Michael Palace

Phone: (603) 862-4193
Office: Earth Systems Research Center, Morse Hall, Durham, NH 03824
Michael Palace

I am an environmental scientist focusing on the terrestrial carbon cycle, vegetation dynamics, landscape ecology, and snow characterization using field measurements, remote sensing, and geospatial science. My research ranges from field studies of vegetation structure to the use of satellite imagery in an effort to predict disease, understand forest dynamics, and find and interpret past human settlement patterns. At UNH, I am the coordinator for the Environmental Science interdisciplinary undergraduate major, and presently lead the Graduate Geospatial Science Certificate Program. I am or have been a Principal Investigator on ten major remote sensing projects, seven completed and three active. My research has received external funding from NASA, NSF, USAID, USDA, USGS, and DOD. I am actively developing an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) center and have deployed UAS systems for five different field projects around the globe. As a previous affiliate faculty at the University of Brasilia, I have aided and hosted visiting Brazilian PhD students. I am a former TEDx speaker, where my talked focused on the creative aspects of science the interdisciplinary aspects of scientific studies. At UNH, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in geospatial science, remote sensing, environmental science, and tropical ecology. I have been active member in the scientific community, leading sessions at conferences, reviewing papers for multiple journals, and serving on review panels for NASA, NSF, and DOE. I also served on NASA Data Review Panels and DOE planning campaigns. Production of electronic music and audio field recording, as a semi-professional, is a focus of my creative outlet. I have numerous albums under the pseudonym “horchata” and have made many field recordings during my trips to Amazonia and other locations. Recently, I have been using modified image sensors to track the body movements of dancers in real-time and in three dimensions, while converting the data to sound and music.


  • Ph.D., Natural Resources Management, University of New Hampshire
  • M.S., Environmental Science, University of Virginia
  • B.A., Archaelogy/Envir Sci, University of Virginia

Research Interests

  • Earth/Terrestrial Remote Sensing
  • Remote Sensing
  • Tropical Forestry

Courses Taught

  • ESCI 451: Earth in Film
  • ESCI 777: Earth/Envi Sciences GIS
  • ESCI 778: Earth/Envi Sci Remote Sensing
  • ESCI 796: Top/Remote Sensing Earth & Env
  • ESCI 896: Top/Geospatial NetworkAnalysis
  • NR 791: Proj/Environmental Science I

Selected Publications

Melendy, L., Hagen, S. C., Sullivan, F. B., Pearson, T. R. H., Walker, S. M., Ellis, P., . . . Delgado, G. M. (2018). Automated method for measuring the extent of selective logging damage with airborne LiDAR data. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 139, 228-240. doi:10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2018.02.022

Hartter, J., Hamilton, L. C., Boag, A. E., Stevens, F. R., Ducey, M. J., Christoffersen, N. D., . . . Palace, M. W. (2018). Does it matter if people think climate change is human caused?. Climate Services, 10, 53-62. doi:10.1016/j.cliser.2017.06.014

Salerno, J., Chapman, C. A., Diem, J. E., Dowhaniuk, N., Goldman, A., MacKenzie, C. A., . . . Hartter, J. (2018). Park isolation in anthropogenic landscapes: land change and livelihoods at park boundaries in the African Albertine Rift. Regional Environmental Change, 18(3), 913-928. doi:10.1007/s10113-017-1250-1

Dowhaniuk, N., Hartter, J., Ryan, S. J., Palace, M. W., & Congalton, R. G. (2018). The impact of industrial oil development on a protected area landscape: demographic and social change at Murchison Falls Conservation Area, Uganda. Population and Environment, 39(3), 197-218. doi:10.1007/s11111-017-0287-x

Sullivan, F. B., Ducey, M. J., Orwig, D. A., Cook, B., & Palace, M. W. (2017). Comparison of lidar- and allometry-derived canopy height models in an eastern deciduous forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 406, 83-94. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2017.10.005

Morton, D. C., Nagol, J., Carabajal, C. C., Rosette, J., Palace, M., Cook, B. D., . . . North, P. R. J. (2014). Amazon forests maintain consistent canopy structure and greenness during the dry season. Nature, 506(7487), 221-224. doi:10.1038/nature13006

Frolking, S., Palace, M. W., Clark, D. B., Chambers, J. Q., Shugart, H. H., & Hurtt, G. C. (2009). Forest disturbance and recovery: A general review in the context of spaceborne remote sensing of impacts on aboveground biomass and canopy structure. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 114(G2), n/a. doi:10.1029/2008jg000911

Rice, A. H., Pyle, E. H., Saleska, S. R., Hutyra, L., Palace, M., Keller, M., . . . Wofsy, S. C. (2004). CARBON BALANCE AND VEGETATION DYNAMICS IN AN OLD-GROWTH AMAZONIAN FOREST. Ecological Applications, 14(sp4), 55-71. doi:10.1890/02-6006

Keller, M., Palace, M., & Hurtt, G. (2001). Biomass estimation in the Tapajos National Forest, Brazil. Forest Ecology and Management, 154(3), 371-382. doi:10.1016/s0378-1127(01)00509-6

Feldpausch, T. R., Banin, L., Phillips, O. L., Baker, T. R., Lewis, S. L., Quesada, C. A., . . . Lloyd, J. (n.d.). Height-diameter allometry of tropical forest trees. Biogeosciences, 8(5), 1081-1106. doi:10.5194/bg-8-1081-2011

Most Cited Publications