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Christine Lee

Photo of Christine Lee


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 300-329

Pasadena, CA 91109



Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Water & Ecosystems

Group Supervisor


Christine Lee is a scientist in the terrestrial hydrology group who focuses on applications of remote sensing to water quality, water resources, and ecosystems management. Christine Lee joined JPL in 2014 after working for 2 years at NASA Headquarters in the Applied Sciences Program through the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Fellowship Program.


  • Ph.D., Environmental Engineering UCLA, 2010
  • M.S., Environmental Engineering UCLA, 2006
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, UCLA 2005

Professional Experience

  • NASA Associate Program Manager for Water Resources 2014-2022
  • Deputy Project Applications Lead, ECOSTRESS 2014-
  • JPL Lead for Applications, Surface Biology and Geology, 2019-
  • AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, NASA Headquarters 2012-2014
  • JPL Postdoctoral Researcher - 2010-2012

Research Interests

Analysis of thermal and optical remote sensing and in situ data to assess inland and coastal aquatic ecosystems and water quality.  Water resources management and applications.

Selected Awards

  • NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal, 2019
  • JPL Voyager Award, 2019 (Earth Ventures / Applications)
  • JPL Team Award for ECOSTRESS, 2018
  • JPL Voyager Award, 2017 (Water Resources)
  • EPA People, Planet and Prosperity (P3) Award 2009
  • Switzer Foundation Fellow 2008-2009
  • Switzer Foundation Grant 2012

Selected Publications

  1. Callejas IA, Osborn K, Lee, C.M.., et al. A GEE Toolkit for water quality monitoring from 2002-2022 in support of SDG 14 and coral health in Marine Protected Areas in Belize, Frontiers in Remote Sensing, accepted.
  2. Stavros EN,…Lee, C.M., et al. Designing an Observing System to Study the Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) of the Earth in the 2020s. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.
  3. Lee, C. M., Glenn, N. F., Stavros, E. N., Luvall, J., Yuen, K., Hain, C., & Uz, S. S. (2022). Systematic integration of applications into the Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) Earth mission architecture study. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.
  4. Pascolini Campbell M, Lee, C.M., et al (2022). ECOSTRESS reveals pre-fire vegetation controls on burn severity for Southern CA wildfires of 2020. Global Ecology and Biogeography.
  5. Martin-Arias, V., Evans, C., Griffin, R., Cherrington, E. A., Lee, C. M., Mishra, D. R., et al. (2022). Modeled Impacts of LULC and Climate Change Predictions on the Hydrologic Regime in Belize. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 0, 243.
  6. Cira, M., Bafna, A., Lee, C.M. et al. Turbidity and fecal indicator bacteria in recreational marine waters increase following the 2018 Woolsey Fire. Nature Sci Rep 12, 2428 (2022).
  7. Gustine RN, Lee CM,  et al.  Using ECOSTRESS to Observe Diurnal Variability in Water Temperature Conditions in the San Francisco Estuary. IEEE Transactions in Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2021. DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2021.3133411
  8. Halverson G, Lee CM, et al. Decline in Thermal Habitat Conditions for the Endangered Delta Smelt as Seen from Landsat Satellites (1985-2019). Environmental Science and Technology,
  9. Bales J and Lee CM.  Introduction to Featured Collection on Use of NASA and Other Earth Observations, Data, Assets, and Tools to Support Water Management, Journal of American Water Resources Association, 2021.
  10. Wong AJ, Jin Y, Medellín‐Azuara J, Paw U KT, Kent ER, Clay JM, Gao F, Fisher JB, Rivera G, Lee CM, Hemes KS, Eichelmann E, Baldocchi DD, Hook SJ. Multi‐scale Assessment of Agricultural Consumptive Water Use in California’s Central Valley. Water Resources Research, 2021.
  11. Lee CM, Hestir EL, Tufillaro N, Palmieri B, Acuna S, Osti A, Bergamaschi B, Sommer T.,  Monitoring turbidity in San Francisco Estuary and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta using satellite remote sensing. Journal of American Water Resources Association, 2021.
  12. Ade C, Hestir EL, Lee CM, Assessing Fish Habitat and the Effects of an Emergency Drought Barrier on Estuarine Turbidity Using Satellite Remote Sensing. Journal of American Water Resources Association, 2021.
  13. Callejas I, Lee CM, Mishra DR, Felgate SL, Evans C, Carrias A, Rosado A, Griffin R, Cherrington EA, Ayad MA, Rudresh M, Page BP, Jay JA.  Effect of COVID-19 Anthropause on Water Clarity in Belize Coastal Lagoon. Frontiers in Marine Science, 2021.
  14. Cawse-Nicholson K, et al. NASA’s surface biology and geology designated observable: A perspective on surface imaging algorithms. Remote Sensing of Environment, 2021.
  15. Kohli G, Lee CM, Fisher JB, Halverson G, Variano E, Jin Y, Carney D, Wilder BA, Kinoshita AM. ECOSTRESS and CIMIS: A Comparison of Potential and Reference Evapotranspiration in Riverside County, CA, Remote Sensing, 2020.
  16. Ayad M, Li J, Holt B, Lee CM, Analysis and Classification of Stormwater and Wastewater Runoff from Tijuana River Using Remote Sensing Imagery, Frontiers Env Sci, 2020.
  17. Lee CM, Fisher JB, Hook SJ, ECOSTRESS Maps Vegetation Health Around the World. AGU Eos Transactions, 2020.
  18. Zimmer-Faust A, Thulsiraj V, Lee CM, et al.  Multi-tiered approach utilizing microbial source tracking and human associated-IMS/ATP for surveillance of human fecal contamination in Baja California, Mexico.  Science of the Total Environment, 2018.
  19. Cooley SA, Fisher JB, Williams C, Halverson G, Williams C, Lee CM, Assessing regional drought impact on vegetation and evapotranspiration: a case study in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Accepted.  Ecological Applications, 2018. 
  20. Lee CM, et al. Applying Earth Observations for Water Resources Challenges, Ch 6.  Earth Science Satellite Applications, Springer Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry, 2016.
  21. Hossain F, Serrat-Capdevila, Granger S, Thomas A, Saah D, Ganz D, Mugo R, Murthy MSR, Ramos VH, Anderson E, Schumann G, Lewison R, Kirschbaum D, Escobar V, Srinivasan M, Lee CM, et al.  A Global Capacity Building Vision for Societal Applications of Earth Observation Systems and Data: Key Questions and Recommendations, Bulletin in American Meteorological Society,2016.
  22. Bolten JB, Lee CM, Houser P.  Satellite Data for Water Resources Mgmt.  AGU Eos Transactions, 2015.
  23. Lee CM, Cable ML, Hook SJ, et al.  An introduction to the NASA Hyperspectral InfraRed Imager (HyspIRI) mission and preparatory activities, Remote Sensing of Environment, 2015. 
  24. Lee CM, Orne T., Schaeffer B.  How can remote sensing be used for water quality?  Bridging the operational and applications communities to address water quality challenges.  AGU Eos transactions, 2014. 
  25. Noell AC, Greenwood A, Lee CM, Ponce A.  High Density, Homogeneous Endospore Monolayer Deposition on Test Surface, Journal of Microbiological Methods, 2013.
  26. Lee CM, Hemmings SN, Searby ND.  Using Earth observations to enhance water resources decision-making & disaster assessment processes in the U.S. and in the developing world.  IEEE GHTC, 2013. 
  27. Ros-Giralt J, Launglucknavalai K,Massaguer D, Casanova J, Maxwell (Lee) CM.  Using Labdoo to Bridge the Digital Divide: A New Form of International Cooperation. Service Learning in the Computer and Information Sciences: Practical Applications in Engineering Education, Ch 18 © 2012.
  28. Lee CM, Griffith JF, Kaiser W, Jay JA.  Covalently-linked immunomagnetic separation/adenosine triphosphate technique is a rapid and field-portable method for measuring E. coli and Enterococcus spp., in fresh and marine water environments.  Journal of Applied Microbiology.  2010.
  29. Mika KB, Imamura G, Chang C, Conway V, Fernandez G, Griffith J, Kampalath R, Lee CM, et al.  Pilot and bench-scale testing of fecal indicator bacteria survival in marine beach sand near point sources.  Jounral of Applied Microbiology.  2009. 
  30. Ramanathan N, Lee CM, et al.  Sensor-based investigation of biogeochemical control on arsenic mobilization in rural Bangladesh.  Conference Proceedings, American Chemical Society. 2007.
  31. Lee CM, Lin TY, Lin CC, Kohbodi G., Bhatt A, Lee R, Jay JA.  Persistence of fecal indicator bacteria in Santa Monica Bay beach sediments.  Water Research.  2006