Gibbs, D. Burns, N. F. Walker, and S. D. Prince. 2017. "Managing fire risk during drought: the influence of certification and El Niño on fire-driven forest conversion for oil palm in Southeast Asia." Earth System Dynamics, 8 (3): 749-771 [10.5194/esd-8-749-2017]

    van der Werf, G. R., J. T. Randerson, L. Giglio, et al. T. T. van Leeuwen, Y. Chen, B. M. Rogers, M. Mu, M. J. van Marle, D. C. Morton, G. J. Collatz, R. J. Yokelson, and P. S. Kasibhatla. 2017. "Global fire emissions estimates during 1997–2016." Earth System Science Data, 9 (2): 697-720 [10.5194/essd-9-697-2017]

    Bustamante, M. M., I. Roitman, T. M. Aide, et al. A. Alencar, L. Anderson, L. Aragão, G. P. Asner, J. Barlow, E. Berenguer, J. Chambers, M. H. Costa, T. Fanin, L. G. Ferreira, J. N. Ferreira, M. Keller, W. E. Magnusson, L. Morales, D. C. Morton, J. P. Ometto, M. Palace, C. Peres, D. Silvério, S. Trumbore, and I. C. Vieira. 2016. "Toward an integrated monitoring framework to assess the effects of tropical forest degradation and recovery on carbon stocks and biodiversity." Global Change Biology, 22 (1): 92–109 [10.1111/gcb.13087]

    Morton, D. C., P. Noojipady, M. M. Macedo, et al. H. Gibbs, D. C. Victoria, and E. L. Bolfe. 2016. "Reevaluating suitability estimates based on dynamics of cropland expansion in the Brazilian Amazon." Global Environmental Change, 37: 92-101 [10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.02.001]

    Morton, D. C., J. Nagol, C. C. Carabajal, et al. J. Rosette, M. Palace, B. D. Cook, E. F. Vermote, D. J. Harding, and P. R. North. 2016. "Dry-season greening of Amazon forests Reply." Nature, 531 (7594): E6-E6 [10.1038/nature16458]

    Chen, Y., D. C. Morton, N. Andela, L. Giglio, and J. T. Randerson. 2016. "How much global burned area can be forecast on seasonal time scales using sea surface temperatures?" Environmental Research Letters, 11 (4): 045001 [10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/045001]

    Morton, D. C. 2016. "Forest carbon fluxes: A satellite perspective." Nature Climate change, 6 (4): 346-348 [10.1038/nclimate2978]

    Morton, D. C., J. Rubio, B. D. Cook, et al. J.-P. Gastellu-Etchegorry, M. Longo, H. Choi, M. Hunter, and M. Keller. 2016. "Amazon forest structure generates diurnal and seasonal variability in light utilization." Biogeosciences, 13 (7): 2195-2206 [10.5194/bg-13-2195-2016]

    Gastellu-Etchegorry, J.-P., T. Yin, N. Lauret, et al. E. Grau, J. Rubio, B. D. Cook, D. C. Morton, and G. Sun. 2016. "Simulation of satellite, airborne and terrestrial LiDAR with DART (I): Waveform simulation with quasi-Monte Carlo ray tracing." Remote Sensing of Environment, 184: 418-435 [10.1016/j.rse.2016.07.010]

    Longo, M., M. Keller, M. N. dos-Santos, et al. V. Leitold, E. R. Pinagé, A. Baccini, S. Saatchi, E. M. Nogueira, M. Batistella, and D. C. Morton. 2016. "Aboveground biomass variability across intact and degraded forests in the Brazilian Amazon." Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 30 (11): 1639-1660 [10.1002/2016gb005465]

    Eitel, J. U., B. Höfle, L. A. Vierling, et al. A. Abellán, G. P. Asner, J. S. Deems, C. L. Glennie, P. C. Joerg, A. L. LeWinter, T. S. Magney, G. Mandlburger, D. C. Morton, J. Müller, and K. T. Vierling. 2016. "Beyond 3-D: The new spectrum of lidar applications for earth and ecological sciences." Remote Sensing of Environment, 186: 372-392 [10.1016/j.rse.2016.08.018]

    Gibbs, H. K., L. Rausch, J. Munger, et al. I. Schelly, D. C. Morton, P. Noojipady, B. Soares-Filho, P. Barreto, L. Micol, and N. F. Walker. 2015. "Brazil’s Soy Moratorium." Science, 347 (6220): 377-378 [10.1126/science.aaa0181 ]

    Leitold, V., M. Keller, D. C. Morton, B. D. Cook, and Y. E. Shimabukuro. 2015. "Airborne lidar-based estimates of tropical forest structure in complex terrain: opportunities and trade-offs for REDD+ ." Carbon Balance and Management, 10 (1): [10.1186/s13021-015-0013-x]

    Gastellu-Etchegorry, J.-P., T. Yin, N. Lauret, et al. T. Cajgfinger, T. Gregoire, E. Grau, J.-B. Feret, M. Lopes, J. Guilleux, G. Dedieu, Z. Malenovský, B. D. Cook, D. C. Morton, J. Rubio, S. Durrieu, G. Cazanave, E. Martin, and T. Ristorcelli. 2015. "Discrete Anisotropic Radiative Transfer (DART 5) for Modeling Airborne and Satellite Spectroradiometer and LIDAR Acquisitions of Natural and Urban Landscapes." Remote Sensing, 7 (2): 1667-1701 [10.3390/rs70201667]

    Le Page, Y., D. Morton, B. Bond-Lamberty, J. M. Pereira, and G. Hurtt. 2015. "HESFIRE: a global fire model to explore the role of anthropogenic and weather drivers." Biogeosciences, 12 (3): 887-903 [10.5194/bg-12-887-2015]

    Nagol, J. R., J. O. Sexton, D. H. Kim, et al. A. Anand, E. F. Vermote, D. C. Morton, and J. R. Townshend. 2015. "Bidirectional effects in Landsat reflectance estimates: Is there a problem to solve?" ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 103: 129-135 [10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2014.09.006]

    Hunter, M. O., M. M. Keller, D. C. Morton, et al. B. D. Cook, M. Lefsky, M. Ducey, S. Saleska, R. C. de Oliveira, and J. Schietti. 2015. "Structural Dynamics of Tropical Moist Forest Gaps." PLoS ONE, 10 (7): e0132144 [10.1371/journal.pone.0132144]

    Chen, Y., J. T. Randerson, and D. C. Morton. 2015. "Tropical North Atlantic ocean-atmosphere interactions synchronize forest carbon losses from hurricanes and Amazon fires." Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (15): 6462-6470 [10.1002/2015gl064505]

    Brando, P. M., J. K. Balch, D. C. Nepstad, et al. D. C. Morton, F. E. Putz, M. T. Coe, D. Silvério, M. N. Macedo, E. A. Davidson, C. C. Nóbrega, A. Alencar, and B. S. Soares-Filho. 2014. "Abrupt increases in Amazonian tree mortality due to drought-fire interactions." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (17): 6347-6352 [10.1073/pnas.1305499111]

    Chen, Y., D. C. Morton, Y. Jin, et al. G. J. Collatz, P. S. Kasibatla, G. R. van der Werf, R. S. DeFries, and J. T. Randerson. 2014. "Long-term trends and inter annual variability of forest, savanna and agricultural fires in South America." Carbon Management, 5 (1): 617-338.

    Morton, D. C., J. Nagol, C. C. Carabajal, et al. J. Rosette, M. Palace, D. Cook, E. F. Vermote, D. Harding, and P. North. 2014. "Amazon forests maintain consistent canopy structure and greenness during the dry season." Nature, 506 (7487): 221-224 [10.1038/nature13006]

    Lin, H.-W., J. L. McCarty, D. Wang, et al. B. M. Rogers, D. C. Morton, G. J. Collatz, Y. Jin, and J. T. Randerson. 2014. "Management and climate contributions to satellite-derived active fire trends in the contiguous United States." J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 119 (4): 645–660 [10.1002/2013JG002382]

    Meyfroidt, P., K. M. Carlson, M. E. Fagan, et al. V. H. Gutiérrez-Vélez, M. N. Macedo, L. M. Curran, R. S. DeFries, G. A. Dyer, H. K. Gibbs, E. F. Lambin, D. C. Morton, and V. Robiglio. 2014. "Multiple pathways of commodity crop expansion in tropical forest landscapes ." Environ. Res. Lett., 9 (7): 074012 (13pp) [10.1088/1748-9326/9/7/074012]

    Keppel-Aleks, G., A. S. Wolf, M. Mu, et al. S. C. Doney, D. C. Morton, P. S. Kasibhatla, J. B. Miller, E. J. Dlugokencky, and J. T. Randerson. 2014. "Separating the influence of temperature, drought, and fire on interannual variability in atmospheric CO 2." Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 28 (11): 1295-1310 [10.1002/2014gb004890]

    Morton, D. C., Y. Le Page, R. DeFries, G. J. Collatz, and G. C. Hurtt. 2013. "Understorey fire frequency and the fate of burned forests in southern Amazonia." Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 368 (1619): 20120163 [10.1098/rstb.2012.0163]

    Morton, D. C., G. J. Collatz, D. Wang, et al. J. T. Randerson, L. Giglio, and Y. Chen. 2013. "Satellite-based assessment of climate controls on US burned area." Biogeosciences, 10 (1): 247-260.

    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]

    Lambin, E., H. Gibbs, L. Ferreira, et al. R. Grau, P. Mayaux, P. Meyfroidt, D. Morton, T. Rudel, I. Gasparri, and J. Munger. 2013. "Estimating the world's potentially available cropland using a bottom-up approach." Global Environmental Change, 23 (5): 892-901 [10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.05.005]

    Hunter, M. O., M. Keller, D. Victoria, and D. C. Morton. 2013. "Tree height and tropical forest biomass estimation." Biogeosciences, 10 (12): 8385-8399 [10.5194/bg-10-8385-2013]

    Wang, D., D. Morton, J. Masek, et al. A. Wu, J. Nagol, J. Xiong, R. Levy, E. Vermote, and R. Wolfe. 2012. "Impact of sensor degradation on the MODIS NDVI time series." Remote Sensing of Environment, 119: 55-61 [10.1016/j.rse.2011.12.001]

    McManus, K. M., D. Morton, J. Masek, et al. D. Wang, J. Sexton, J. Nagol, B. Ropars, B. Ropars, and B. Ropars. 2012. "Satellite-based evidence for shrub and graminoid tundra expansion in northern Quebec from 1986 to 2010." Global Change Biology, 18 (7): 2313-2323 [10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02708.x]

    Randerson, J. T., Y. Chen, G. R. van derWerf, B. M. Rogers, and D. Morton. 2012. "Global burned area and biomass burning emissions from small fires." Journal of Geophysical Research, 117: G04012 [Full Text (Link)]

    Macedo, M. N., R. S. DeFries, D. C. Morton, et al. C. M. Stickler, G. L. Galford, and Y. E. Shimabukuro. 2012. "Decoupling of deforestation and soy production in the southern Amazon during the late 2000s." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109 (4): 1341-1346 [10.1073/pnas.1111374109]

    Morton, D. C., M. H. Sales, C. M. Souza, and B. Griscom. 2011. "Historic emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Mato Grosso, Brazil: 1) source data uncertainties." Carbon Balance and Management, 6 (1): 18 [10.1186/1750-0680-6-18]

    Chen, Y., J. T. Randerson, D. C. Morton, et al. R. S. DeFries, G. J. Collatz, and A. Et. 2011. "Forecasting fire season severity in South America using sea surface temperature anomalies." Science, 334 (6057): 787-791.

    Mu, M., J. T. Randerson, G. R. van der Werf, et al. L. Giglio, P. Kasibhatla, D. C. Morton, G. J. Collatz, and A. Et. 2011. "Daily and 3-hourly variability in global fire emissions and consequences for atmospheric model predictions of carbon monoxide." J. Geophys. Res., 116 (D24): D24303 [10.1029/2011JD016245]

    Morton, D. C., R. S. DeFries, J. Nagol, et al. C. M. Souza, E. S. Kasischke, G. C. Hurtt, and R. Dubayah. 2011. "Mapping canopy damage from understory fires in Amazon forests using annual time series of Landsat and MODIS data." Remote Sensing of Environment, 115 (7): 1706-1720 [10.1016/j.rse.2011.03.002]

    van der Werf, G. R., J. T. Randerson, L. Giglio, et al. G. J. Collatz, M. Mu, P. S. Kasibhatla, D. C. Morton, and A. Et. 2010. "Global fire emissions and the contribution of deforestation, savanna, forest, agricultural, and peat fires (1997-2009)." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10 (2): 11707-11735.

    Giglio, L., J. T. Randerson, G. R. van der Werf, et al. P. S. Kasibhatla, G. J. Collatz, D. C. Morton, and R. S. DeFries. 2010. "Assessing variability and long-term trends in burned area by merging multiple satellite fire products." Biogeosciences, 7 (3): 1171-1186 [10.5194/bg-7-1171-2010]

    Chen, Y., J. T. Randerson, G. R. Van Der Werf, et al. D. C. Morton, M. Mu, and P. S. Kasibhatla. 2010. "Nitrogen deposition in tropical forests from savanna and deforestation fires." Global Change Biology, 16 (7): 2024-2038 [10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02156.x]

    Le Page, Y., G. R. van der Werf, D. C. Morton, and J. M. Pereira. 2010. "Modeling fire-driven deforestation potential in Amazonia under current and projected climate conditions." Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (G3): G03012 [10.1029/2009jg001190]

    van der Werf, G. R., D. C. Morton, R. DeFries, et al. L. Gilgio, J. Randerson, G. J. Collatz, and P. Kasibhatla. 2009. "Estimates of fire emissions from an active deforestation region in the southern Amazon based on satellite data and biogeochemical modelling." Biogeosciences, 6 (2): 239-245 [10.5194/bg-6-235-2009]

    van der Werf, G. R., D. C. Morton, R. S. DeFries, et al. J. G. Olivier, P. S. Kasibhatla, R. B. Jackson, G. J. Collatz, and J. T. Randerson. 2009. "CO2 emissions from forest loss." Nature Geoscience, 2 (11): 737-738 [10.1038/ngeo671]

    Giglio, L., I. Csiszar, A. Restas, et al. J. Morisette, W. Schroeder, D. C. Morton, and C. Justice. 2008. "Active fire detection and characterization with the advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer (ASTER)." Remote Sensing of Environment, 112 (6): 3055-3063 [10.1016/j.rse.2008.03.003]

    Schroeder, W., E. Prins, L. Giglio, et al. I. Csiszar, C. Schmidt, J. Morrisette, and D. C. Morton. 2008. "Validation of GOES and MODIS active fire detection products using ASTER and ETM+ data." Remote Sensing of Environment, 112 (5): 2711-2726 [10.1016/j.rse.2008.01.005]

    DeFries, R., D. C. Morton, G. R. van der Werf, et al. L. Giglio, G. J. Collatz, J. Randerson, R. Houghton, P. Kasibhatla, and Y. Shimabukuro. 2008. "Fire-related carbon emissions from land use transitions in southern Amazonia." Geophysical Research Letters, 35 (22): L22705 [10.1029/2008GL035689]

    van der Werf, G. R., J. Dempewolf, S. Trigg, et al. J. Randerson, P. Kasibhatla, L. Giglio, D. Murdiyarso, W. Peters, D. C. Morton, G. J. Collatz, A. Dolman, and R. DeFries. 2008. "Climate regulation of fire emissions and deforestation in equatorial Asia." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105 (51): 20,350-20,355 [10.1073/pnas.0803375105]

    Morton, D. C., R. DeFries, J. Randerson, et al. L. Giglio, W. Schroeder, and G. R. van der Werf. 2008. "Agricultural intensification increases deforestation fire activity in Amazonia." Global Change Biology, 14 (10): 2262-2275 [10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01652.x]

    Morton, D. C., Y. Shimabukuro, B. F. Rudorff, et al. A. Lima, R. Freitas, and R. DeFries. 2007. "Conservation challenge at the agricultural frontier: deforestation, fire, and land use dynamics in Mato Grosso." Ambi-Agua, 2 (1): 5-20 [10.4136/1980-993X]

    Chambers, J., G. Anser, D. C. Morton, et al. L. Anderson, S. Saatchi, F. D. Espirito-Santo, C. M. Palace, C. M. Palace, and C. M. Palace. 2007. "Regional ecosystem structure and function: ecological insights from remote sensing of tropical forests." Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 22 (8): 414-423.

    Pongratz, J., L. Bounoua, R. DeFries, et al. D. C. Morton, L. Anderson, W. Mauser, and C. Klink. 2006. "The Impact of Land Cover Change on Surface Energy and Water Balance in Mato Grosso, Brazil." Earth Interactions, 10 (19): 1-17.

    Morton, D. C., R. DeFries, Y. Shimabukuro, et al. L. Anderson, E. Arai, F. D. Espirito-Santo, R. Freitas, and J. Morisette. 2006. "Cropland expansion changes deforestation dynamics in the southern Brazilian Amazon." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103 (39): 14637-14641 [10.1073/pnas.0606377103]

    Morisette, J., L. Giglio, I. Csiszar, et al. A. Setzer, W. Schroeder, D. C. Morton, and C. Justice. 2005. "Validation of MODIS Active Fire Detection Products Derived from Two Algorithms." Earth Interactions, 9 (9): 25 pp.

    Morton, D. C., R. S. DeFries, Y. E. Shimabukuro, et al. L. O. Anderson, F. Del Bon Espírito-Santo, M. Hansen, and M. Carroll. 2005. "Rapid Assessment of Annual Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon Using MODIS Data." Earth Interact., 9 (8): 1-22 [10.1175/ei139.1]

    Anderson, L., Y. Shimabukuro, R. Defries, and D. Morton. 2005. "Assessment of Deforestation in Near Real Time Over the Brazilian Amazon Using Multitemporal Fraction Images Derived From Terra MODIS." IEEE Geosci. Remote Sensing Lett., 2 (3): 315-318 [10.1109/lgrs.2005.850364]

    Schroeder, W., J. Morisette, I. Csiszar, et al. L. Giglio, D. C. Morton, and C. Justice. 2005. "Characterizing Vegetation Fire Dynamics in Brazil through Multisatellite Data: Common Trends and Practical Issues." Earth Interactions, 9 (13): 1-26 [10.1175/EI120.1]

    Jasinski, E., D. Morton, R. DeFries, et al. Y. Shimabukuro, L. Anderson, and M. Hansen. 2005. "Physical Landscape Correlates of the Expansion of Mechanized Agriculture in Mato Grosso, Brazil." Earth Interact., 9 (16): 1-18 [10.1175/ei143.1]

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Douglas Morton is an Earth scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. He leads an interdisciplinary lab at NASA to conduct large-scale ecological research using data from NASA’s satellites and airborne platforms, ecosystem models, and fieldwork. Dr. Morton’s work focuses on tropical forests, fires, and food production. He has worked in Brazil for the past 15 years, with an emphasis on agricultural frontiers in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes and dynamics of deforestation, forest degradation, and agricultural management following forest conversion. Dr. Morton contributes to the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED, www.globalfiredata.org), a collaborative effort to characterize the impact of global burned area and carbon emissions from fire activity on the Earth system. Dr. Morton is also actively engaged in international efforts to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), and serves as a technical advisor to SilvaCarbon, a US-Government initiative to build capacity in tropical forest countries to monitor and manage their forest resources.

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Noojipady, P., D. C. Morton, M. N. Macedo, et al. D. C. Victoria, C. Huang, H. K. Gibbs, and E. L. Bolfe. 2017. "Forest carbon emissions from cropland expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado biome." Environmental Research Letters 12 (2): 025004 [10.1088/1748-9326/aa5986]

    Gastellu-Etchegorry, J.-P., N. Lauret, T. Yin, et al. L. Landier, A. Kallel, Z. Malenovsky, A. A. Bitar, J. Aval, S. Benhmida, J. Qi, G. Medjdoub, J. Guilleux, E. Chavanon, B. Cook, D. Morton, N. Chrysoulakis, and Z. Mitraka. 2017. "DART: Recent Advances in Remote Sensing Data Modeling With Atmosphere, Polarization, and Chlorophyll Fluorescence." IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 1-10 [10.1109/jstars.2017.2685528]

    Alonzo, M., D. C. Morton, B. D. Cook, et al. H.-E. Andersen, C. Babcock, and R. Pattison. 2017. "Patterns of canopy and surface layer consumption in a boreal forest fire from repeat airborne lidar." Environmental Research Letters 12 (6): 065004 [10.1088/1748-9326/aa6ade]

    Andela, N., D. C. Morton, L. Giglio, et al. Y. Chen, G. R. van der Werf, P. S. Kasibhatla, R. S. DeFries, G. J. Collatz, S. Hantson, S. Kloster, D. Bachelet, M. Forrest, G. Lasslop, F. Li, S. Mangeon, J. R. Melton, C. Yue, and J. T. Randerson. 2017. "A human-driven decline in global burned area." Science 356 (6345): 1356-1362 [10.1126/science.aal4108]

    Noojipady, P., D. C. Morton, W. Schroeder, et al. K. M. Carlson, C. Huang, H. K. Gibbs, D. Burns, N. F. Walker, and S. D. Prince. 2017. "Managing fire risk during drought: the influence of certification and El Niño on fire-driven forest conversion for oil palm in Southeast Asia." Earth System Dynamics 8 (3): 749-771 [10.5194/esd-8-749-2017]

    van der Werf, G. R., J. T. Randerson, L. Giglio, et al. T. T. van Leeuwen, Y. Chen, B. M. Rogers, M. Mu, M. J. van Marle, D. C. Morton, G. J. Collatz, R. J. Yokelson, and P. S. Kasibhatla. 2017. "Global fire emissions estimates during 1997–2016." Earth System Science Data 9 (2): 697-720 [10.5194/essd-9-697-2017]

    Bustamante, M. M., I. Roitman, T. M. Aide, et al. A. Alencar, L. Anderson, L. Aragão, G. P. Asner, J. Barlow, E. Berenguer, J. Chambers, M. H. Costa, T. Fanin, L. G. Ferreira, J. N. Ferreira, M. Keller, W. E. Magnusson, L. Morales, D. C. Morton, J. P. Ometto, M. Palace, C. Peres, D. Silvério, S. Trumbore, and I. C. Vieira. 2016. "Toward an integrated monitoring framework to assess the effects of tropical forest degradation and recovery on carbon stocks and biodiversity." Global Change Biology 22 (1): 92–109 [10.1111/gcb.13087]

    Morton, D. C., P. Noojipady, M. M. Macedo, et al. H. Gibbs, D. C. Victoria, and E. L. Bolfe. 2016. "Reevaluating suitability estimates based on dynamics of cropland expansion in the Brazilian Amazon." Global Environmental Change 37 92-101 [10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.02.001]

    Morton, D. C., J. Nagol, C. C. Carabajal, et al. J. Rosette, M. Palace, B. D. Cook, E. F. Vermote, D. J. Harding, and P. R. North. 2016. "Dry-season greening of Amazon forests Reply." Nature 531 (7594): E6-E6 [10.1038/nature16458]

    Chen, Y., D. C. Morton, N. Andela, L. Giglio, and J. T. Randerson. 2016. "How much global burned area can be forecast on seasonal time scales using sea surface temperatures?" Environmental Research Letters 11 (4): 045001 [10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/045001]

    Morton, D. C. 2016. "Forest carbon fluxes: A satellite perspective." Nature Climate change 6 (4): 346-348 [10.1038/nclimate2978]

    Morton, D. C., J. Rubio, B. D. Cook, et al. J.-P. Gastellu-Etchegorry, M. Longo, H. Choi, M. Hunter, and M. Keller. 2016. "Amazon forest structure generates diurnal and seasonal variability in light utilization." Biogeosciences 13 (7): 2195-2206 [10.5194/bg-13-2195-2016]

    Gastellu-Etchegorry, J.-P., T. Yin, N. Lauret, et al. E. Grau, J. Rubio, B. D. Cook, D. C. Morton, and G. Sun. 2016. "Simulation of satellite, airborne and terrestrial LiDAR with DART (I): Waveform simulation with quasi-Monte Carlo ray tracing." Remote Sensing of Environment 184 418-435 [10.1016/j.rse.2016.07.010]

    Longo, M., M. Keller, M. N. dos-Santos, et al. V. Leitold, E. R. Pinagé, A. Baccini, S. Saatchi, E. M. Nogueira, M. Batistella, and D. C. Morton. 2016. "Aboveground biomass variability across intact and degraded forests in the Brazilian Amazon." Global Biogeochemical Cycles 30 (11): 1639-1660 [10.1002/2016gb005465]

    Eitel, J. U., B. Höfle, L. A. Vierling, et al. A. Abellán, G. P. Asner, J. S. Deems, C. L. Glennie, P. C. Joerg, A. L. LeWinter, T. S. Magney, G. Mandlburger, D. C. Morton, J. Müller, and K. T. Vierling. 2016. "Beyond 3-D: The new spectrum of lidar applications for earth and ecological sciences." Remote Sensing of Environment 186 372-392 [10.1016/j.rse.2016.08.018]

    Gibbs, H. K., L. Rausch, J. Munger, et al. I. Schelly, D. C. Morton, P. Noojipady, B. Soares-Filho, P. Barreto, L. Micol, and N. F. Walker. 2015. "Brazil’s Soy Moratorium." Science 347 (6220): 377-378 [10.1126/science.aaa0181 ]

    Leitold, V., M. Keller, D. C. Morton, B. D. Cook, and Y. E. Shimabukuro. 2015. "Airborne lidar-based estimates of tropical forest structure in complex terrain: opportunities and trade-offs for REDD+ ." Carbon Balance and Management 10 (1): [10.1186/s13021-015-0013-x]

    Gastellu-Etchegorry, J.-P., T. Yin, N. Lauret, et al. T. Cajgfinger, T. Gregoire, E. Grau, J.-B. Feret, M. Lopes, J. Guilleux, G. Dedieu, Z. Malenovský, B. D. Cook, D. C. Morton, J. Rubio, S. Durrieu, G. Cazanave, E. Martin, and T. Ristorcelli. 2015. "Discrete Anisotropic Radiative Transfer (DART 5) for Modeling Airborne and Satellite Spectroradiometer and LIDAR Acquisitions of Natural and Urban Landscapes." Remote Sensing 7 (2): 1667-1701 [10.3390/rs70201667]

    Le Page, Y., D. Morton, B. Bond-Lamberty, J. M. Pereira, and G. Hurtt. 2015. "HESFIRE: a global fire model to explore the role of anthropogenic and weather drivers." Biogeosciences 12 (3): 887-903 [10.5194/bg-12-887-2015]

    Nagol, J. R., J. O. Sexton, D. H. Kim, et al. A. Anand, E. F. Vermote, D. C. Morton, and J. R. Townshend. 2015. "Bidirectional effects in Landsat reflectance estimates: Is there a problem to solve?" ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 103 129-135 [10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2014.09.006]

    Hunter, M. O., M. M. Keller, D. C. Morton, et al. B. D. Cook, M. Lefsky, M. Ducey, S. Saleska, R. C. de Oliveira, and J. Schietti. 2015. "Structural Dynamics of Tropical Moist Forest Gaps." PLoS ONE 10 (7): e0132144 [10.1371/journal.pone.0132144]

    Chen, Y., J. T. Randerson, and D. C. Morton. 2015. "Tropical North Atlantic ocean-atmosphere interactions synchronize forest carbon losses from hurricanes and Amazon fires." Geophysical Research Letters 42 (15): 6462-6470 [10.1002/2015gl064505]

    Brando, P. M., J. K. Balch, D. C. Nepstad, et al. D. C. Morton, F. E. Putz, M. T. Coe, D. Silvério, M. N. Macedo, E. A. Davidson, C. C. Nóbrega, A. Alencar, and B. S. Soares-Filho. 2014. "Abrupt increases in Amazonian tree mortality due to drought-fire interactions." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (17): 6347-6352 [10.1073/pnas.1305499111]

    Chen, Y., D. C. Morton, Y. Jin, et al. G. J. Collatz, P. S. Kasibatla, G. R. van der Werf, R. S. DeFries, and J. T. Randerson. 2014. "Long-term trends and inter annual variability of forest, savanna and agricultural fires in South America." Carbon Management 5 (1): 617-338

    Morton, D. C., J. Nagol, C. C. Carabajal, et al. J. Rosette, M. Palace, D. Cook, E. F. Vermote, D. Harding, and P. North. 2014. "Amazon forests maintain consistent canopy structure and greenness during the dry season." Nature 506 (7487): 221-224 [10.1038/nature13006]

    Lin, H.-W., J. L. McCarty, D. Wang, et al. B. M. Rogers, D. C. Morton, G. J. Collatz, Y. Jin, and J. T. Randerson. 2014. "Management and climate contributions to satellite-derived active fire trends in the contiguous United States." J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci. 119 (4): 645–660 [10.1002/2013JG002382]

    Meyfroidt, P., K. M. Carlson, M. E. Fagan, et al. V. H. Gutiérrez-Vélez, M. N. Macedo, L. M. Curran, R. S. DeFries, G. A. Dyer, H. K. Gibbs, E. F. Lambin, D. C. Morton, and V. Robiglio. 2014. "Multiple pathways of commodity crop expansion in tropical forest landscapes ." Environ. Res. Lett. 9 (7): 074012 (13pp) [10.1088/1748-9326/9/7/074012]

    Keppel-Aleks, G., A. S. Wolf, M. Mu, et al. S. C. Doney, D. C. Morton, P. S. Kasibhatla, J. B. Miller, E. J. Dlugokencky, and J. T. Randerson. 2014. "Separating the influence of temperature, drought, and fire on interannual variability in atmospheric CO 2." Global Biogeochemical Cycles 28 (11): 1295-1310 [10.1002/2014gb004890]

    Morton, D. C., Y. Le Page, R. DeFries, G. J. Collatz, and G. C. Hurtt. 2013. "Understorey fire frequency and the fate of burned forests in southern Amazonia." Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 368 (1619): 20120163 [10.1098/rstb.2012.0163]

    Morton, D. C., G. J. Collatz, D. Wang, et al. J. T. Randerson, L. Giglio, and Y. Chen. 2013. "Satellite-based assessment of climate controls on US burned area." Biogeosciences 10 (1): 247-260

    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]

    Lambin, E., H. Gibbs, L. Ferreira, et al. R. Grau, P. Mayaux, P. Meyfroidt, D. Morton, T. Rudel, I. Gasparri, and J. Munger. 2013. "Estimating the world's potentially available cropland using a bottom-up approach." Global Environmental Change 23 (5): 892-901 [10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.05.005]

    Hunter, M. O., M. Keller, D. Victoria, and D. C. Morton. 2013. "Tree height and tropical forest biomass estimation." Biogeosciences 10 (12): 8385-8399 [10.5194/bg-10-8385-2013]

    Wang, D., D. Morton, J. Masek, et al. A. Wu, J. Nagol, J. Xiong, R. Levy, E. Vermote, and R. Wolfe. 2012. "Impact of sensor degradation on the MODIS NDVI time series." Remote Sensing of Environment 119 55-61 [10.1016/j.rse.2011.12.001]

    McManus, K. M., D. Morton, J. Masek, et al. D. Wang, J. Sexton, J. Nagol, B. Ropars, B. Ropars, and B. Ropars. 2012. "Satellite-based evidence for shrub and graminoid tundra expansion in northern Quebec from 1986 to 2010." Global Change Biology 18 (7): 2313-2323 [10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02708.x]

    Randerson, J. T., Y. Chen, G. R. van derWerf, B. M. Rogers, and D. Morton. 2012. "Global burned area and biomass burning emissions from small fires." Journal of Geophysical Research 117 G04012 [Full Text (Link)]

    Macedo, M. N., R. S. DeFries, D. C. Morton, et al. C. M. Stickler, G. L. Galford, and Y. E. Shimabukuro. 2012. "Decoupling of deforestation and soy production in the southern Amazon during the late 2000s." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109 (4): 1341-1346 [10.1073/pnas.1111374109]

    Morton, D. C., M. H. Sales, C. M. Souza, and B. Griscom. 2011. "Historic emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Mato Grosso, Brazil: 1) source data uncertainties." Carbon Balance and Management 6 (1): 18 [10.1186/1750-0680-6-18]

    Chen, Y., J. T. Randerson, D. C. Morton, et al. R. S. DeFries, G. J. Collatz, and A. Et. 2011. "Forecasting fire season severity in South America using sea surface temperature anomalies." Science 334 (6057): 787-791

    Mu, M., J. T. Randerson, G. R. van der Werf, et al. L. Giglio, P. Kasibhatla, D. C. Morton, G. J. Collatz, and A. Et. 2011. "Daily and 3-hourly variability in global fire emissions and consequences for atmospheric model predictions of carbon monoxide." J. Geophys. Res. 116 (D24): D24303 [10.1029/2011JD016245]

    Morton, D. C., R. S. DeFries, J. Nagol, et al. C. M. Souza, E. S. Kasischke, G. C. Hurtt, and R. Dubayah. 2011. "Mapping canopy damage from understory fires in Amazon forests using annual time series of Landsat and MODIS data." Remote Sensing of Environment 115 (7): 1706-1720 [10.1016/j.rse.2011.03.002]

    van der Werf, G. R., J. T. Randerson, L. Giglio, et al. G. J. Collatz, M. Mu, P. S. Kasibhatla, D. C. Morton, and A. Et. 2010. "Global fire emissions and the contribution of deforestation, savanna, forest, agricultural, and peat fires (1997-2009)." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 10 (2): 11707-11735

    Giglio, L., J. T. Randerson, G. R. van der Werf, et al. P. S. Kasibhatla, G. J. Collatz, D. C. Morton, and R. S. DeFries. 2010. "Assessing variability and long-term trends in burned area by merging multiple satellite fire products." Biogeosciences 7 (3): 1171-1186 [10.5194/bg-7-1171-2010]

    Chen, Y., J. T. Randerson, G. R. Van Der Werf, et al. D. C. Morton, M. Mu, and P. S. Kasibhatla. 2010. "Nitrogen deposition in tropical forests from savanna and deforestation fires." Global Change Biology 16 (7): 2024-2038 [10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02156.x]

    Le Page, Y., G. R. van der Werf, D. C. Morton, and J. M. Pereira. 2010. "Modeling fire-driven deforestation potential in Amazonia under current and projected climate conditions." Journal of Geophysical Research 115 (G3): G03012 [10.1029/2009jg001190]

    van der Werf, G. R., D. C. Morton, R. DeFries, et al. L. Gilgio, J. Randerson, G. J. Collatz, and P. Kasibhatla. 2009. "Estimates of fire emissions from an active deforestation region in the southern Amazon based on satellite data and biogeochemical modelling." Biogeosciences 6 (2): 239-245 [10.5194/bg-6-235-2009]

    van der Werf, G. R., D. C. Morton, R. S. DeFries, et al. J. G. Olivier, P. S. Kasibhatla, R. B. Jackson, G. J. Collatz, and J. T. Randerson. 2009. "CO2 emissions from forest loss." Nature Geoscience 2 (11): 737-738 [10.1038/ngeo671]

    Giglio, L., I. Csiszar, A. Restas, et al. J. Morisette, W. Schroeder, D. C. Morton, and C. Justice. 2008. "Active fire detection and characterization with the advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer (ASTER)." Remote Sensing of Environment 112 (6): 3055-3063 [10.1016/j.rse.2008.03.003]

    Schroeder, W., E. Prins, L. Giglio, et al. I. Csiszar, C. Schmidt, J. Morrisette, and D. C. Morton. 2008. "Validation of GOES and MODIS active fire detection products using ASTER and ETM+ data." Remote Sensing of Environment 112 (5): 2711-2726 [10.1016/j.rse.2008.01.005]

    DeFries, R., D. C. Morton, G. R. van der Werf, et al. L. Giglio, G. J. Collatz, J. Randerson, R. Houghton, P. Kasibhatla, and Y. Shimabukuro. 2008. "Fire-related carbon emissions from land use transitions in southern Amazonia." Geophysical Research Letters 35 (22): L22705 [10.1029/2008GL035689]

    van der Werf, G. R., J. Dempewolf, S. Trigg, et al. J. Randerson, P. Kasibhatla, L. Giglio, D. Murdiyarso, W. Peters, D. C. Morton, G. J. Collatz, A. Dolman, and R. DeFries. 2008. "Climate regulation of fire emissions and deforestation in equatorial Asia." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105 (51): 20,350-20,355 [10.1073/pnas.0803375105]

    Morton, D. C., R. DeFries, J. Randerson, et al. L. Giglio, W. Schroeder, and G. R. van der Werf. 2008. "Agricultural intensification increases deforestation fire activity in Amazonia." Global Change Biology 14 (10): 2262-2275 [10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01652.x]

    Morton, D. C., Y. Shimabukuro, B. F. Rudorff, et al. A. Lima, R. Freitas, and R. DeFries. 2007. "Conservation challenge at the agricultural frontier: deforestation, fire, and land use dynamics in Mato Grosso." Ambi-Agua 2 (1): 5-20 [10.4136/1980-993X]

    Chambers, J., G. Anser, D. C. Morton, et al. L. Anderson, S. Saatchi, F. D. Espirito-Santo, C. M. Palace, C. M. Palace, and C. M. Palace. 2007. "Regional ecosystem structure and function: ecological insights from remote sensing of tropical forests." Trends in Ecology & Evolution 22 (8): 414-423

    Pongratz, J., L. Bounoua, R. DeFries, et al. D. C. Morton, L. Anderson, W. Mauser, and C. Klink. 2006. "The Impact of Land Cover Change on Surface Energy and Water Balance in Mato Grosso, Brazil." Earth Interactions 10 (19): 1-17

    Morton, D. C., R. DeFries, Y. Shimabukuro, et al. L. Anderson, E. Arai, F. D. Espirito-Santo, R. Freitas, and J. Morisette. 2006. "Cropland expansion changes deforestation dynamics in the southern Brazilian Amazon." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 (39): 14637-14641 [10.1073/pnas.0606377103]

    Morisette, J., L. Giglio, I. Csiszar, et al. A. Setzer, W. Schroeder, D. C. Morton, and C. Justice. 2005. "Validation of MODIS Active Fire Detection Products Derived from Two Algorithms." Earth Interactions 9 (9): 25 pp

    Morton, D. C., R. S. DeFries, Y. E. Shimabukuro, et al. L. O. Anderson, F. Del Bon Espírito-Santo, M. Hansen, and M. Carroll. 2005. "Rapid Assessment of Annual Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon Using MODIS Data." Earth Interact. 9 (8): 1-22 [10.1175/ei139.1]

    Anderson, L., Y. Shimabukuro, R. Defries, and D. Morton. 2005. "Assessment of Deforestation in Near Real Time Over the Brazilian Amazon Using Multitemporal Fraction Images Derived From Terra MODIS." IEEE Geosci. Remote Sensing Lett. 2 (3): 315-318 [10.1109/lgrs.2005.850364]

    Schroeder, W., J. Morisette, I. Csiszar, et al. L. Giglio, D. C. Morton, and C. Justice. 2005. "Characterizing Vegetation Fire Dynamics in Brazil through Multisatellite Data: Common Trends and Practical Issues." Earth Interactions 9 (13): 1-26 [10.1175/EI120.1]

    Jasinski, E., D. Morton, R. DeFries, et al. Y. Shimabukuro, L. Anderson, and M. Hansen. 2005. "Physical Landscape Correlates of the Expansion of Mechanized Agriculture in Mato Grosso, Brazil." Earth Interact. 9 (16): 1-18 [10.1175/ei143.1]

                                                                                                                                                                                            
    NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration