CEE Seminar: Characterizing the Dynamics of Ecosystems Using High Resolution Remote Sensing

Engineering Hall 2430 Colloquia Room
Debsunder Dutta, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology

Abstract: Remote sensing observations in different regions of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum offer the potential to characterize the composition, structure and functioning of ecosystems at high spatial and temporal resolutions. Characterizing important ecosystem attributes, such as soil constituents and vegetation canopy structure, are challenging as well as critical to the understanding of eco-hydrological processes and have direct implications on food security. In this talk, first I will present a data-driven approach for the quantitative estimation of soil textural and chemical attributes using the visible to shortwave region of the EM spectrum from airborne imaging spectroscopy as well as the feasibility of characterization from space-based observations. Further, I will demonstrate how multiple sensor data such as imaging spectroscopy and light detection and ranging is beneficial for better estimation of canopy structural attributes. I will then discuss how information in the thermal infrared region of the EM spectrum can help us to capture the diurnal variability in plant stomatal functioning in terms evapotranspiration fluxes. Finally, I will demonstrate how eddy covariance flux tower and relatively newer solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence observations can help us to understand the temporal dynamics of the linked carbon and water fluxes in ecosystems.

Bio: Debsunder Dutta received a bachelor's degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, India, in 2009, a master's in technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India, in 2011 and a doctorate from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2016 all in civil engineering. Currently he is a postdoctoral fellow with the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Group at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. His current research interests lie in understanding the composition, structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems using high-resolution remote sensing measurements.