John Armston is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland (UMD), College Park. Previously John Armston was Senior Scientist with Queensland State Government in Australia on the development and implementation of remote sensing based environmental monitoring programs. He received his B.Sc. in 2001 from Macquarie University, Sydney, and his Ph.D. degree in 2013 from the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Since 2016 he has been a member of the NASA Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) Science Definition Team at UMD. Launched in December 2018, GEDI has deployed a multi-beam lidar instrument onboard the International Space Station to measure forest vertical structure and biomass. He has also been Co-Investigator on projects externally funded through the NASA Carbon Monitoring System in the United States. His main interests include pure and applied remote sensing research in the modelling of canopy structure and above ground biomass from airborne and spaceborne remote sensing measurements, development and validation of in situ remote sensing methods for site based vegetation structure measurement, and fusion of lidar, radar and optical satellite image time-series for quantifying aboveground biomass and change in woody vegetation over large areas.

Science leadership and professional activities include:

  • Member of the NASA Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) Science Definition Team
  • Co-Lead for Committee for Earth Observing Satellites (CEOS) Land Product Validation (LPV) Biomass Focus Area
  • Science team member for Phase 4 of the JAXA ALOS Kyoto & Carbon Initiative
  • Advisory board member for the ESA Biomass Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Project
  • Ex-officio member of the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC) User Working Group
  • Member of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (ORNL DAAC) for biogeochemical dynamics User Working Group
  • Member of the ESA-NAS Multi-Mission Algorithm and Analysis Platform User Working Group


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    (Dec 2013) Geography, Univ. of Queensland
John Armston
1150 Lefrak Hall
Department of Geographical Sciences
armston [at]