Roberts, Dar


Dr. Dar Roberts

Dr. Dar Roberts is a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA where he started in January 1994 and currently serves as Chair. He is the author of over 108 refereed publications, over 15 books/book chapters and over 100 abstracts and non-refereed articles. Research interests include imaging spectrometry, remote sensing of vegetation, spectroscopy (urban and natural cover), land-use/land-cover change mapping with satellite time series, height mapping with lidar, fire danger assessment and, recently remote sensing of methane. He has worked with hyperspectral data since 1984 and broad band sensors such as MSS and TM over the same period, as well as Synthetic Aperture Radar. More recently he has been working with Lidar. He is the UCSB Principal Investigator of the Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center and leads the group in developing wildfire fuels maps and mapping fuel moisture using remote sensing. Courses he teaches include Land Surface Processes, History of Geography, Spatial Environmental Modeling, Measuring our Environment, Environmental Optics, and Advanced Remote Sensing in the Optical (214a) and Microwave (214b).


Ph.D., University of Washington (Geological Sciences), 1991
M.S., Stanford University (Applied Earth Sciences)
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara (Environmental Biology and Geology)

Research Interests

Remote sensing of vegetation, geology, ecology, and ecophysiology.

Selected Publications

Schneider, P., Roberts, D. A., & Kyriakidis, P. C. (2008). A VARI-based Greenness from MODIS data for Computing the Fire Potential Index, Remote Sensing of Environment, 112, 1151-1167.

Numata, I., Roberts, D. A., Chadwick, O. A., & Schimel, J. P., et al. (2008). Evaluation of hyperspectral data for pasture estimate in the Brazilian Amazon using field and imaging spectrometers, Remote Sensing of Environment, 112,1569-1583.

Herold, M., Roberts, D. A., Noronha, V., & Smadi, O. (2008). Imaging Spectrometry and Asphalt Road Surveys,Transportation Research C, 16, 153-166.

Rogan, J., Franklin, J., Stow, D., & Miller, J., et al. (2008). Mapping Land-cover Modifications Over Large Areas: A Comparison of Machine Learning Algorithms, Remote Sensing of Environment, 112, 2272-2283.
Biggs, T. W., Dunne, T., Roberts, D. A., & Matricardi, E. (2008). Tropical Deforestation Rates, Extents and Scaling Behavior in Watersheds, Southwestern Amazon Basin, Ecological Apps. 18(1), 31-48.

Herold, M., Schiefer, S., Hostert, P., & Roberts, D.A., D. A. (2007). Applying Imaging Spectrometry in Urban Areas, In Q. Weng, & & D. Quattrochi (Eds.) Urban remote sensing, 137-162. Taylor & Francis,
Numata, I., Roberts, D. A., Chadwick, O. A., & Schimel, J., et al. (2007). Characterization of Pasture Biophysical Properties and the Impact of Grazing Intensity using Remotely Sensed Data, Remote Sens. Environ, 109, 314-327.

Sales, M., Souza, C. M., Kyriakidis, P. C., Roberts, D.A., D. A., & Vidal, E. (2007). Improving Spatial Distribution Estimation of Forest Biomass with Geostatistics: a Case study of Rondonia, Brazil, Ecological Modeling, 205221-230.,

Holmes, K. W., Chadwick, O. A., Kyriakidis, P. C., & Silva de Filho, E. P., et al. (2007). Large-area Spatially Explicit Estimates of Tropical Soil Carbon Stocks and Response to Land-Cover Change, Global Biogeochemical Cycles,20(3), Art. No. GB3004 JUL 18 2006.

Sonnetag, O., Chen, J. M., Roberts, D. A., & Talbot, J., et al. (2007). Mapping tree and shrub leaf area indices in an ombrotrophic peatland through multiple endmember spectral unmixing, Remote Sens. Environ. 109, 342-360.

Numata, I., Roberts, D. A., Sawada, Y., & Chadwick, O. A., et al. (2007). Regional Characterization of pasture changes through time and space in Rondonia, Earth Interactions. Vol 11(Paper No. 14),doi,10.1175/EI1232.1, 25 pp.,
Dennison, P. E., Roberts, D. A., & Peterson, S. H. (2007). Spectral shape-based temporal compositing algorithms for MODIS surface reflectance data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 109, 510-522.

Powell, R., Roberts, D. A., Hess, L., & Dennison, P. (2007). Sub-pixel mapping of urban land cover using multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis: Manaus, Brazil, Remote Sens. Environ. 106253-267.,

Numata, I., Chadwick, O. A., Roberts, D. A., & Schimel, J. P., et al. (2007). Temporal Nutrient Variation in Soil and Vegetation of Post-forest Pastures as a Function of Soil Order, Pasture Age, and Management, Rondonia, Brazil,Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 118(1-4), 159-172

Roberts, D. A., Dennison, P. E., Peterson, S., Sweeney, S., & Rechel, J. (2006). Evaluation of AVIRIS and MODIS Measures of Live Fuel Moisture and Fuel Condition in a Shrubland Ecosystem in Southern California, J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosciences , Vol. 111. G04S02,doi, 10.1029/2005JG000113, 16 pp.,

Leifer, I., Roberts, D. A., Margolis, J., & Kinnaman, F. (2006). In-situ Sensing of MethaneEmissions from Natural Marine Hydrocarbon Seeps: A Potential Remote Sensing Technology, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 245, 509-522.

Herold, M. & Roberts, D. A. (2006). Multispectral Satellites – Imaging Spectrometry –LIDAR: Spatial – spectral tradeoffs in urban mapping, International Journal of Geoinformatics, 2(1), 1-14.

Sims, D. A., Rahman, A. F. Roberts, D. A., & Cordova, V. D., et al. (2006). Use of Hyperspectral reflectance indices for estimation of gross carbon flux and light use efficiency across diverse vegetation types, International Journal of Geoinformatics 2(1), 15-30.

Souza, C., Roberts, D. A., & Cochrane, M. A. (2005). Combining Spectral and Spatial Information to Map Canopy Damages from Selective Logging and Forest Fires, Remote Sensing of Environment. 98, 329-343.

Harper, K. A., MacDonald, E., Burton, P. J., & Chen, J., et al. (2005). Edge Influence on Forest Structure and Composition in Fragmented Landscapes, Conservation Biology, 19(3), 768-782.

Legleiter, C. J. & Roberts, D. A. (2005). Effects of Channel Morphology and Sensor Spatial Resolution on image-derived depth estimates, Remote Sensing of Environment, 95, 231-247.

Clark, M., Roberts, D. A., & Clark, D. B. (2005). Hyperspectral discrimination of tropical rain forest tree species at leaf to crown scales, Remote Sensing of Environment, 96(3-4), 375-398.

Ballantine, J-A. C., Okin, G., S., Prentiss, D. E., & Roberts, D. A. (2005). Mapping African landforms using continental scale unmixing of MODIS imagery, Remote Sensing of Environment, 97, 470-483.

Souza, C. & Roberts, D. A. (2005). Mapping Forest Degradation in the Amazon Region with Ikonos Images, Int. J. Remote Sens., 26(3), 425-429.

Holmes, K. W., Kyriakidis, P. C., Chadwick, O. A., & Soares, J. V., et al. (2005). Multi-scale variability in tropical soil nutrients following land-cover change, Biogeochemistry, 74, 173-203.

Souza, C., Roberts, D. A., & Monteiro, A. L. (2005). Multi-temporal Analysis of Degraded Forests in the Southern Brazilian Amazon, Earth Interactions, 9(Paper No. 19), 25 pp.

Ogunjemiyo, S., Parker, G., & Roberts, D. A. (2005). Reflections in bumpy terrain: implications of canopy surface variations for the radiation balance of vegetation, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 2(1), 90-93.

Herold, M. & Roberts, D. A. (2005). Spectral characteristics of asphalt road aging and deterioration: Implications for remote sensing applications, Applied Optics 44(20), 4327-4334.

Novo, E. M., Ferreira, L. G., Barbosa, C., & Carvalho, C., et al. (2005). Tecnidas avancadas de sensoriomento remoto aplicadas ao estudo de mudancas climaticas e ao funcionamento dos ecosistemas amazonicas, Acta Amazonica,35(2), 259-372.

Dennison, P. E., Roberts, D. A., Peterson, S. H., & Rechel, J. (2005). Use of Normalized Difference Water Index for Monitoring Live Fuel Moisture, Int. J. Rem. Sens., 26(5), 1035-1042.

Dennison, P. E., Charoensiri, K., Roberts, D. A., & Peterson, S. H., et al. (2005). Wildfire temperature and Land Cover Modeling Using Hyperspectral Data, Remote Sensing of Environment, 100, 212-222.

Dennison, P. E., Halligan, K. Q., & Roberts, D. A. (2004). A Comparison of Error Metrics and Constraints for Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis and Spectral Angle Mapper, Remote Sens. Environ. 93, 359-367.

Roberts, D. A. & Herold, M. (2004). Imaging Spectrometry of Urban Materials, In P. King, M. Ramsey, & G. Swayze (Eds.) Molecules to Planets: Infrared Spectroscopy in Geochemistry, Exploration Geochemistry and Remote Sensingpp. 155-183. Mineral Association of Canada.

Mariscal, M. J. Martens, S. N., Ustin, S. L., & Chen, J., et al. (2004). Light Transmission Profiles in Old-growth forest canopy: Simulations of Photosynthetically Active Radiation using Spatially-explicit Radiative Transfer Models,Ecosystems, 7, 454-467.

Legleiter, C. J., Roberts, D. A., Marcus, W. A., & Fonstad, M. A. (2004). Optical Remote Sensing of River Channel Morphology and In-stream Habitat: Physical Basis and Feasibility, Remote Sens. Environ., 93, 493-510.

McMichael, C. E., Hope, A. S., Roberts, D. A., & Anaya, M. R. (2004). Post-fire recovery of leaf area index in California chaparral: a remote sensing – chronosequence approach.  Int. J. Rem. Sens. 25(21), 4743-4760.

Clark, M. L., Clark, D. B., & Roberts, D. A. (2004). Small-footprint lidar estimation of sub-canopy elevation and tree height in a tropical rain forest landscape, Remote Sens. Environ. 91, 68-89.

Holmes, K. W., Roberts, D. A., Sweeney, S., & Numata, I., et al. (2004). Soil Databases and the Problems of Establishing Regional Biogeochemical Trends, Global Change Biology, 10, 796-814.

Powell, R. L., Matzke, N., de Souza Jr., C., & Clark, M., et al. (2004). Sources of error in accuracy assessment of thematic land-cover maps in the Brazilian Amazon, Remote Sens. Environ., 90(2), 221-234.

Roberts, D. A., Ustin, S. L., Ogunjemiyo, S., & Greenberg, J., et al. (2004). Spectral and structural measures of Northwest forest vegetation at leaf to landscape scales, Ecosystems, 7, 545-562.

Herold, M., Roberts, D. A., Gardner, M. E., & Dennison, P. E. (2004). Spectrometry for urban area remote sensing – Development and analysis of a spectral library from 350 to 2400 nm, Remote Sens. Environ. 91(3-4), 304-319.

Ustin, S. L., Roberts, D. A., Gamon, J. A., Asner, G. P., & Green, R. O. (2004). Using Imaging Spectroscopy to Study Ecosystem Processes and Properties, Bioscience, 54(6), 523-534.

Dennison, P. E. & Roberts, D. A. (2003). Endmember Selection for Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis using Endmember Average RSME, Remote Sens. Environ., 87(2-3), 123-135.

Roberts, D. A., Dennison, P. E., Gardner, M., & Hetzel, Y., et al. (2003). Evaluation of the Potential of Hyperion for Fire Danger Assessment by Comparison to the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer, IEEE Trans. On Geosci. Remote Sens, 41(6 Part 1), 1297-1310.

Souza Jr., C., Firestone, L. Silva, L. M., & Roberts, D. A. (2003). Mapping forest degradation in the Eastern Amazon from SPOT 4 through spectral mixture models, Remote Sens. Environ. 87(4), 494-506.

Rashed, T., Weeks, J. R., Roberts, D. A., Rogan, J., & Powell, R. (2003). Measuring the Physical Composition of Urban Morphology using Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Models, Photogramm. Eng. Remote Sens. 69(9), 1011-1020.

Ogunjemiyo, S. O., Kaharabata, S. K., Schuepp, P. H., & MacPherson, I. J., et al. (2003). Methods of estimating CO2, latent heat and sensible heat fluxes from estimates of land cover fractions in the flux footprint, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 117, 125-144.

Dennison, P. E., Roberts, D. A., Thorgusen, S. R., & Regelbrugge, J. C., et al. (2003). Modeling seasonal changes in live fuel moisture and equivalent water thickness using a cumulative water balance index, Remote Sens. Environ.,88(4), 442-452.

Numata, I., Soares, J., Roberts, D., & Leonidas, F., et al. (2003). Relationships among soil fertility dynamics and remotely sensed measures across pasture chronosequences in Rondônia, Brazil, Remote Sens. Environ. 87(4),446-455.

Painter, T. H., Dozier, J., Roberts, D. A., Davis, R. E. & Green, R. O. (2003). Retrieval of Subpixel Snow-covered Area and Grain Size from Imaging Spectrometer Data, Remote Sens. Environ., 85, 64-77.

Herold, M., Gardner, M., & Roberts, D. A. (2003). Spectral Resolution Requirements for Mapping Urban Areas, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. 41(9 Part 1), 1907-1919.

Roberts, D. A., Keller, M., & Soares, J. V. (2003). Studies of Land-Cover, Land-use, and Biophysical Properties of Vegetation in the Large Scale Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), Remote Sens. Environ. 87(4), 377-388.

Dennison, P. E. & Roberts, D. A. (2003). The Effects of Vegetation Phenology on Endmember Selection and Species Mapping in Southern California Chaparral, Remote Sens. Environ., 87(2-3), 123-135.

Contact Information 

office: 3611A Ellison Hall
phone: (805)880-2531
fax: (805)893-2578
email: dar(at)