Evan Ellicott

Assistant Research Professor

My research focus is on the examination of geospatial data to describe and characterize biophysical phenomena and the interactions with society.  One of my topics of study is biomass burning, specifically wildland fires, in a changing physical and social environment.  I explore methods to estimate biomass burning emissions and fuel consumption using satellite and in-situ estimates of fire energy.  The goal is to provide both localized and synoptic level information about how fire emissions are changing in time and space. 

I am a Joint Polar Satellite System (NOAA and NASA) Suomi NPP science team member tasked with VIIRS Active Fire product calibration and evaluation.  I am also the Principle Investigator for NOAA's Proving Ground and Risk Reduction (PGRR) project focused on the VIIRS AF products.  The purpose of this project is to couple capacity building with the wildland fire research and operations communities while simultaneously conducting product evaluation and validation.   

An additional component of my research is focused on investigating land-cover and land-use change as a result of globalized teleconnections of commodoties trade and the phenomenon referred to as large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA). Our recently funded NASA project will have me continue to explore the pace and breadth of change and the impacts these changes may have.

From exploring wildland fire disturbance in a changing climate to investigating the drivers of land cover change, my research is multidisciplinary and multi-scale and incorporates the latest geospatial science to examine timely topics that span the physical and human dimensions of geography.

Areas of Interest:
  • Satellite based estimates of fire radiative energy and associated biomass burning emissions
  • Fire ecology and consequences of a changing climate
  • Land cover and land use change, in particular the interrelationships with climate and sustainability
  • BS Environmental Science, SUNY Albany
  • BA Geography, SUNY Albany
  • Ph.D Geography, University of Maryland
  • G.S. GIS Graduate Certificate, University of Maryland
My teaching philosophy is one of humility. It is important to remember that even as a teacher I continue to learn, especially from my students. I constantly learn new facets of my subject matter (e.g. climate change or sustainability) from students engaging me in dialogue and taking an active role in their learning process. For example, last semester during my Climate, Land Use, and Sustainability course (GEOG 415) I encouraged students to stay abreast of emerging research and news, not just covering the class subject matter, but beyond to topics such as politics, natural disasters, and economic patterns. I suggested that they look for connections with these topics and what was being discussed in class and was pleasantly surprised as the semester continued to have students adding insight, material, and debate to the course topics.
I am interested in the application of remotely sensed data to investigate the interactive and dynamic nature of landscape ecology and interactions with humans. Incorporating spatial analysis tools along with in situ measurements I am particularly interested in quantifying biomass burning emissions and severity. I also seek to understand how patterns of wildfire and land use may vary with climate change and anthropogenic influence.
Campus Chair - College of Behavioral and Social Science (BSOS) Sustainability Committee (2016 - )
Campus UMD Senator (2016 – 2019)
Campus UMD Senate Executive Committee member (2016-2017)
Campus Faculty advisor for the BSOS Sustainability Task Force (STF) in 2017-18
  • Evan Ellicott
Hartwick, Suite 400
Department of Geographical Sciences
Phone: (301) 405-5189
Email: ellicott@umd.edu