School of Engineering
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Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Geophysics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
My students and I study the surfaces of Earth and planets using radar remote sensing methods. Our specialization is interferometric radar, or InSAR. InSAR is a technique to measure mm-scale surface deformation at fine resolution over wide areas, and much of our work follows from applying this technique to the study of earthquakes, volcanoes, and human-induced subsidence. We also address global environmental problems by tracking the movement of ice in the polar regions. whose ice mass balance affects sea level rise and global climate. We participate in NASA space missions such as Cassini, in which we now are examining the largest moon of Saturn, Titan, to try and deduce its composition and evolution. Our work includes experimental observation and modeling the measurements to best understand processes affecting the Earth and solar system. We use data acquired by spaceborne satellites and by large, ground-based radar telescopes to support our research.
I teach courses related to remote sensing methods and applications, and how these methods can be used to study the world around us. At the undergraduate level, these include introductory remote sensing uses of the full electromagnetic spectrum to characterize Earth and planetary surfaces and atmospheres, and methods of digital image processing. I also teach a freshman and sophomore seminar course on natural hazards. At the graduate level, the courses are more specialized, including the math and physics of two-dimensional imaging systems, plus detailed ourses on imaging radar systems for geophysical applications.
InSAR Review Board, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2006-present); editorial board, IEEE Proceedings (2005-present); NRC Earth Science and Applications from Space Panel on Solid Earth Hazards, Resources, and Dynamics (2005-present); Chair, Western North America InSAR (WInSAR) Consortium (2004-06); organizing committee, NASA/NSF/USGS InSAR working group; International Union of Radioscience (URSI) Board of Experts for Medal Evaluations (2004-05); National Astronomy and Ionospheric Center, Arecibo Observatory, Visiting Committee, (2002-04; chair, 2003-04); NASA Alaska SAR Facility users working group (2000-present); associate editor, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (1998-present); fellow, IEEE (1998)