Competed Science Team

Science Team Lead Principle Investigator

Ralph Dubayah

Professor of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Dubayah is the Principal Investigator for the GEDI mission. He has taught at the University of Maryland, College Park since 1990, after earning his dissertation from the University of California. His research interests are in the areas of remote sensing, carbon modeling, biodiversity, and surface energy and water balance studies. A common goal of his research is to develop and apply emerging technologies of spatial data acquisition and analysis to address environmental issues at policy-relevant scales. He has been a principal investigator for over 25 NASA projects, including two Interdisciplinary Science Investigations (IDS).

Competed Science Team Principal Investigators

John Armston

Associate Research Professor at University of Maryland

Dr. Armston is interested in the quantitative measurement and mapping of forest and woodland structure using spaceborne remote sensing in combination with a wide range of in situ and airborne measurement technologies. He’s co-leading development of vertical canopy profile and above-ground biomass data product algorithms, and the GEDI calibration and validation plan.

Christopher Doughty

Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University

Dr. Doughty is an assistant Professor in ecoinformatics at Northern Arizona University. His research focuses in how climate change will impact tropical forests.


Laura Duncanson 

Assistant Professor at University of Maryland

Dr. Duncanson is a remote sensing scientist focused primarily on modeling and mapping biomass, biomass change, and individual tree structure. On the GEDI team she plays a key role in the development of the footprint Level 4A biomass algorithms, and the management of the GEDI cal/val database of global field and airborne lidar datasets.

Antonio Ferraz

Associate Project Scientist at the Institute of Environment of Sustainability of the University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Ferraz is a remote sensing scientist focused on lidar remote sensing of forest structure, dynamics, diversity and biomass. His scientific interests include the study of the forest structure variability across multiple scales and its relationship with topographic, edaphic and climate gradients. He investigates the impact of natural and anthropogenic disturbance processes on the forest structure and ecology to support carbon and biodiversity conservation initiatives.

Scott Goetz

Professor at Northern Arizona University

Dr. Goetz is NAU Professor in informatics and computing, studying satellite remote sensing applications in environmental science. He has a lead role in exploring the potential of GEDI for ecosystem research, particularly canopy structure as it relates to habitat and biodiversity.

Stephen Good

Assistant Professor at Oregon State University

Dr. Good studies the dynamic coupling between ecosystems and the hydrologic cycle. As part of the GEDI team, Dr. Good is working with Dr. Scott Allen to investigate how vegetation structure influences the storage of water in plant canopies and how this influences the microclimate of diverse habitats.

Steven Hancock 

Lecturer at University of Edinburgh

Dr. Hancock uses his extensive knowledge of radiative transfer modelling and programming expertise to model GEDI waveforms from a variety of airborne and terrestrial lidar datasets in order to calibrate and validate GEDI data algorithms.

Daniel Hayes

Associate Professor at the University of Maine

Dr. Hayes uses remote sensing for forest inventory and carbon modeling. He and his team will be using GEDI data to map forest biomass and carbon dynamics across the temperate-boreal transition region in eastern North America.

Sean Healy

Research Ecologist at the US forest service

Dr. Healey is in charge of the algorithms of GEDI’s gridded biomass product (Level 4B product), exploiting his experience in the use of different types of remote sensing data for monitoring forest carbon with remote sensing data.

Michael Keller 

Research Physical Scientist, USDA Forest Service

Dr. Keller is an Earth scientist who realized early in his career that biology is important. He studies tropical forest ecology and will use GEDI waveforms to initialize the ED2 ecosystem model to explore the effects of current forest structure on the future of tropical forests globally.

Jim Kellner

Assistant Professor at Brown University

Dr. Kellner is a biologist and remote sensing scientist at Brown University with experience in the application of lidar to quantifying forest structure and changes. He is leading the development of algorithms for GEDI’s footprint aboveground biomass data product (Level 4A). Dr. Kellner is also contributing to calibration and validation activities.

Keith Krause

Remote Sensing Scientist at Battelle

Dr. Krause has been a member of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Science Team for over 10 years as an algorithm and lidar instrument scientist on the Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) sub-system team. His research is focused on the use of full-waveform lidar data to characterize 3D ecosystem structure for a variety of application areas.

Paul Moorcroft 

Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University

Dr. Moorcroft is interested in ecological dynamics of terrestrial plant communities and ecosystems; biosphere-atmosphere interactions; mechanistic models of animal movement.

Wenge Ni-Meister 

Professor of Geography and Environmental Science at Hunter College of The City University of New York

Dr. Ni-Meister is interested in canopy radiative transfer, terrestrial ecosystem structure characterization from lidar remote sensing, and fusion of remote sensing data and physical models through data assimilation.

Taejin Park

Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center

Dr. Park is interested in integrating field, remote sensing, and modelling approaches to quantify a large-scale forest structure and biomass. Within the GEDI team, he uses forest structure information from GEDI data to constrain a biophysical model (Allometric Scaling and Resource Limitation, ASRL) for mapping and projecting forest height and biomass.

Hao Tang

Assistant Research Professor at University of Maryland

Dr. Tang has been with the GEDI team from the beginning and, being an expert in the retrieval of vertical foliage profiles from lidar data, is in charge of the development of GEDI’s Level 2B data product.


Kerri Vierling 

Professor of Wildlife Resources at University of Idaho

Dr. Kerri Vierling is a professor of wildlife science at the University of Idaho with a specialty in animal-habitat relationships. She is interested in the role of forest structure in influencing animal distributions and patterns of biodiversity. Her work integrates a variety of remote sensing approaches to help improve our understanding of these patterns at a variety of spatial scales.

Qiuyan Yu

Postdoc fellow at New Mexico State University

Dr. Yu’s scientific interest centers on monitoring ecosystem changes and investigate how ecosystem structure and functions interacts with anthropogenic and natural disturbances. She has a background in geospatial sciences, and has extensive experience in application of machine learning and high performance computing in earth system science.

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