Douglas Morton

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Douglas Morton is a Physical Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Morton studies land use change in tropical forests, including deforestation, forest degradation, and agricultural land uses that replace tropical forest. He is also part of the research team for the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED,, an effort to combine multiple sources of satellite data to better understand fire activity, greenhouse gas emissions from fires, and changes in savanna and tropical forest ecosystems following fire events. Dr. Morton is actively engaged in international negotiations to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+), and serves as a technical adviser to SilvaCarbon, a US-Government initiative to build capacity in tropical forest countries to monitor and manage their forest resources. Dr. Morton has been working in the Brazilian Amazon since 2000, in collaboration with scientists at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) and the Instituto do Homen e Meio Ambiente (Imazon).

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  • MS Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
  • Ph.D Geography, University of Maryland
  • BA Dartmouth College
Remote sensing of vegetation phenology, fire, forest disturbances, and land cover change; Characterizing the response of vegetation to disturbances from land use and climate change using ecosystem models; modeling carbon emissions from tropical deforestation and global fire activity; LiDAR remote sensing of vegetation structure; and policy strategies for climate change mitigation.
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  • Douglas Morton
NASA GSFC, Bldg. 33, Room G424
Department of Geographical Sciences
Phone: (301) 614-6688