Biospheric Sciences - 618


Biospheric Sciences is a part of the Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Biospheric Sciences studies terrestrial ecosystems and their interactions with the atmosphere using multiscale remote sensing, modeling, and advanced analytical techniques.

Biospheric Sciences Laboratory studies terrestrial ecosystems and their interactions with the atmosphere using multiscale remote sensing, modeling, and advanced analytical techniques. Specifically:

  1. develops and utilizes satellite remote sensing, aircraft and ground instruments to measure variables that describe the temporal and spatial dynamics of natural ecosystems as well as human impacts on these systems, especially the vegetation condition (e.g., land cover, height, biomass, photosynthetic capacity), soils (e.g., soil condition and type), and links to atmospheric constituents (e.g., aerosols, CO2;
  2. develops mathematical models that use space-borne, airborne and ground observations to predict land surface conditions and processes related to rates of vegetation, soil, and atmosphere exchanges (e.g., radiation, heat, water, greenhouse gases, net primary productivity);
  3. acquires, produces, and distributes comprehensive, integrated land data sets incorporating ground, airborne, and/or satellite observations to facilitate model development and validation;
  4. ensures the scientific integrity of new Earth remote sensing systems to improve space-based Earth observation; and
  5. performs research which leads to the definition and development of new technologies, sensors, and missions. Through the above activities, assesses and predicts environmental changes due to natural and anthropogenic processes at local to global scales.

Research Highlights: October

Landsat Radiometric Processing Enhancements and Updates

B. Markham (618/Biospheric Sciences), J. Barsi (SSAI/NASA GSFC), R. Morfitt (USGS), E. Micijevic, Md. O. Haque (SGT USGS/EROS), M. Montanaro, A. Gerace (RIT), D. Helder (SDSU), J. Czapla-Myers, S. Biggar (U. of Arizona)

Figure 1

Landsat operational processing will now include correction for Landsat-8 TIRS stray light and provide consistent Landsat-4 TM to Landsat-7 ETM+ radiometric calibration tied to the Landsat-8 OLI reflectance calibration. Landsat-8 OLI is radiometrically stable and consistent with Sentinel-2 MSI.

Click here to read the full research highlight.


Latest News: Brent Holben returned from a trip to Namibia to check on and maintain sun photometers installed for the AERONET project. The project and trip are highlighted in a NASA Earth Expeditions article titled "Into Africa Seeking the Desert Sun".

The sun photometer set up over a desert backdrop.

Click here for past news.

Weekly Highlights: Oct. 4th


Huemmrich. Fred Huemmrich (618/ UMBC) presented a paper titled "Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Terrestrial Ecosystem Productivity from ISS" at the 2016 International Space Station (ISS) Research and Development conference in San Diego on July 12. The presentation examined issues in utilizing hyperspectral imagery from the Hyperspectral Imager for Coastal Ocean (HICO) sensor mounted on ISS for determining landscape patterns of ecosystem productivity for multiple vegetation types. His presentation was highlighted in the latest issue of Upward – the quarterly magazine of the ISS National Laboratory.

Click here for more research highlights.

Brown Bag Seminars

Brown Bag Seminars are initiated as an informal forum to present your new work or updates to your 618 colleagues.

Seminars are typically held on Thursdays between 12:00 and 1:00 PM.

Next Seminar: John Armston, Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Please check the calendar for a list of past and upcoming seminars.

Contact Us

For administrative or other support questions, click here.

Contact information for scientists can be found in the personnel list.