Biospheric Sciences - 618


Biospheric Sciences is a part of the Hydrospheric, Biospheric, and Geophysics 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: February

Forest Regrowth as a Driver of the Global Terrestrial Carbon Sink

B. Poulter1, T. Pugh2, M. Lindeskog3, B. Smith4, A. Alneth5, V. Haverd6, & L.Calle7 (1:Biospheric Sciences, 2:Univ Birmingham, 3:Lund Univ., 4:W Sydney Univ., 5:Karlsruhe Inst. Tech., 6:CSIRO, 7:Montana State Univ.)

Figure 1

Figure 1

Forest demography determines forest structure, which is a key driver in explaining how forests mitigate increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Click here to read the full research highlight

Weekly Highlights: Mar. 15th


Griffith. Peter Griffith (618/SSAI) was invited by the Government of Northwest Territories to participate in a workshop in the Indigenous community of Deline on Great Bear Lake. The workshop drafted a management and monitoring plan for the Tsa Tue Biosphere Reserve, the world’s first UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve managed by the Indigenous residents of the protected land.

Significant Events/Presentations:

Middleton’s. Betsy Middleton’s (618) presentation won the Best Presentation Award at the ESA-sponsored FLEX Workshop held in Davos, Switzerland (Mar 4-8, 2019). Betsy’s presentation was entitled "Chlorophyll Fluorescence Calibration/Validation Measurements at the USDA Beltsville Research Cornfield over 20 Years", with many GSFC, USDA, and ESA co-authors. In addition to a large Swiss chocolate bar, the award included one free article publication voucher for the Workshop’s Special Journal Issue sponsored by Remote Sensing. Also attending the FLEX WS were Bruce Cook (618) and Larry Corp (618/SSAI). Bruce also gave a presentation: "Characterization and Modeling of FIREFLY, a Spectrometer Designed for Imaging Solar Induced Fluorescence."

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 Wednesdays between 12:00 and 1:00 PM.

Next Seminar: Dr. Petr Lukeš, Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

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.