Dr. Natasha Stavros Curriculum Vitae

Skills and Service

Program Development and Management

  • CU Boulder Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) Earth Lab Analytics Hub
  • NISAR Deputy Program Applications Senior Co-Lead developing and coordinating a technology transfer program of the largest NASA Earth observing dataset to date

Project Management

  • Project Manager and System Engineer of Data Systems: M2AF/CEDAS (~$1M/yr, 12 people) and ImgSPEC (~$500K/yr, 6 people)
  • Lead Science System Engineer for the Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) Designated Observable mission architecture ($650M) study


  •  XPRIZE Global Visioneering Climate Brain Trust
  • JPL New Researchers’ Support Group – Elected President 2021
  • JPL New Researchers’ Support Group – Elected Vice President 2020
  • JPL New Researchers’ Support Group – Elected Papers and Proposals Chair: 2018 – 2019
  • JPL Carbon Club, a strategic initiative and seminars to bridge interdisciplinary carbon cycle science at JPL – Assistant Lead: 2015-Present

Notable Partnerships

  • Natural Resources decision support information product development from NASA big data:
    • Methane point source emissions with California Air Resources Board
    • Urban forest mapping (landcover class, irrigated/non-irrigated, tree species) in Los Angeles County
    • Fire, drought, and insect mortality in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
    • Post-fire vegetation succession for the US Forest Service Angeles National Forest
    • Fire Danger from Earth Observations with the National Interagency Fire Center
    • Fire Scenario Builder integration to the USFS Bluesky Smoke Modeling Framework
  • NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission Level 4 Carbon product calibration and validation with domestic and international flux tower Principle Investigators

Professional Training

  • University of Colorado Boulder Racial Equity Challenge: 2020
  • Technical Women’s Leadership Journey: 2020
  • International Project/Programme Managers Committee: Young Professionals Workshop: 2020
  • Managing the Best Teams: Introverts, Extroverts and Ambiverts: 2020
  • JPL Media Training: 2018
  • VitalSmarts Crucial Conversations: 2017
  • Proposal Manager Workshop: 2017
  • de Bono Thinking Systems Facilitator Training: 2016

Remote Sensing Image Analysis

MODTRAN, ArcGIS, QGIS, GDAL, Google Earth Engine, and ENVI

Aerospace Mission Systems

  • Mission Formulation: JPL Team X Science Facilitator
  • Mission Calibration and Validation:  TIMED (Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics) SEE (Solar EUV Experiment) and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP)
  • Mission operations for TIMED-SEE
  • Thermo-vac ground-testing of the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE)

Programming Languages

  • Proficient: R, Matlab, Unix Shell Scriptting (bash)
  • Literate: Python, C++

Professional Experience

Director of Earth Lab Analytics Hub

University of Colorado, Boulder

Dec 2020 – Present

Visiting Associate Project Scientist

University of California, Los Angeles

May 2019 – Feb 2021

Science and Applications System Engineer

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

May 2016 – Feb 2021

Post-Doctoral Researcher

California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

October 2013- May 2016

Research Assistant

University of Washington, Seattle

Nov 2009 – Sept 2013

Data Analysis and Mission Operations Intern

University of Colorado, Boulder

May 2007 – May 2008


PhD Quantitative Fire Ecology

University of Washington, Seattle

January 2010 – August 2013

Dissertation: Very large wildfires in the western contiguous United States: probabilistic models for historical and future conditions

MS Environmental Sustainability

University of Edinburgh

September 2008 – September 2009

Thesis: Assessment for implementing 3-PGN as a measuring tool for coniferous forest sustainability at the national level: The Wales case study

BA Mathematics and Computer Science

University of Colorado, Boulder

September 2005 – May 2008

Graduated with Distinction


  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory Charles Elachi Early Career Achievement Award 2019
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory Discovery Award: Hitchhiker’s Guide to JPL
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory Discovery Award: SWOT PO.DAAC Data Architecture for Users
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory Team Award: SMAP Phase-E Improvement Task Team
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for the SMAP Science and Cal/Val Team
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for the TIMED SEE instrument suite
  • Xi Sigma Pi Alpha Chapter National Forestry Honors Society

Teaching Experience


  • PhD Committees (2): 2018-Present
  • JPL Internships (9 [under-]graduates): 2015-present
  • NASA DEVELOP Science Advisor (Teams of 3-6 Undergraduates, Recent Grads, and Graduate students): Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Summer 2019. Find out more about NASA DEVLOP team.
  • Earth Lab Analytics Professional Program Certificate (2): 2021-present

Courses Taught

  • Instructor of Graduate Student Seminar in Model Applications, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington (Spring 2012); Under supervision from UW Affiliate Dr. Maureen Kennedy

Teaching Modules


Peer-Reviewed: Published

  1. Parazoo NC, Coleman RW, Stavros EN, Yadav V, Hulley G, Hutyra L (2021) Diverse biosphere influence on carbon and heat in mixed urban Mediterranean landscape revealed by high resolution thermal and optical remote sensing. Science of the Total Environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151335
  2. Cawse-Nicholson K, Townsend PA, Schimel D, … Stavros EN, … et al. (2021). NASA’s surface biology and geology designated observable: A perspective on surface imaging algorithms. Remote Sensing of Environment, 257, 112349. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2021.112349
  3. Stavros, E. N., Townsend, P. A., Chang, G., Hua, H., Huang, T., Malarout, N., et al. (2020). Imaging Spectroscopy Processing Environment on the Cloud (ImgSPEC). Presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Virtual. https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1002/essoar.10506888.1
  4. Coleman RW, Stavros EN, Hulley G, Parazoo N (2020) Comparison of Thermal Infrared-Derived Maps of Irrigated and Non-Irrigated Vegetation in Urban and Non-Urban Areas of Southern California. Remote Sensing, 12, 4102. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12244102
  5. Stavros EN, Oaida C, Hausman J, Gierach, M (2020) A Quantified Approach to Traceable Requirements Based on User Needs for a Data System Archive. IEEE Access.
  6. Coleman RW, Stavros EN, Yadav V, Parazoo N (2020) A Simplified Framework for High-Resolution Urban Vegetation Classification with Optical Imagery in the Los Angeles Megacity. Remote Sensing.
  7. Alonso, MG, North P, Viana-Soto A, Stavros EN, Rosette J, Martin P, Franquesa M, González-Cascón R, Riaño D, Becerra J, Zhao K (2020) Evaluating the potential of LIDAR data for fire damage assessment: A radiative transfer model approach. Remote Sensing of Environment.
  8. Farahmand A, Stavros EN, Reager JT, Behrangi A, Randerson J, Quayle B (2020). Satellite Hydrology Observations as Operational Indicators of Forecasted Fire Danger across the Contiguous United States . Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences.
  9. Farahmand, A, Stavros EN, Reager, JT, Behrangi A, Randerson J (2020). Introducing spatially distributed Fire Danger from Earth Observations (FDEO) Using Satellite-based Data in the Contiguous United States. Remote Sensing.
  10. Schimel D, Schneider F, … Stavros EN (2019) Flux towers in the sky: global ecology from space. New Phytologist. doi: 10.1111/nph.15934.
  11. Veraverbeke S, Dennison P, Gitas I, Hulley G, Kalashnikova O, Katagis T, Kuai Le, Meng R, Roberts D, Stavros EN (2018) Advanced Applications in Remote Sensing of Agricultural Crops and Natural Vegetation in Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Vegetation Volume IV (Second Edition, Four Volume-Set). Thenkabail, P.S., Lyon, G.J., and Huete, A. (Editors) CRC Press- Taylor and Francis group, Boca Raton, London, New York.  Pp. 386.
  12. Sander Veraverbeke S, Dennison P, Gitas I, Hulley G, Kalashnikova O, Katagis T, Kuai L, Meng R, Roberts D, Stavros EN (2018) Hyperspectral remote sensing of fire: State-of-the-art and future perspectives. Remote Sensing Environment 216: 105-121.
  13. Seidel F, Stavros EN, Green R, Cable M, Freeman A (2018) Imaging Spectroscopy emulates Landsat: A Case Study with Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and Operational Land Imager (OLI) data. Remote Sensing Environment 215:157-169.
  14. Stavros EN, Peterson B, Coen J, Signh H, Schimel D (2018) Use of Imaging Spectroscopy and LIDAR to characterize fuels for fire behavior prediction. Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment 11: 41-50.
  15. Coen J, Stavros EN, Fites-Kaufman JA, (2018) Deconstructing the King Megafire. Ecological ApplicationsDoi
  16. Davies D, Brown ME, Murphy K, Michael K, Zavodsky B, Stavros EN, Carroll M (2017) NASA Data for Time-Sensitive Applications: Workshop Summary. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine 5(3): 52-58.
  17. Stavros EN, Schimel D, Dubayah R, Pavlick R, Fassnacht F, Fisher JB, Schweiger A, Serbin S, Swann A, Ustin S, Wennberg P (2017) Novel Earth Observations from the International Space Station. Beyond Greenness: International Space Station observations offer an opportunity to understand plant function. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1(7).
  18. Stavros EN, Tane Z, Kane VR, Veraverbeke S, McGaughey B, Lutz JA, Ramirez C, McGaughey RJ (2016) Unprecedented remote sensing data from before and after California King and Rim Megafires. Ecology 97(11): 3244.
  19. MacKenzie SM, Caswell TE, Phillips-Lander CM, Stavros EN, et al. (2016) THEO Concept Mission: Testing Habitability of Enceladus’s Ocean. Advances in Space Sciences Research 58(6): 1117-1137.
  20. Veraverbeke S, Stavros EN, Hook SJ (2014) Assessing fire severity using imaging spectroscopy data from the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and comparison with multispectral capabilities. Remote Sensing of Environment 154: 153-163.
  21. Stavros EN, Abatzoglou JT, Larkin NK, Mckenzie D, Steel EA (2014) Climate and very large wildland fires in the contiguous Western USA. International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(7): 899-914.
  22. Stavros EN, Jeong S-J, Bloom A (2014) Synthesizing remote sensing data on the carbon and water cycles. EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union 95(29): 265.
  23. McKenzie D, Shankar U, Keane RE, Heilman WE, Stavros EN, Fox DG, Riebau AC, Bowden, JH, Eberhardt E, Norheim R (2014) Smoke consequences of new wildfire regims driven by climate change. AGU: Earth’s Future 2(2): 1-25.
  24. Stavros EN, Abatzoglou JT, McKenzie D, Larkin NK (2014) Regional projections of the likelihood of very large wildland fires under a changing climate in the contiguous Western United States.  Climatic Change 126(3-4): 455-468.
  25. Stavros EN, McKenzie D, Larkin NK (2014) The climate-wildfire-air quality system: interactions and feedbacks across spatial and temporal scales. WIREs Climate Change: early online release.
  26. Stavros EN (2012) Colorado in. Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change, Second Edition. SAGE Publications, Inc.
  27. Peterson WK, Stavros EN, Richards PG, Chamberlin PC, Woods TN, Bailey SM, Solomon SC (2009) Photoelectrons as a tool to evaluate spectral variations in solar EUV irradiance over solar cycle timescales. Journal of Geophysical Research 114: A10304.

Peer-Reviewed: In Development

  1. Stavros EN (in press) Wicked Problems need WKID Innovation: Innovation as a Process to Develop a Disruptive Technology Product. Research Technology Management. [preprint]
  2. Stavros EN, Chrone J, Cawse-Nicholson K, Freeman A, Glenn, NF, Guild L, Kokaly R, Lee CM, Luvall J, Pavlick R, Poulter B, Schollaert Uz S, Serbin S, Thompson DR, Townsend PA, Turpie K, Yuen K, Thome, K, Wang W, Zareh S-K, Nastal J, Bearden, D, Miller CE, Schimel D.  (in review) Designing an Observing System to Study the Surface Biology and Geology of the Earth in the 2020s. AGU JGR  Biogeosciences.
  3. Schollaert Uz S, Culver T, Luvall J, Lee CM, Glenn NF, Stavros EN, Yuen K, Gallaher M (in review) Assessing the Potential Benefit to Society of a NASA Surface Biology and Geology Mission through a User Needs Valuation Study: Highlights and Lessons Learned. AGU JGR Biogeosciences.
  4. Lee CM, Glenn NF, Stavros EN, Luvall J, Hain C, Yuen K, Schollaert Uz S (in review) Integrating Earth Decadal Survey application priorities during mission pre-formulation for Surface Biology and Geology (SBG). AGU JGR Biogeosciences.
  5. Antill M, Liu N, Stavros EN, Townsend P, Bonfield S, Schimel D, Questad E (in prep) Photogrid: a rapid, accurate method for collecting vegetation data to support biodiversity studies using remote sensing.
  6. Pascolini-Campbell M, Lee CM, Stavros N, Fisher J (in prep) Using ECOSTRESS to infom pre-burn vegetation conditions for Southern California Wildfires. Hydrology Earth System Science

White Papers

  1. Newcomer ME, Stavros EN, Meyer RS, Pena J, Hestir E, Pavlick R, Bouskill N (2021) A Fire Community Observatory: Interdisciplinary, AI-informed Post-Fire Rapid Response for Improved Water Cycle Science at Watershed Scale. US Department of Energy Office of Science AI4ESP Initiative (https://ai4esp.org/white-papers/).
  2. Stavros EN, Asner G, Dennison P, Dietze M, Gierach M, Green R, Lee C, Ramirez C, Roberts D, Schimel D, Seidel F, Serbin S, Shiklomanov A, Tane Z, Thompson D, Townsend P, Ustin S, Veraverbeke S (2017) An Imaging Spectrometer Enables Novel Applications and Continuity with the Landsat Record to Sustain Legacy Applications. USGS Request for Information for Future Landsat Mission (RFI Reference #: G17PS00634)
  3. Stavros EN, Bloom AA, Brown T, Coen J, Dennison P, Giglio L, Green R, Hinkley E, Holden Z, Hook S, Johnson W, Miller ME, Peterson B, Quayle B, Ramirez C, Randerson J, Schimel D, Schroeder W, Soja A, Tosca M (2016) The role of fire in the Earth System. Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space (ESAS) Request for Information (RFI) #2. Published by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Space Studies Board.
  4. Dennison P, Veraverbeke S, French NHF, Huesca M, Jin Y, Loboda T, Randerson J, Dar R, Rogers BM, Stavros EN, Tayyebi A, Tosca M, Wang J (2016) Burning Questions: Critical Needs for Remote Sensing of Fire Impacts on Ecosystems. Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space (ESAS) Request for Information (RFI) #1. Published by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Space Studies Board.
  5. Veraverbeke S, Stavros EN, Hook S. (2015) HyspIRI Mission Applications: Fire Behavior.


  1. Stavros EN, Iglesias V, & Decastro A. (2021, April 26). The Wicked Wildfire Problem and Solution Space for Detecting and Tracking the Fires that Matter [preprint]. Retrieved June 7, 2021, from http://www.essoar.org/doi/10.1002/essoar.10506888.1 
  2. Culver, T, Rydeen A, Dix M, Camello M, Gallaher M, Lapidus D, Brown E, Lee C, Luvall J, Stavros N, Uz S, Yuen K, Glenn N (2020) SBG User needs and Valuation Study. RTI International Innovation Advisors.
  3. Stavros EN, Agha A, Sirota A, Quadrelli M, Ebadi K, Yun Kyongsik (2018) Smoke Sky — Exploring New Frontiers of Unmanned Aerial Systems for Wildland Fire Science and Applications. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Bluesky Think Tank, California Institute of Technology.
  4. Stavros EN, Lang M, Simard M, Chapman B, Osmanoglu B, Bawden G (2018) 2018 NISAR Applications Workshop: Agriculture and Soil Moisture. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.
  5. Stavros EN, Kellndorfer J, Saatchi S, Osmanoglu B, Bawden G (2018) 2018 NISAR Applications Workshop: Forests and Disturbance. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.
  6. Stavros EN, Cosh M, Torbick N, Siquieria P, Osmanoglu B, Bawden G (2018) 2018 NISAR Applications Workshop: Agriculture and Soil Moisture. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.
  7. Davis BA, Jones CE, Stavros EN (2017) 2017 NISAR Applications Workshop: Critical Infrastructure. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.
  8. Saatchi S, Stavros EN, Keller M, Davies S, Scipal K, Duncanson L (2017) 2016 NASA-ESA-Smithsonian Workshop on Calibration and Validation of Upcoming Satellite Missions on Forest Structure and Biomass. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.
  9. Stavros EN, Owen S, et al. (2016) 2015 NISAR Applications Workshop: Applications Community Suggestions for Developing an Applications Plan. Jet Propulsion Laboratory CL# 16-3170.
  10. Kimball JS, Jones LA, Glassy J, Stavros EN, Madani N, Reichle RH, Jackson T, and Colliander A (2016) Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission L4_C Data Product Assessment (Version 2 Validated Release). GMAO Office Note No. 13 (Version 1.0).
  11. Kimball JS, Jones LA, Glassy J, Stavros EN, Madani N, Reichle RH, Jackson T, and Colliander A (2015) Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Project Calibration and Validation for the L4_C Beta-Release Data Product. NASA/TM–2015-104606, Vol. 42, 37 pp.
  12. Schimel D, Ramirez C, Janice Coen J, Boland J, Stavros EN (2015) Rapid Response to the 2014 King Fire: Final Report. NASA Applied Sciences Wildfire Program.
  13. McKenzie, D, Shankar U, Keane RE, Heilman WE, Stavros EN, Fox DG, Riebau AC, Bowden JH, Eberhardt E, Norheim R (2013) Smoke consequences of new wildfire regimes driven by climate change. Final report to the Joint Fire Science Program Project 12-S-01-2.


Speaking Engagements

  • (2021) Dixie State University: Fire Science 101 – Understanding Fire Across Scales.
  • (2021) University of Montana FCFC: The Wicked Wildfire Problem and Intersectionality with Environmental Justice
  • (2021) Morgan Stanley, Climate Change University: Wicked Wildfires and Innovation.
  • (2021) Tracking Wildfires from Space. American Museum of Natural History
  • (2021) Panelist: Climate Change and Colorado Wildfires. National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Colorado Chapter.
  • (2021) Panelist: Wildfires in California and Beyond: Monitoring for Risk with AI and Machine Learning. AI Los Angeles Virtual Earth Summit.
  • (2021) Career Development Q&A: Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), University of California, Merced
  • (2021) Plenary: The Wicked Wildfire Problem and the Solution Space. Keck Institute for Space Sciences: Real Time Detecting and Tracking the Fires that Matter
  • (2020) E-Lightening Talk: Imaging Spectroscopy Processing Environment on the Cloud (ImgSPEC), American Geophysical Union Virtual Fall Meeting. https://doi.org/10.1002/essoar.10504790.1
  • (2020) E-Lightening Talk: Integrating Point-Source Methane Emissions from Imaging Spectroscopy Data into the Multi-scale Methane Analytic Framework (M2AF) Information System, American Geophysical Union Virtual Fall Meeting. https://doi.org/10.1002/essoar.10504789.1
  • (2020) WKID Innovation: Scaling NASA Processes for Innovation to Non-Aerospace Technologies, USC Viterbi Startup Garage Master Class Monday, Los Angeles, California
  • (2020) Panelist. Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), University of California, Merced.
  • (2018) PO.DAAC User Services Overview. Surface Water and Ocean Topography Mission Applications Workshop, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • (2018) Wildfire Forecast Modeling. USFS Forest Survey of India Study Tour, Missoula, Montana.
  • (2018) NASA User Needs Technical Interchange Meeting. Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
  • (2017) Measuring Fire Fuel, Occurrence, Severity, and Recovery. NASA HyspIRI Science and Applications Workshops. Pasadena, California.
  • (2017) A Scientific Journey. University of California, Los Angeles Environmental Careers Course.
  • (2017) Hitchhiker’s Guide to JPL for the JPL New Researchers’ Support Group. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
  • (2017) Panelist at CA Preservation Conference, Pasadena, California.
  • (2017) A Scientific Journey. University of California, Riverside FIELDS Data Science & Visualization Workshop
  • (2016) Fire Ecology Data products from ASO: Products from two California Megafires. NASA Airborne Snow Observatory Science and Applications Workshop. Pasadena, California.
  • (2016) JPL and NASA Remote Sensing Technologies for Land Resource Management. Natural Areas Conference. Davis, California.
  • (2015) NASA Technologies for Land Resource Management (Keynote Speaker) at First International Stewardship Meeting for Climate Change, Earth University, Costa Rica.
  • (2015) Interpreting uncertainty when making decisions, TEDx Claremont Colleges.
  • (2015) A Scientific Journey. La Crescenta Valley High School Academy of Science and Medicine.
  • (2015) The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission Level 4 Carbon Product calibration and validation using eddy covariance observations across North America, Australia and Finland. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. San Francisco, California.
  • (2014) MODIS-SMAP-OCO2 synergy and the Carbon Monitoring System. International Association of Landscape Ecology: SMAP Applications pre-workshop. Anchorage, Alaska.
  • (2014) A Scientific Journey. Poway High School Physics classes.
  • (2011 & 2012) Ecological Scaling: Power Laws, given at University of Washington
  • (2010) Intro to Natural Resources, given at Green River Community College

Professional Meetings

Chaired Sessions

  • (2017) Active Remote Sensing of Forest Structure and Aboveground Biomass: Planned NASA Missions for Forestry Applications. Society of American Foresters. Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • (2019) Fire in the Environment: Pyrogenic Organic Matter Cycling and Environmental Impacts Across Watersheds II Posters. American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, California.

Hosted Workshops