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Sassan Saatchi

Photo of Sassan Saatchi

Address:

4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 300-319
Pasadena, CA 91109

Phone:

818.354.1051

Fax:

818.393.6943

Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Carbon Cycle And Ecosystems

Biography

Dr. Sassan Saatchi's present research interests include the global carbon cycle, in particular the forest biomass/carbon dynamics, land use and land cover change, forest structure and regeneration, and the impact of climate change and variability such as droughts on global forest function and resilience. He is currently directing several interdisciplinary research projects studying the carbon cycling of tropical forests, particularly in the Amazon and Congo Basin using satellite remote sensing data. As an adjunct professor at UCLA, he has also been collaborating with biologists to integrate satellite observations for mapping species functional diversity and habitat characteristics, and with social scientists to model and understand how human activities have impacted vegetation ecosystems. Dr. Saatchi has been developing new active remote sensing techniques from airborne and spaceborne platforms to quantify vegetation structure and water status and creating a data assimilation and modeling framework to improve understanding of processes that impact forest carbon and water cycling. He is actively involved in planned NASA's NISAR and ESA's BIOMASS satellite missions by developing algorithms for retrieving changes of vegetation above ground biomass across different landscapes and ecoregions.

Education

  • BS. Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois (1981)
  • MS: Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois (1983)
  • PhD. Electrophysics & Applied Mathematics, George Washington University (1988)

Professional Experience

  • NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1991-Present)
    • Senior Research Scientist, Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, 2015-present
    • Senior Research Scientist, Radar Science and Engineering, 2004-2015
    • Research Scientist, Radar Science and Engineering, 1991-2004
  • UCLA, Institute of Environment and Sustainability, Adjunct Professor, 2001-Present
  • NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Laboratory of Hydrospheric Sciences, 1990-1991
  • National Research Council, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Terrestrial Physics, 1988-1990

Community Service

  • NASA Science Award, 2013
  • Ed Stone Award, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 2012
  • NASA Best Achievement Award, 2010
  • Excellent Achievement Award, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1998.
  • Technical Achievement Award, Space Shuttle Imaging Radar Program, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1994.
  • Young Scientist Award of the Union Radio-Scientifique Internationale (URSI, General Assembly, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1990).

Research Interests

  • Global Forest Carbon Stocks and Dynamics
  • Climate Extremes and Impacts on Vegetation Function
  • Active Remote Sensing of forest Structure
  • Microwave Observation of Soil Moisture & Vegetation Water Content
  • Wave propagation in Random Media

Selected Publications

  1. Saatchi, S., Asefi-Najafabady, S., Malhi, Y., Aragão, L. E., Anderson, L. O., Myneni, R. B., & Nemani, R. (2013). Persistent effects of a severe drought on Amazonian forest canopy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(2), 565-570.
  2. Asefi-Najafabady, S., & Saatchi, S. (2013). Response of African humid tropical forests to recent rainfall anomalies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368(1625), 20120306
  3. Lee, J. E., Frankenberg, C., van der Tol, C., Berry, J. A., Guanter, L., Boyce, C. K., ... & Saatchi, S. (2013). Forest productivity and water stress in Amazonia: observations from GOSAT chlorophyll fluorescence. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1761), 20130171.
  4. Feeley, K. J., Hurtado, J., Saatchi, S., Silman, M. R., & Clark, D. B. (2013). Compositional shifts in Costa Rican forests due to climate‐driven species migrations. Global change biology, 19(11), 3472-3480.
  5. Zhou, L., Tian, Y., Myneni, R. B., Ciais, P., Saatchi, S., Liu, Y. Y., ... & Hwang, T. (2014). Widespread decline of Congo rainforest greenness in the past decade. Nature, 509(7498), 86-90.
  6. Espírito-Santo, F. D., Gloor, M., Keller, M., Malhi, Y., Saatchi, S., Nelson, B., ... & Phillips, O. L. (2014). Size and frequency of natural forest disturbances and the Amazon forest carbon balance. Nature communications, 5.
  7. Saatchi, S., Asefi-Najafabady, S., Malhi, Y., Aragão, L. E., Anderson, L. O., Myneni, R. B., & Nemani, R. (2013). Persistent effects of a severe drought on Amazonian forest canopy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(2), 565-570.
  8. Asefi-Najafabady, S., & Saatchi, S. (2013). Response of African humid tropical forests to recent rainfall anomalies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368(1625), 20120306
  9. Lee, J. E., Frankenberg, C., van der Tol, C., Berry, J. A., Guanter, L., Boyce, C. K., ... & Saatchi, S. (2013). Forest productivity and water stress in Amazonia: observations from GOSAT chlorophyll fluorescence. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1761), 20130171.
  10. Feeley, K. J., Hurtado, J., Saatchi, S., Silman, M. R., & Clark, D. B. (2013). Compositional shifts in Costa Rican forests due to climate‐driven species migrations. Global change biology, 19(11), 3472-3480.
  11. Zhou, L., Tian, Y., Myneni, R. B., Ciais, P., Saatchi, S., Liu, Y. Y., ... & Hwang, T. (2014). Widespread decline of Congo rainforest greenness in the past decade. Nature, 509(7498), 86-90.
  12. Espírito-Santo, F. D., Gloor, M., Keller, M., Malhi, Y., Saatchi, S., Nelson, B., ... & Phillips, O. L. (2014). Size and frequency of natural forest disturbances and the Amazon forest carbon balance. Nature communications, 5.
  13. Song, X. P., Huang, C., Saatchi, S. S., Hansen, M. C., & Townshend, J. R. (2015). Annual carbon emissions from deforestation in the amazon basin between 2000 and 2010. PloS one, 10(5), e0126754
  14. Carvalhais, N., Forkel, M., Khomik, M., Bellarby, J., Jung, M., Migliavacca, M., Μu, M., Saatchi, S., Santoro, M., Thurner, M. and Weber, U., 2014. Global covariation of carbon turnover times with climate in terrestrial ecosystems. Nature, 514(7521), pp.213-217.
  15. Schimel, D., Pavlick, R., Fisher, J. B., Asner, G. P., Saatchi, S., Townsend, P., ... & Cox, P. (2015). Observing terrestrial ecosystems and the carbon cycle from space. Global change biology, 21(5), 1762-1776.
  16. Xu, L., Saatchi, S. S., Yang, Y., Myneni, R. B., Frankenberg, C., Chowdhury, D., & Bi, J. (2015). Satellite observation of tropical forest seasonality: spatial patterns of carbon exchange in Amazonia. Environmental Research Letters, 10(8), 084005
  17. Clark, D. B., Hurtado, J., & Saatchi, S. S. (2015). Tropical Rain Forest Structure, Tree Growth and Dynamics along a 2700-m Elevational Transect in Costa Rica. PloS one, 10(4).
  18. Saatchi, S., Mascaro, J., Xu, L., Keller, M., Yang, Y., Duffy, P., ... & Schimel, D. (2015). Seeing the forest beyond the trees. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24(5), 606-610.
  19. Song, X. P., Huang, C., Saatchi, S. S., Hansen, M. C., & Townshend, J. R. (2015). Annual carbon emissions from deforestation in the amazon basin between 2000 and 2010. PloS one, 10(5), e0126754
  20. Carvalhais, N., Forkel, M., Khomik, M., Bellarby, J., Jung, M., Migliavacca, M., Μu, M., Saatchi, S., Santoro, M., Thurner, M. and Weber, U., 2014. Global covariation of carbon turnover times with climate in terrestrial ecosystems. Nature, 514(7521), pp.213-217.
  21. Schimel, D., Pavlick, R., Fisher, J. B., Asner, G. P., Saatchi, S., Townsend, P., ... & Cox, P. (2015). Observing terrestrial ecosystems and the carbon cycle from space. Global change biology, 21(5), 1762-1776.
  22. Xu, L., Saatchi, S. S., Yang, Y., Myneni, R. B., Frankenberg, C., Chowdhury, D., & Bi, J. (2015). Satellite observation of tropical forest seasonality: spatial patterns of carbon exchange in Amazonia. Environmental Research Letters, 10(8), 084005
  23. Clark, D. B., Hurtado, J., & Saatchi, S. S. (2015). Tropical Rain Forest Structure, Tree Growth and Dynamics along a 2700-m Elevational Transect in Costa Rica. PloS one, 10(4).
  24. Saatchi, S., Mascaro, J., Xu, L., Keller, M., Yang, Y., Duffy, P., ... & Schimel, D. (2015). Seeing the forest beyond the trees. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24(5), 606-610.
  25. Xu, L., Saatchi, S. S., Yang, Y., Yu, Y., & White, L. (2016). Performance of non-parametric algorithms for spatial mapping of tropical forest structure. Carbon Balance and Management, 11(1), 18.
  26. Harris, N. L., Hagen, S. C., Saatchi, S. S., Pearson, T. R. H., Woodall, C. W., Domke, G. M., ... & Fore, A. (2016). Attribution of net carbon change by disturbance type across forest lands of the conterminous United States. Carbon Balance and Management, 11(1), 24.
  27. Carlson, K.M., Gerber, J.S., Mueller, N.D., Herrero, M., MacDonald, G.K., Brauman, K.A., Havlik, P., O’Connell, C.S., Johnson, J.A., Saatchi, S. and West, P.C., 2016. Greenhouse gas emissions intensity of global croplands. Nature Climate Change.
  28. Garcia, M., Saatchi, S., Casas, A., Koltunov, A., Ustin, S., Ramirez, C., ... & Balzter, H. (2017). Quantifying biomass consumption and carbon release from the California Rim fire by integrating airborne LiDAR and Landsat OLI data. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.
  29. Konings, A. G., Yu, Y., Xu, L., Yang, Y., Schimel, D. S., & Saatchi, S. S. (2017). Active microwave observations of diurnal and seasonal variations of canopy water content across the humid African tropical forests. Geophysical Research Letters.