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 Carbon Cycle And Ecosystems: People
Kerry  Cawse-Nicholson's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-518
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Curriculum Vitae:

Kerry Cawse-Nicholson

Dr. Kerry Cawse-Nicholson is a member of the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems group at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is an expert in spectroscopic imagery, particularly in fusing datasets acquired over different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Kerry works as part of several product development and applications teams, as the Deputy Science Lead for ECOSTRESS - a thermal radiometer mounted on the International Space Station - and the co-lead for the Algorithms Working Group for an upcoming space-borne mission designated to study Surface Biology and Geology (SBG). Kerry is also the Project Manager for the MEaSUREs Land Surface Temperature and Emissivity (LST&E) project, which provides global estimates of LST&E, as well as hourly temperature estimates over North America..

  • Ph.D.,Computational and Applied Mathematics, University of the Witwatersrand (2012)
  • M.S., Computational and Applied Mathematics, University of the Witwatersrand (2009)
  • B.S., Computational and Applied Mathematics, University of the Witwatersrand (2008)

Research Interests
  • Using spectroscopic imagery to study the properties of Earth's surface
  • Dimensionality estimation for the study of diversity on land and in water
  • Fusion of different data sources for a full understanding of scene composition
  • The use of evapotranspiration in water resource management
  • Uncertainty characterization


ECOSTRESS (ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station) Icon ECOSTRESS (ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station)
The ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) mission will study how the worlds ecosystems use water..

Professional Experience
  • Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2016 - present)
  • Image Processing Specialist, TerraCore Africa (2015 - 2016)
  • Remote Sensing Specialist, Southern Mapping Company (2014 - 2015)
  • Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology (2012 - 2014)
  • Student Researcher, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (2009 - 2012)

Selected Awards
  • JPL Voyager Award, 2020
  • Group Achievement Award, 2019
  • JPL Voyager Award, 2017
  • Best PhD Thesis in Computational and Applied Mathematics, 2012
  • Best Honours Student in Computational and Applied Mathematics, 2008

Selected Publications
  1. K. Cawse-Nicholson, A. Braverman, E.L. Kang, M. Li, M. Johnson, G. Halverson, M. Anderson, C. Hain, M. Gunson, S. Hook (2020). Sensitivity and uncertainty quantification for the ECOSTRESS evapotranspiration algorithm - DisALEXI, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, Volume 89, 102088,
  2. Fisher, J. B., B. Lee, A. J. Purdy, G. H. Halverson, K. Cawse-Nicholson, et al. (2020), ECOSTRESS: NASA's next generation mission to measure evapotranspiration from the International Space Station, Water Resources Research, 56, e2019WR026058.
  3. S. J. Hook, K. Cawse-Nicholson, J. Barsi, R. Radocinski, G.C. Hulley, W.R. Johnson, G. Rivera, B. Markham, In-Flight Validation of the ECOSTRESS, Landsats 7 and 8 Thermal Infrared Spectral Channels Using the Lake Tahoe CA/NV and Salton Sea CA Automated Validation Sites, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 2019.
  4. K. Cawse-Nicholson, S. Hook, C.E. Miller, D.R. Thompson, Intrinsic dimensionality in combined visible to thermal infrared imagery, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (JSTARS), Vol. 12 (11), 2019.
  5. D. R. Thompson, K. Cawse-Nicholson, Z. Erickson, C. G. Fichot, C. Frankenberg, B.-C. Gao, M. M. Gierach, R. O. Green, D. Jensen, V. Natraj, A. Thompson, A unified approach to estimate land and water reflectances with uncertainties for coastal imaging spectroscopy, Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 321, 111198, 2019.
  6. D. Schimel, F. Schneider, JPL Carbon and Ecosystem Participants, A. Bloom, K. Bowman, K. Cawse‐Nicholson, C. Elder, A. Ferraz, J. Fisher, G. Hulley, J. Liu, T. Magney, V. Meyer, C. Miller, N. Parazoo, R. Pavlick, E. Podest, S. Saatchi, N. Stavros, M. Keller, P. Townsend, T. Zheng, Flux towers in the sky: global ecology from space, New Phytologist, 2019,
  7. R. R. Bogue, F. M. Schwandner, J. B. Fisher, R. Pavlick, T. S. Magney, C. A. Famiglietti, K. Cawse-Nicholson, V. Yadav, J. P. Linick, G. B. North, E. Duarte, Plant responses to volcanically elevated CO2 in two Costa Rican forests, Biogeosciences, Vol. 16 (6), pp. 1343-1360, 2019.
  8. R. T. Pinker, Y. Ma, W. Chen, G. Hulley, E. Borbas, T. Islam, C. Hain, K. Cawse-Nicholson, S. Hook, J. Basara, Towards a Unified and Coherent Land Surface Temperature Earth System Data Record from Geostationary Satellites, Remote Sensing, Vol. 11 (12), pp. 1399, 2019.
  9. K. Cawse-Nicholson, J.B. Fisher, C.A. Famiglietti, A. Braverman, F.M. Schwandner, J.L. Lewicki, P.A. Townsend, D.S. Schimel, R. Pavlick, K.J. Bormann, A. Ferraz, E.L. Kang, P. Ma, R.R. Bogue, T. Youmans, D.C. Pieri, Ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 using airborne remote sensing at Mammoth Mountain, California, Biogeosciences, Vol. 15 (24), pp. 7403-7418, 2018.
  10. A. Robin, K. Cawse-Nicholson, A. Mahmood, M. Sears, Estimation of the Intrinsic Dimension of Hyperspectral Images: Comparison of Current Methods, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (JSTARS), Vol. 8 (6), pp. 2854 - 2861, 2015.
  11. K. Cawse-Nicholson, S. Damelin, A. Robin, M. Sears, Determining the intrinsic dimension of a hyperspectral image using Random Matrix Theory, IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, Vol. 22 (4), pp. 1301 -1310, 2013.
  12. K. Cawse-Nicholson, A. Robin, M. Sears, The effect of correlation on determining the intrinsic dimension of a hyperspectral image, Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observation and Remote Sensing, Vol. 6 (2), pp. 482 - 487, 2013.

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