Michael Humber is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences. He received his B.S. in Geography (2011), M.P.S. in Geographic Information Science (2013), and Ph.D. in Geography (2019) from the University of Maryland. His background is in remote sensing, spatial statistics, and geographic data management. Dr. Humber is the Deputy Director for the NASA Acres consortium, Data Lead for the NASA Harvest consortium, Lead Scientist for the Climate-Smart Agriculture component of the UMD Climate Resilience Network, and member of the UMD-NASA Fire Science Team.  

Michael’s current work in agriculture focuses on developing and distributing satellite-based data products that improve the quality and availability of data to agricultural decision-makers and farmers while building inclusive frameworks that involve local stakeholders in the “virtuous cycle” of research design. He leads a team of applications developers that create web/mobile apps and data processing pipelines using high-performance computing (HPC) systems and cloud-native architecture. Such applications provide decision support for humanitarian, research, and operational partners globally (under NASA Harvest) and domestically (under NASA Acres) and in the state of Maryland (under the Climate Resilience Network).

Dr. Humber supports the algorithm development, validation, and product generation of the NASA fire products (MODIS’ MCD64A1 and VIIRS’ VNP64A1 Burned Area products), making the data freely available via SFTP in convenient GeoTIFF and Shapefile formats for end users. He is also developing a cloud-based computing architecture for transitioning near-real-time Landsat fire detections over North America from on-premises data centers to the Amazon Web Services environment, which will reduce data latency and cost to the operational Fire Information Resource Management System (FIRMS).

Areas of Interest

  • Agriculture Monitoring
  • Wildfire Detection


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    MPS Geospatial Information Sciences, University of Maryland College Park
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Geography (minor: GIS), University of Maryland, College Park
  • Peer Reviewer, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
  • Peer Reviewer, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Mike Humber
4600 River Road, Suite 308 (send mail to 2181 LeFrak)
Department of Geographical Sciences
mhumber [at] umd.edu
Office Hours
Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.