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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Martha Anderson

Research Physical Scientist

 photo of Martha Anderson Martha Anderson, Ph.D.
Research Physical Scientist
USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
104 Bldg. 007, BARC-West
Beltsville, MD 20705 USA
Voice: (301) 504-6616
Fax: (301) 504-8931


Research Interests: (click here to see a list of current research projects)

  • Water, energy and carbon flux mapping at field to continental scales using thermal remote sensing.
  • Drought monitoring and early detection based on land-surface temperature signals.
  • Remote sensing of soil moisture for assimilation into hydrologic and meteorological models.
  • Effects of landscape heterogeneity on land-atmosphere interactions.
  • Multi-sensor data fusion to improve spatiotemporal sampling in satellite retrievals.


  • 1987 B.A. (Physics) Carleton College, Northfield, MN USA.
  • 1993 Ph.D. (Astrophysics) University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN USA.

Professional Experience:

  • 1995 - 1997: Postgraduate Researcher for Dr. John Norman, Dept. of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • 1997 - 1999: Associate Researcher, Dept. of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • 1999 - 2005: Assistant Scientist, Dept. of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • 2003 - 2005: Assistant Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • 2005 - Present: Research Physical Scientist, Agricultural Research Service, Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Beltsville, MD.


  • 2000 - 2004: Co-I of a 4 year $580,000 research grant from NASA's Pathfinder Data Set and Associated Science Program entitled "Monitoring and Modeling of Land-Surface Energy and Water Fluxes using an Enhanced Pathfinder Database".
  • 2000 - 2004: Co-I of a 4-year $480,000 research grant from NOAA's Climate and Global Change Program entitled "Monitoring and Modeling of Land-Surface Energy and Water Fluxes using Remote Sensing and In-Situ Data".
  • 2004 - 2007: Co-I of a 3-year $680,000 research grant from NASA's Office of Earth Science entitled "Accounting for Effects of Subpixel Surface Variability on Regional Flux Estimation Using Large Eddy Simulation with Terra and Aqua Sensors").
  • 2004 - 2007: PI of a 3 year $670,000 research grant from NASA's Office of Earth Science entitled "Multi-scale Remote Assessment of Land-surface Hydrologic Response to Natural and Anthropogenic Stressors - A Case Study Evaluation in the Florida Everglades".
  • 2006 - 2009: Co-I for 3 year $360,000 research grant from NASA entitled "Monitoring Root-Zone Soil Moisture via Multi-Frequency Remote Sensing of Surface Soil Moisture and Evaporation".

Professional Service:

  • Member of the American Meteorological Society Scientific and Technology Activities Committee for Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.

Selected Publications: (please contact the author to determine reprint availability)

(view author's publications/interpretive summaries/technical abstracts since 1999)

E.B. Fomalont, K.I. Kellermann, M.C. Anderson, D. Weistrop, J.V. Wall, R.A. Windhorst and J.A. Kristian, "New Limits to Fluctuations in the Cosmic Background Radiation at 4.86 GHz between 12 and 60 Arcsecond Resolution", Astronomical Journal 96, 1187 (1988).

L. Rudnick and M.C. Anderson, "Flow Patterns in Radio Hot Spots: A Study of 3C 33 North", Astrophysical Journal 355, 427 (1990).

M.C. Anderson and L. Rudnick, P. Leppik, R. Perley and R. Braun, "Relativistic Electron Populations in Cassiopeia A", Astrophysical Journal 373, 146 (1991).

M.C. Anderson and L. Rudnick, "Spatial Spectral Index Variations in Galactic Shell Supernova Remnants G39.2-0.3 and G41.1-0.3", Astrophysical Journal 408, 514 (1993).

D.M. Katz-Stone, L. Rudnick, and M.C. Anderson, "Determining the Shape of Spectra in Extended Radio Sources", Astrophysical Journal 407, 549 (1993).

L. Rudnick, D.M. Katz-Stone, M.C. Anderson, "Do Relativistic Electrons Either Gain or Lose Energy Outside of Extragalactic Nuclei?", Astrophysical Journal Supp. Series 90, 955 (1994).

M.C. Anderson, T.W. Jones, L. Rudnick, I.L. Tregillis, and H.S. Kang, "The Dynamical and Radiative Evolution of Clumpy Supernova Ejecta", Astrophysical Journal 421, L31 (1994).

M.C. Anderson, J.W. Keohane, and L. Rudnick, "The Polarization and Depolarization of Radio Emission from Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A", Astrophysical Journal 441, 300 (1995).

M.C. Anderson and L. Rudnick, "The Deceleration Powering of Synchrotron Emission from Ejecta Components in Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A", Astrophysical Journal 441, 307 (1995).

M.C. Anderson and L. Rudnick, "Sites of Relativistic Particle Acceleration in Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A", Astrophysical Journal 456, 234 (1996).

J.W. Keohane, L. Rudnick, and M.C. Anderson, "A Comparison of X-ray and Radio Emission from the Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A", Astrophysical Journal 466, 309 (1996).

L. Rudnick, B. Koralesky, C. Butenhoff, M.C. Anderson, J. Keohane, R. Perley, "Cas A - The Movie", Bull. Amer. Astronomical Soc. 28, 947 (1996).

J.R. Mecikalski, G.R. Diak, J.M. Norman, and M.C. Anderson, "Estimation of Regional-Scale Land-Surface Sensible Heating Using Shelter-Level Measurements of Atmospheric Temperature Combined with Analyses of Upper-Air Data", Agric. For. Meteor. 88, 101 (1997).

M.C. Anderson, J.M. Norman, G.R. Diak, W.P. Kustas, and J.R. Mecikalski, "A Two-Source Time-Integrated Model for Estimating Surface Fluxes Using Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing", Remote Sensing of Environment, Remote Sens. Environ. 60, 195 (1997).

G.R. Diak, M.C. Anderson, W.L. Bland, J. M. Norman, J.M. Mecikalski, and R.M Aune, "Agricultural Management Decision Aids Driven by Real-Time Satellite Data", Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. 79, 1345 (1998).

J.R. Mecikalski, G.R. Diak, M.C. Anderson, and J.M. Norman, "Estimating Fluxes on Continental Scales Using Remotely-Sensed Data in an Atmosphere-Land Exchange Model", J. Appl. Meteorol., 38, 1352-1369 (1999).

M.C. Anderson, J.M. Norman, T.P. Meyers, G.R. Diak, "An analytical model for estimating canopy evapotranspiration and carbon assimilation fluxes based on canopy light-use efficiency", Agric. For. Meteorol., 101, 265-289 (2000).

G.R. Diak, W.L. Bland, J.R. Mecikalski, M.C. Anderson, "Satellite-based estimates of long-wave and solar radiation for agricultural applications", Agric. For. Meteorol., 103, 349-355 (2000).

M.C. Anderson, W.L. Bland, J.M. Norman, G.R. Diak, "Canopy wetness and humidity prediction using satellite and synoptic-scale meteorological observations", Plant Disease, 85, 1018-1025 (2001).

J.M. Jacobs, D.A. Meyers, M.C. Anderson, and G.R. Diak, "GOES surface insolation to estimate wetlands evapotranspiration", J. of Hydrology, 266, 53-65 (2002).

W.P. Kustas, J.M. Norman, M.C. Anderson, A.N. French, "Estimating subpixel surface temperature and energy fluxes from the vegetation index-radiometric temperature relationship, Remote Sens. Environ. 85, 429-440 (2003).

G.R. Diak, J.R. Mecikalski, M.C. Anderson, J.M. Norman, W.P. Kustas, R.D. Torn, R.L. DeWolf, "Estimating land-surface energy budgets from space: Review and current efforts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and USDA-ARS", Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. 85, 65-68 (2003).

A.N. French, J.M. Norman, M.C. Anderson, "A simple and fast atmospheric correction for spaceborne remote sensing of surface temperature", Remote Sens. Environ., 87, 326-333 (2003).

J.M. Norman, M.C. Anderson, W.P. Kustas, A.N. French, J.R. Mecikalski, R.D. Torn, G.R. Diak, T.J. Schmugge, B.C.W. Tanner, "Remote sensing of surface energy fluxes at 101-m pixel resolutions", Water Resourc. Res., 39, Art. No. 1221, (2003).

M.C. Anderson, W.P. Kustas, J.M. Norman, "Upscaling and downscaling - a regional view of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum", Agron. J. 95, 1408-1423 (2003).

M.C. Anderson, J.M. Norman, J.R. Mecikalski, R.D. Torn, W.P. Kustas, J.B. Basara, "A multi-scale remote sensing model for disaggregating regional fluxes to micrometeorological scales", J. Hydrometeor., 5, 343-363 (2004).

J.M. Jacobs, M.C. Anderson, L.C. Friess, G.R. Diak, "Solar radiation, longwave radiation, and emergent wetland evapotranspiration estimates from satellite data in Florida, USA", Hydro. Sci. J. 49, 461-476 (2004).

T.J. Jackson, D. Chen, M. Cosh, F. Li, M. Anderson, C. Walthall, P. Doriaswamy, and E.R. Hunt, "Vegetation water content mapping using Landsat data derived normalized difference water index for corn and soybeans", Remote Sens. Environ., 92, 475-482 (2004).

C. Walthall, W. Dulaney, M. Anderson, J. Norman, H. Fang, and S. Liang, "A comparison of empirical and neural network approaches for estimating corn and soybean leaf area index from Landsat ETM+ imagery, Remote Sens. Environ., 92, 465-474 (2004).

M.C. Anderson, C.M.U. Neale, F. Li, J.M. Norman, W.P. Kustas, H. Jayanthi, J.Chavez, "Upscaling ground observations of vegetation water content, canopy height, and leaf area index during SMEX02 using aircraft and Landsat imagery", Remote Sens. Environ., 92, 447-464 (2004).

J.A. Otkin, M.C. Anderson, J.R. Mecikalski, and G.R. Diak, "Validation of GOES-based insolation estimates using data from the U.S. Climate Reference Network", J. Hydromet. 6, 460-475 (2005).

M.C. Anderson, J.M. Norman, W.P. Kustas, F. Li, J.H. Prueger, J.R. Mecikalski, "Effects of vegetation clumping on two-source model predictions of surface energy fluxes from an agricultural landscape during SMEX02", J. Hydromet. 6, 892-909 (2005).

A.N. French, F.F. Jacob, M.C. Anderson, W.P. Kustas, W. Timmermans, and A. Gieske, Z. Su, B. Su, M.F. McCabe, F. Li, J. Prueger, N. Brunsell, "Surface energy fluxes with the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection radiometer (ASTER) at the Iowa 2002 SMACEX site (USA)", Remote Sens. Environ., 99, 55-65 (2005).

W.P. Kustas, M.C. Anderson, A.N. French, and D. Vickers, "Using a remote sensing field experiment to investigate flux-footprint relations and flux sampling distributions for tower and aircraft-based observations", Adv. Water Res. 29, 355-368 (2005).

F. Li, W.P. Kustas, M.C. Anderson, T.J. Jackson, R. Bindlish, J. Prueger, "Comparing the utility of microwave and thermal remote-sensing constraints in two-source energy balance modeling over an agricultural landscape", Remote Sens. Environ., 101, 315-328 (2006).

Anderson, W.P. Kustas, J.M. Norman, "Upscaling tower and aircraft fluxes from local to continental scales using thermal remote sensing", accepted Agron. J. (2006).



Book Chapters:

J.M. Norman, and M.C. Anderson, "The Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Continuum", in Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment (Ed. D. Hillel) (2004).

W.P. Kustas, J.M. Norman, T.J. Schmugge, M.C. Anderson, "Mapping surface energy fluxes with radiometric temperature", in Thermal Remote Sensing in Land Surface Processes (Eds. D.A. Quattrochi, J.C. Luvall) (2004).


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