My research interests include the exploration of geospatial data to describe and characterize biophysical phenomena and the interactions with humans.  My focus is on wildfires, remote sensing, and the relationships with society and a changing climate. 

I am currently funded on a National Institute of Health (NIH) project examining the impacts of wildfire smoke on maternal, neonatal, and infant health across the United States for the last 20 years.  In my role, I serve as the wildfire and geospatial data expert analyzing the intersections of smoke and populations.  Additionally, I am working with colleagues in the School of Public Health to study wildfire smoke exposure impacts to hemodialysis patients in the U.S.

As part of the XPRIZE-Wildfire challenge team here at UMD, I am leading the detector design team tasked with finding an incipient wildfire in a 1000 sq. km. area.  

I am a VIIRS active fire product science team member and served as the Principle Investigator for NOAA's Proving Ground and Risk Reduction (PGRR) project focused on the VIIRS AF products for over 10 years.  The goal of this project was to couple capacity building with the wildland fire research and operations communities while simultaneously conducting product evaluation.   


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


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Environmental Science, SUNY Albany
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Geography, SUNY Albany
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Geography, University of Maryland
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    GIS Graduate Certificate, University of Maryland
Teaching Philosophy
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 geospatial technologies (e.g. remotely sensing, GIS, big 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 examining wildland fire. I also seek to understand how patterns of wildfire and land use may vary with climate change and anthropogenic influence.

  • Chair - College of Behavioral and Social Science (BSOS) Sustainability Committee (2016 - )
  • UMD Senator (2016 – 2019)
  • UMD Senate Executive Committee member (2016-2017)
  • Faculty advisor for the BSOS Sustainability Task Force (STF) in 2017-18
Evan Ellicott
4600 River Rd, Suite 313 (send mail to 2181 LeFrak)
Department of Geographical Sciences
ellicott [at]