Ralph Dubayah
Professor, Associate Chair
Ralph Dubayah
1149 Lefrak Hall
Department of Geographical Sciences
(301) 405-4069

My main areas of interest are ecosystem characterization for carbon modeling, habitat and biodiversity studies, land surface enrgy and water balance modeling, spatial analysis and remote sensing science. A common goal of my research is to develop and apply emerging technologies of spatial data acquisition and analysis, especially lidar remote sensing and computational methods, to address environmental issues at policy-relevant scales. I have been an investigator for numerous NASA projects, including two Interdisciplinary Science Investigations (IDS), on the use of remote sensing for hydrological and ecosystem modeling. I was the principal investigator of the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL), a NASA mission to measure the three-dimensional structure of the Earth’s forests. I have served on various national and international organizations, including the Remote Sensing Committee of the American Geophysical Union, the NSF Geography and Regional Science Panel, and the Research Advisory Committee for the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). I am an Associate Editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research (Biogeosciences), on the Editorial Boards for Remote Sensing of Environment and Remote Sensing. I currently chair the Ecosystem Structure Working Group for NASA’s Terrestrial Ecology program and co-chair the Science Study Group for NASA's DESDynI mission.

Areas of Interest:
  • Remote sensing of ecosystem structure
  • terrestrial carbon balance
  • biodiversity
  • active remote sensing (lidar and radar)
  • spatial analysis and modeling
  • surface energy balance


BA Geography, University of California, Berkeley
MA Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara
Ph.D Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara