Management Team

Steve Greb, GEOAquaWatch Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Steve Greb currently is an associate fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center.  He also holds a research position within the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the Space Science and Engineering Center at UW. Steve recently retired from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources where he worked as an aquatic research scientist for the past 32 years addressing new and emerging environmental issues in the State. His work topics included acid rain impacts on aquatic ecosystems, thermal pollution in the urban environment, effects of forestry best management practices on stream water quality, nearshore nutrient dynamics; and hydrologic impacts on changing climate conditions. Over much of the last 20 years, he has focused on the use of remote sensing to measure water quality from space.


Paul DiGiacomo, Ph.D. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, USA – Co-Lead

Dr. Paul M. DiGiacomo is Chief of the Satellite Oceanography and Climatology Division in the NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR).  He also serves as the NOAA CoastWatch | OceanWatch | PolarWatch Program Manager.  Prior to joining NOAA in 2006, Paul served as Supervisor of the Earth Missions Concepts Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, as well as the Discipline Program Manager of the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Program Office at JPL. Paul is a biological oceanographer, with expertise in water quality monitoring, coastal marine ecosystem dynamics and ocean/coastal remote sensing. He has a B.S. from Penn State University and a Ph.D. from UCLA, both in Biology, and subsequently was a National Research Council (NRC) Resident Research Associate at JPL. Paul is active in numerous national and international working groups and panels, including serving as Co-Chair of the GEO Blue Planet Initiative, as Chair of the GODAE OceanView Patrons Group, and as lead for NOAA’s JPSS Ocean Environmental Data Records Team. 



Arnold Dekker, SAT-DEK , Australia – Co-Lead

Arnold Dekker’s expertise focuses on the use of Earth observation for aquatic ecosystems from inland waters to estuaries, coastal waters, coral reefs and oceans. At CSIRO, Australia  till 2017 he coordinated innovation across all areas of Earth observation using SAR, Passive Microwave, LIDAR, Gravity, Multi and HyperSpectral (VIS, NIR, SWIR, MIR, TIR) etc. His many national and international positions enable him to enhance Australia’s international reputation, ensuring access to international space agency satellite data; influencing global science and being a trusted advisor. He has initiated and established many innovations and collaborations. Arnold Dekker was a key initiator of the Australian Copernicus Sentinel DataHub. He has honorary professorial science positions at the University of Queensland, Australian National University and CSIRO. He is founder of SatDek Pty Ltd acting as a knowledge broker for providing aquatic environmental solutions using Earth observation derived information.


Emily Smail, Ph.D. , University of Maryland, USA – Working Group 1 Co-Chair, Secretariat (2015-17)

Emily Smail is the Executive Director of the GEO Blue Planet Initiative and a Senior Faculty Specialist at the NOAA-University of Maryland Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites. She also serves as the co-chair of the GEO AquaWatch Initiative’s outreach and user Engagement working group and supports outreach and education efforts for the NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch program. Previously, Dr. Smail worked in informal science Education at the Waikiki Aquarium and policy in the United States Senate through the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program. She received a B.S. in Biology from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Southern California where her research focused on water quality and marine biogeochemistry. 

 

 

 

 



Carsten Brockmann, Brockmann Consult, GmbH, Germany – Working Group 1 Co-Chair

Dr. Carsten Brockmann is managing director of Brockmann Consult, Germany. He founded his company in 1999 which provides consultancy, information products and software connected to environmental data. Carsten is consulting national and international customers working with Earth Observation data on instrument aspects, processing algorithms and applications. A special focus of his work is on developing and applying EO data for retrieval water quality in coastal and inland waters, radiative transfer in the optical domain, as well as the software and data processing aspects associated with this.



Philipp Saille, Federal Institute of Hydrology (BAFG), Germany – Working Group 2 Co-Chair

Philipp Saille is a Scientific officer at the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (UNESCO) based at the Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz, Germany. Philipp is responsible for coordination of the GEMS/Water Data Centre in support of the UN Environment GEMS/Water Programme. He also leads acquisition of water quality monitoring data from national and collaborating partners of the GEMS/Water Global Monitoring Network. Supporting and consulting GEMS/Water partners in the fields of water quality data management, data exchange and data products is another aspect of his work. He also represents GEMS/Water in international committees and working groups.


Maycira Costa, University of Victoria, Canada – Working Group 2 Co-Chair

Maycira Costa, University of Victoria, Canada – Working Group 2 Co-Chair – Maycira Costa is a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She has a BSc in Biological Oceanography and a MSc and PhD in Remote Sensing. As the director of the remote sensing laboratory at UVic and with more than 20 years of research experience, Maycira coordinates a research program focused on using satellites to measure ocean ecosystem behavior. She is currently working on examining changes to juvenile salmon habitats in the ocean using data derived from oceanographic satellites and vessels of opportunity. In addition to her research, Maycira is presently the co-chair of the Canadian Network of Ocean Colour Remote Sensing researchers and has served as a scientific adviser to the Japanese Exploration Agency (JAXA), Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and European Space Agency (ESA) as part of satellite mission programs and validation. Observations from space help to see large parts of the ocean, but observation from ships, including “vessels of opportunity” are the backbone to enable space-based technology. 



Blake A. Schaeffer, Ph.D. Environmental Protection Agency, USA – Working Group 3 Co-chair

Blake A. Schaeffer is a physical scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency in Durham, NC. His research focus is on the use of satellite remote sensing technology to monitor water quality in coasts, estuaries, and lakes. His interests generally include integrating remote sensing technologies into water quality management frameworks.

 

 

 


Ghada El-Serafy, Deltares, Netherlands – Working Group 3 Co-Chair – Image Coming soon!

Dr. Ir. El Serafy (Specialist) is an expert on the use of earth observation in data sciences in ecosystem modelling and services. She is actively involved in the strategic research and developments within Deltares. She has a broad experience in the use of remote sensing, the concept of essential variables framework, uncertainty analysis, sensitivity analysis and assimilation related to marine environmental quality and ecosystem health as well as integrated monitoring and assessment methods. She supervises several doctoral degrees and master of Science students. She leads several national and international projects in data assimilation applications in different fields such Hydraulics, Hydrology, Coastal Engineering and Ecology. She leads several national and international projects in the use of remote sensing and setting up data services and participating in others dealing with ecosystem modelling and ecosystem services and the use of Earth Observation.


Steve Groom Portrait

Steve Groom, Ph.D. Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK – Working Group 4 Chair

Steve Groom has 30 years’ experience in satellite and aircraft remote sensing with interest in exploitation of EO for near-real time and operational environmental monitoring.  Steve is PML Head of Science for Earth Observation Science, Director of the NERC EO Data Acquisition and Analysis Service Plymouth, that undertakes remote sensing data processing for UK environmental scientists, has managed over 50 commissioned research projects as principal investigator currently including H2020 PORTWIMS twinning with U Lisbon, H2020 Danubius-PP a pilot programme developing the European research infrastructure for river-sea systems, and ESA EO for Sustainable Development.  Steve has co-authored about 64 peer-reviewed papers with an h index of 31.


Bilqis Hoque, Environment and Population Research Centre & Emory University, Bangladesh – Working Group 5 Co-Chair – Image and BIO – Coming soon!


Andrew N. Tyler, University of Stirling, UK – Working Group 5 Co-Chair

Professor Andrew Tyler is the Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Stirling, UK. He specialises in environmental monitoring from in-situ to Earth Observation (EO) for the quantitative assessment and impact of environmental pollutants in aquatic and terrestrial environments. He leads the Earth Observation research group at Stirling, which specialises in the use of airborne and satellite data for the assessment and monitoring of ecosystem responses to environmental change with particular specialisations in monitoring of aquatic environments. Andrew led the €3M NERC-funded GloboLakes project (www.globolakes.ac.uk) (NE/J024279/1), which developed an operational satellite-based system for lake monitoring globally. The Stirling Team also lead the NERC INCIS-3IVE project on in-situ radiometry sensors and protocols for satellite validation and are partners on the H2020 EOMORES, CoastObs and MONOCLE projects that focus on the remote sensing of inland, transitional and coastal waters. Airborne remote sensing is also being used in an UK EPSRC (EP/I035390/1) funded project to assess the stability of saltmarshes and intertidal sediments in estuaries to climate change, specifically in relation to the adaptation & resilience of the UK energy to climate change. USTIR also lead a UK Royal Society project and an EC EUFAR project on remote sensing of algal blooms in lakes. The team are also leading the UK’s contribution to the new ESFRI initiative DANUBIUS-RI, and are the UK lead within the H2020 DANUBIUS-PP project delivering The International Centre for Advanced Studies on River-Sea Systems, and together with the Plymouth Marine Laboratory will be contributing to the Observation Node for this new pan-European infrastructure. Linked to DANUBIUS-RI, the Stirling Team is also a project partner on the H2020 ENVRI-FAIR, delivering FAIR data for Environmental Research Infrastructures in Europe.



Stephanie Palmer, PhD 
Université de Nantes, France — Webinar series host 

Stephanie’s research uses satellite remote sensing of water quality parameters in various aquatic ecology applications, in inland and coastal settings. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Université de Nantes, France, working on coupling satellite image data products with bivalve growth models in support of aquaculture site selection as part of the EU H2020 project “Tools for Assessment and Planning of Aquaculture Sustainability (TAPAS)”. 


Merrie Beth Neely, Ph.D., PMP, Global Science and Technology, USA – Scientific Coordinator, Secretariat (part-time).

Dr. Neely serves as GEOAquaWatch Secretariat’s Scientific Coordinator employed as a NOAA-affiliate contractor through Global Science and Technology, Inc. working for NOAA’s Satellite Oceanography and Climatology Division.   She is a certified program manager, phytoplankton ecologist, and oceanographer holding advanced degrees from University of Tampa and University of South Florida.  With a background in harmful algal blooms and coastal, estuarine, and riverine water quality monitoring; she brings considerable knowledge of field sampling and laboratory analysis experience; including sensor operation and maintenance, managing big data, biological and nutrient water quality laboratory and observatory management, and interdisciplinary research program leadership.

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