GEOG graduate student Laura Duncanson has been awarded a post doctoral fellowship through NASA’s Postdoctoral Program (NPP). NPP supports NASA’s goal to expand scientific understanding of the universe in which we live. Selected by a competitive peer-review process, NPP fellows complete one- to three-year fellowship appointments that advance NASA’s missions in earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics and engineering, human exploration and space operations, and astrobiology. As a result, NPP Fellows contribute to national priorities for scientific exploration; confirm NASA’s leadership in fundamental research, and complement the efforts of NASA’s partners in the national science community. 

Laura’s research will be in Earth Sciences working with Drs. Compton Tucker and Jeff Masek to explore individual tree level forest dynamics in SE Alaska. Her research will be based largely on NASA Goddard’s LiDAR, Hyperspectral & Thermal (G-LiHT) sensor in tandem with Landsat disturbance data in an effort to understand the effects of fire disturbance on forest succession, and individual tree structure and function. This work is particularly focused on carbon dynamics in these sensitive northern forests. While at Goddard, Duncanson will continue to work closely with Dr. Ralph Dubayah in preparation for the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI), thus contributing to collaborations under the Joint Global Carbon Cycle Center (JGCCC).