Education

Ph.D. (Remote Sensing), Wageningen University, The Netherlands (2011 – 2015)

  • Dissertation Title: “Monitoring tropical forest dynamics using Landsat time series and community-based data” (available online)
  • Advisors: Prof. Dr. Martin Herold, Dr. Lammert Kooistra, Dr. Jan Verbesselt

M.Sc. (International Land and Water Management), Wageningen University, The Netherlands (2008 – 2010)

  • Major thesis title: “Monitoring the effects of hydrological restoration efforts in degraded tropical peatlands, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia”
  • Advisors: Dr. Henk Wösten, Prof. Dr. Leo Stroosnijder

Honours B.Sc. (Biochemistry), University of Toronto, Canada (2001 – 2005)


Publications

Available here


Teaching Experience

Geoscripting (GRS-33806)

Masters in Geo-Information, Wageningen University. This course covers concepts and tools in scripting to deal with vector and raster data, spatial data, such as satellite imagery used in remote sensing studies. The focus of the course is on the use of R, python and open source libraries in spatial data analysis. As teaching assistant, I authored several modules related to raster data processing, classification and time series analysis, gave lectures and supervised practical sessions and students’ independent projects.

Advanced Earth Observation (GRS-32306)

Masters in Geo-Information, Wageningen University. This course builds upon fundamental concepts covers concepts such as: physical principles in optical remote sensing, radiative transfer modelling, image processing, LiDAR, hyperspectral remote sensing, time series anlaysis, land cover and land cover change mapping. As teaching assistant, I was responsible for overseeing practical sessions, where students were given assignments applying theory learned in lectures.

Remote Sensing and GIS Integration (GRS-60312)

Masters in Geo-Information, Wageningen University. This course is comprised of a group project using GIS and remote sensing data and methods to solve real-world problems. As guest lecturer, I introduced students to novel approaches in integrating remote sensing time series data with participatory monitoring or “citizen science” data to improve upon satellite-based methods, using my work in southwestern Ethiopia as a case study.

Other training activities

  • Designed and held training workshops with staff of the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture in southwestern Ethiopia, covering forests and climate change, ecosystem services, forest inventory methods and forest change monitoring (2011-2014).
  • Designed and held a 1-week training workshop with WWF field staff in Palangkaraya, Indonesia, cover hydrological modeling and carbon accounting in tropical peatlands. (August 2010).
  • Private tutor for secondary school students in Toronto, Ontario, focussing on pre-university calculus, algebra, chemistry and biology (2003-2007).
  • Other spatial data tools and tutorials available online.

Professional Experience

Post-Doctoral Research Associate (02/2016 - Present)

Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland

  • Leading implementation of a NASA Land Cover and Land Use Change (LCLUC) project related to the quantification of surface water inundation dynamics using Landsat, Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data
  • Designing optical and SAR-based algorithms for the quantification of sub-pixel water fraction at high spatial and temporal resolution
  • Principal Investigator on pending proposal to NASA related to detection and monitoring of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in inland waters
  • Co-Investigator on three pending proposals to NASA, related to improved wetland classification methods and quantification of wetland hydrologic dynamics
  • Collaborator on two proposals to NSERC and the Government of Alberta, related to agricultural land use, hydrologic resilience and water quality

Teaching Assistant (11/2013 - 06/2015)

Wageningen University, The Netherlands

  • Teaching assistant for Advanced Earth Observation M.Sc. course (GRS-30206)
  • Assisted in the development of a curriculum and course materials and gave lectures for a new M.Sc. level course in Geo-Scripting (GRS-51806)
  • Guest lecturer for the Integrated GIS and Remote Sensing M.Sc. course (GRS- 60312)

Research Assistant (02/2011 - 11/2013)

Wageningen University, The Netherlands and Ethiopia

  • Led the implementation of the “Forest and Climate Monitoring” project, funded by the Nature and Biodiversity Union (NABU) through the German International Climate Initiative (IKI)
  • Prepared interim and final reports of research findings to project commissioners
  • Facilitated national workshop with the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and the Embassy of Norway and drafted a Road Map for the implementation of a REDD+ Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system

Regional Disaster Response Coordinator (03/2007 - 09/2008)

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), Eastern and Southern Africa

  • Performed needs assessments in post-disaster situations and developed funding proposals for appropriate response interventions
  • Designed and conducted trainings for Monitoring and Evaluation of project activities throughout the region
  • Oversaw the implementation of disaster response projects throughout East and Southern Africa, including project cycle management

Private Tutor September (09/2002 - 03/2007)

Tutoring Alliance Incorporated, Toronto, Canada

  • Taught high school and grammar school students in Mathematics, Science, and the development of general study habits

Technical Skills

Programming Languages

  • python: expert user and developer in geospatial data handling using gdal, rasterio and other tools, scientific computing using numpy and scipy packages, high-performance computing with cython and implementation of various machine learning algorithms using the scikit-learn package
  • R: expert user and developer in statistical computing, handling of geospatial data and implementation of time series analyses.
  • javascript: proficient in web development and geospatial data processing on the Google Earth Engine
  • web development: proficient in html5/css3 and ruby
  • other languages: LaTeX, C++, VBA, IDL
  • Developer and co-developer of various R and python packages to perform geospatial processing routines and implement automated time series algorithms (more info)

Other Software and Tools

  • Experienced user of QGIS, GRASS GIS, osgeo/gdal, ArcGIS, ENVI and eCognition software packages

Other Professional Experience

  • ad hoc reviewer for: Nature, Remote Sensing of Environment, Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing of Ecology and Conservation, Science of the Total Environment, Ecology and Society, Ecological Informatics
  • Invited speaker at SilvaCarbon training workshop on forest change methods – November 2015, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Coordinated and co-led workshop for the preparation of a REDD+ MRV Road Map in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Agency, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – November 2012
  • Developed and conducted various training workshops with the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, Bonga, Ethiopia – 2011-2013
  • Supervised three MSc thesis project students, Wageningen University, The Netherlands – 2011-2014
  • Developed and conducted training workshops with WWF Indonesia field staff, Palagkaraya, Indonesia – August 2010

Languages

  • English: native language
  • Dutch: full professional proficiency
  • French: limited working proficiency


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