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RA Highlights: Meet Steven Filippelli

Lab group: Dr. Jody Vogeler

Time with NREL: Started master’s in 2012. Been working as an RA since 2016.

Research interests / skills: 

Steve measures trees from space! His research has involved combining lidar, high-resolution aerial imagery, satellite image time series, and other remotely sensed data to track changes in forest structure. Steve’s recent work has primarily focused on quantifying woody encroachment and disturbance in the western United States and examining the implications of those dynamics for wildlife and carbon storage. This has involved applying a multitude of image processing and machine learning techniques to remotely sensed imagery, such as object-based analysis of aerial photos and Random Forest modeling with Landsat series. Steve obtained his master’s degree in Ecology from CSU where his thesis involved measuring the effects of wildfire on forest structure and biomass by fusing point clouds derived from aerial imagery and lidar. He just started a PhD in Ecology at CSU this semester where his dissertation will focus on mapping land cover and vegetation structure changes around Kruger National Park in South Africa to aid in the development of ecological forecasting tools for land managers.

Hobbies / personal interests:

Climbing, climbing, climbing! And then travel, mountain biking, scuba diving, backpacking, canyoneering, and snowboarding. Strategy board games and recently D&D. Uselessly fretting about the collapse of democracy and end of the world.