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Matthew Fagan

faganPh.D., Columbia University, 2014
Assistant Professor
211-H Sondheim Hall
410-455-3149
mfagan@umbc.edu | @Matthew_Fagan
http://www.theearthfromabove.com/

 

Research Interests

Landscape Ecology, Remote Sensing, Conservation Biology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Sustainable Agriculture

Research Focus

As both a conservation geographer and ecologist, I use field work and the analysis of satellite and aerial imagery (remote sensing) to understand how forests are changing over time. My lab’s research lies at the intersection of remote sensing, conservation policy, and ecology, with specific focal areas in monitoring agricultural expansion and forest recovery, assessing the effectiveness of conservation policies, and using remote sensing to assess landscape-scale habitat degradation. We try to understand changing landscapes from several different perspectives: ecological, geographical, and socioeconomic. ​I am particularly interested in processes and policies that promote reforestation, connectivity, and habitat restoration at the landscape scale.

Recent lab projects
  • Monitoring agricultural expansion and forest restoration in the tropics
  • Long-term assessment of landscape conservation policies and forest recovery, focusing on habitat corridors in Costa Rica and Maryland
  • Determining the impact of timber plantations on forest fragmentation and disturbance in the southeastern U.S.
  • Assessments of riparian forest degradation and connectivity using LiDAR and high-resolution imagery
  • The disturbance ecology of Bahamian forests and the critically endangered Bahama Oriole.
Selected Recent Publications

Complete list http://www.theearthfromabove.com/

Fagan, M.E., J.L. Reid, M.B. Holland, J.G. Drew, and R. Zahawi (in review). How feasible are global forest restoration commitments? Conservation Letters.

Cunningham, D., P. Cunningham, and M.E. Fagan (2019). Identifying biases in global tree cover products: a case study in Costa Rica. Forests 10(10), 853; doi:10.3390/f10100853

Reid, J.L., M.E. Fagan, J. Lucas, and R. Zahawi (2019). The ephemerality of regenerating forests in southern Costa Rica. Conservation Letters 12: e12607.

Gopalakrishnan, R., J.S. Kauffman, M.E. Fagan, J.W. Coulston, V.A. Thomas, R.H. Wynne, T.R. Fox, and V.F. Quirino (2019). Creating Landscape-Scale Site Index Maps for the Southeastern US is Possible with Airborne LiDAR and Landsat Imagery. Forests 10 (3), 234.

Fagan, M.E., D.C. Morton, B.D. Cook, J.G. Masek, F. Zhao, H.E. Andersen, R.F. Nelson, and C. Huang (2018). Mapping pine plantations in the southeastern U.S. using spectral, structural, and temporal remote sensing data. Remote Sensing of Environment 216: 415-426.

Reid, J.L., M.E. Fagan, and R. Zahawi (2018). Positive site selection bias in meta-analyses comparing natural regeneration to active forest. Scientific Reports 4(5): eaas9143.

Williamson, Jessie L., and M.E. Fagan (2017). Predator playback, foraging height, and phylogeny affect gap crossing behavior in tropical forest birds. Ornitología Neotropical 28: 163-174, Jul. ISSN 1075-4377.

Keeley, A.T.K., P. Beier, B.W. Keeley, and M.E. Fagan (2017). Habitat suitability is a poor proxy for landscape connectivity during dispersal and mating movements. Landscape and Urban Planning 161: 90-102.

Fagan, M. E., R. S. Defries, S. E. Sesnie, J. P. Arroyo, and R. L. Chazdon (2016). Targeted reforestation could reverse declines in connectivity for understory birds in a tropical habitat corridor. Ecol. Appl. 26: 1456–1474.

Fagan, M.E., R.S. DeFries, S.E. Sesnie, J.P. Arroyo, C. Soto, A. Singh, P. Townsend, and R.L. Chazdon (2015). Mapping Species Composition of Forests and Tree Plantations in Northeastern Costa Rica with an Integration of Hyperspectral and Multitemporal Landsat Imagery. Remote Sensing 7(5), 5660-5696.

Meyfroidt, P., K.M. Carlson, M.E. Fagan, V.H. Gutiérrez-Vélez, M.M. Macedo, L.M. Curran, R.S. DeFries, G.A. Dyer, H.K. Gibbs, E.F. Lambin, D.C. Morton, V. Robiglio (2014). Multiple pathways of expansion of commodity crops in tropical forest landscapes.   Environmental Research Letters 9(7): 074012.

Fagan, M.E., R.S. DeFries, S.E. Sesnie, J.P. Arroyo, W. Walker, C. Soto, R.L. Chazdon, and A. Sanchun (2013). Land cover dynamics following a deforestation ban in northern Costa Rica. Environmental Research Letters 8(3): 034017.

Fagan, M.E. and R.S. DeFries (2009). “Measurement and Monitoring of the World’s Forests: A Review and Summary of Remote Sensing Technical Capability, 2009-2015” RFF, Washington, D.C. 70 pp.

Recent Presentations

Complete list http://www.theearthfromabove.com/

Fagan, M.E., “Estimating the area and growth rates of pine tree plantations in the southeastern US using remote sensing and FIA data”. Forest Inventory and Analysis Webinar, US Forest Service, Washington, DC, 2019.

  1. Wilkins, B. Byrd, S. Danquah and M.E. Fagan. Forest fires, and the Bahama Oriole: Describing burn history within Caribbean Pine forests. UMBC SURF Undergraduate Research Conference, Catonsville, MD, 2019.

Fagan, M.E., D.H. Kim, L. Ferry, J. Drew, H. Carlson, J. Schaferbien, J. Slaughter. Beyond” forest” change: assessing and improving global forest cover products. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, Washington, DC, 2018.

Fagan, M.E., D. Morton, B. Cook, J. Masek, F. Zhao, C. Huang, R. Nelson. Growing up on the frontier: assessing the impact of forest age and edge age on forest structure in the southeastern US. ForestSat, College Park, MD, 2018.

  1. Cunningham, M.E. Fagan, P. Cunningham. Identifying and correcting biases in global tree cover products: a case study in Costa Rica. ForestSat, College Park, MD, 2018.

Fagan, M.E., D.C. Morton, B.D. Cook, J.G. Masek, F. Zhao, R.F. Nelson, and C. Huang. Evaluating the Contribution of Pine Plantations to Habitat Fragmentation in the Southeastern U.S. US-International Association of Landscape Ecology Conference, Chicago, IL, 2018.

Fagan, M.E., “Monitoring a Landscape of Disturbance: An Aerial Perspective on Timber Plantations in the Southeastern US.” Department of Biology, University of Central Florida. Orlando, FL, 2017.

Fagan, M.E. “Forests from above: protecting forests with an eye in the sky.” American University, Environmental Science class seminar. Washington, DC, 2017.

Fagan, M.E. “A review of available forest and land use change datasets for Mesoamerica.” UMBC Conservation Aid Workshop (co-led by Fagan). Catonsville, MD, 2017.

Fagan, M.E., and D.H. Kim. “Mapping tree plantations: How much recent tropical forest regrowth in Costa Rica is natural forest?” US-International Association of Landscape Ecology Conference, Baltimore, MD, 2017.

Fagan, M.E., D.C. Morton, B.D. Cook, J.G. Masek, F. Zhao, R.F. Nelson, and C. Huang. “Beyond edge effects: landscape controls on forest structure in the southeastern US.” American Geophysical Union Conference, San Francisco, CA, 2016.

Fagan, M.E., D.C. Morton, B.D. Cook, J.G. Masek, F. Zhao, R.F. Nelson, and C. Huang.   “Mapping pine tree plantations in the southeastern US using structural, spectral, and temporal remote sensing data.” Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education. Catonsville, MD, 2016.

Fagan, M.E., D.C. Morton, B.D. Cook, J.G. Masek, F. Zhao, R.F. Nelson, and C. Huang. “An airborne perspective on forest edge effects and patterns of native forests and pine plantations in the southeastern U.S.” Ecological Society of America Meeting, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 2016.

Fagan, M.E., D.C. Morton, B.D. Cook, J.G. Masek, F. Zhao, R.F. Nelson, and C. Huang. “Assessing forest edge effects in the southeastern U.S. using NASA’s G-LiHT Airborne Imager.” Ecological Society of America Meeting, Baltimore, MD, 2015.

Fagan, M.E., D.C. Morton, B.D. Cook, J.G. Masek, F. Zhao, R.F. Nelson, and C. Huang.   “Mapping pine tree plantations in the southeastern US using structural, spectral, and temporal remote sensing data.” Department of Forest Resources, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 2015.

Fagan, M.E. “Managing the matrix: assessing conservation in human-dominated landscapes.” Union of Concerned Scientists, Washington, DC, 2015.

Fagan, M. E., R. S. Defries, S. E. Sesnie, J. P. Arroyo, and R. L. Chazdon. “Targeted reforestation to combat declines in connectivity for understory birds in a tropical habitat corridor.” International Congress of Conservation Biology, Montpellier, France, 2015.

Fagan, M.E., D.C. Morton, B.D. Cook, J.G. Masek, F. Zhao, H.E. Andersen, R.F. Nelson, and C. Huang. “Commercial ecosystem services: plantation forest contributions to US carbon sequestration.” International Congress of Conservation Biology, Montpellier, France, 2015.

Fagan, M.E., D.C. Morton, B.D. Cook, J.G. Masek, F. Zhao, H.E. Andersen, R.F. Nelson, and C. Huang. “Estimating the contribution from tree plantations to the US forest carbon sink.” NASA Joint Science Workshop, Silver Spring, MD, 2015.

Fagan, M.E. “Managing the matrix: assessing conservation in human-dominated landscapes.” NASA Biospheric Sciences Brown Bag Seminar Series, Greenbelt, MD, 2015.

Fagan, M.E., and N.B. Schwartz. “Social and ecological tradeoffs in tropical reforestation.” People and Reforestation in the Tropics (PARTNERS) NSF workshop, Storrs, CT, 2015

Courses Taught

GES 381: Remote Sensing

GES 386/686: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

GES 433/600: Sustainability, Land Use, and Natural Resources

GES 488/688: Spatial Data Analysis and GIS Applications