Michael Falkowski


Peder Engelstad, MS Student

Born and raised in the frozen Northlands of Minnesota, Peder lives in Fort Collins, CO where he is completing his Masters in Watershed Science. His research interests include understanding ecosystem shifts in wilderness areas and finding ways to integrate programmed automation into remote sensing analysis. His masters thesis will utilize a multi-decade time series of Landsat data to answer questions about changing natural systems within the state of Minnesota. A proud badger, Peder received his bachelors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Most recently, he worked as a research team lead for NASA DEVELOP in Fort Collins.

Patrick Fekety, Research Associate

Patrick lives in Fairbanks, AK and works closely with researchers at the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station Moscow, ID lab. His research interests include using remote sensing techniques to aid natural research management. Patrick’s work is primarily focused on a NASA Carbon Monitoring Systems project, which uses coincident field measurements, LiDAR, and Landsat time series data to predict aboveground biomass across the Pacific Northwest. Patrick received his Masters of Forestry from Oregon State University. His expertise includes LiDAR processing and imputation-based modeling of forest attributes. He has worked as a forestry technician with USFS and BLM and as a researcher with Michigan Technological University and University of Minnesota.

Steven Filippelli, Research Associate

Steven recently completed his Masters in Ecology at Colorado State University where he now works on several of remote sensing related research projects. He is interested in developing methods which combine different remote sensing technologies such as lidar, high resolution imagery, and Landsat time series to improve mapping of vegetation.  His current work involves developing an approach to track changes woodland tree cover and removal efforts as part of the Sage Grouse Initiative and mapping woodland biomass in the Pacific Northwest for the NASA Carbon Monitoring Systems program.

Azad Henareh, Research Scientist

Azad lives in Fort Collins, CO. His research involves using GIS, remote sensing, and spatial models to examine the potential impacts of climate change and land management strategies on future social-ecological systems. His current work is focused on high resolution modelling and mapping of climate change impacts on species niche distributions in the Great Basin. He also uses models to explore potential impacts of climate change and management alternatives on future land use in Puerto Rico. He was previously a postdoctoral scholar with North Carolina State University based at the USFS International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Puerto Rico where he worked on the climate change effects on island life zones. Azad received his PhD in Forest Science from Michigan Technological University.

Jillian LaRoe, Undergraduate Student

Jillian is from Littleton, Colorado and began studying Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University in 2014. She is passionate about preserving the Earth and its resources by leveraging remote sensing techniques to inform and improve land management practices. Jillian’s research interests focus on improving methods to analyze real-time drought conditions in grassland ecosystems and other related spatial models. Currently, she is working on collaborative projects that analyze the transition trends of irrigated fields to non-irrigated land uses in North East Colorado using satellite data. She will obtain her bachelors in 2018 and hopes to pursue a graduate degree afterward.

Mara McPartland, MS Student

Mara’s research is focused on developing remote sensing methods for quantifying changes to the structure and function of peatland ecsosytems in response to climate change. She is interested in combining field-based hyperspectral and ecophysiological measurements with aerial and satellite data in order to characterize changes in peatland ecosystem production and carbon balance over large spatial extents.

Jason Reinhardt, Research Scientist

In an effort to inform land management decision making, Jason’s research leverages spatial statistics and spatial modeling in conjunction with both remotely sensed and field collected data to answer large-scale management questions. His current work is is focused on large scale prioritization of invasive conifer removal from grasslands, ultimately to help expand sage grouse habitat in the intermountain west. This work involves the combination of remote sensing and field-based datasets, as well as the consideration of sage grouse ecology, breeding habits, and dispersal ability. Jason completed his PhD at the University of Minnesota, where he used spatial modeling and both observational and experimental field studies to help inform the adaptive management of oak savanna systems in lower Michigan.  Much of this work was focused on optimizing the creation and maintenance of habitat for the federally-endangered Karner Blue butterfly.

Jody Vogeler, Research Scientist

Jody completed her PhD and a postdoc with the LARSE lab at Oregon State University where she continues to work remotely. She often enjoys playing the role of interpreter between wildlife ecologists, forest managers, and the remote sensing community within interdisciplinary projects. Her main research interests focus on post-disturbance wildlife communities. Her current project involves utilizing the Landat archive to create forest disturbance maps/classifications for the state of Minnesota dating back to 1972. She is also working with wildlife researchers and forest managers on collaborative efforts to apply the mapping products for habitat modeling, mapping, and monitoring purposes.

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