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Greg Asner – Staff scientist in Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science and professor of Earth System Science at Stanford University
Greg Asner was the first staff scientist hired by the Carnegie Institution for Science's fledgling Department of Global Ecology in 2001. Asner brought a unique approach to the discipline—he marries sophisticated satellite and airborne mapping technology with traditional gum-shoe fieldwork to develop innovative techniques to measure the Earth.
Asner has pioneered new methods for investigating tropical deforestation, degradation, ecosystem diversity, invasive species, carbon emissions, climate change, and much more. Perhaps his most innovative technology is the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO), which provides a bird’s eye view of our planet, allowing researchers to understand, in unprecedented detail, what is happening in a previously invisible ecological world. The CAO combines laser and spectral instrumentation aboard a fixed-wing aircraft to reveal an ecosystem’s chemistry, structure, biomass, and biodiversity with stunning 3-D maps allowing surveys over extensive areas in a way not possible before.
In 2007, Popular Science magazine selected Asner as one of its Brilliant Ten young scientists. In 2006, his research was designated a Science Magazine Breakthrough of the Year. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012. More info