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Forrest Melton

Senior Research Scientist
NASA Ames Research Center - Cooperative for Research in Earth Science & Technology (ARC-CREST) &
California State University, Monterey Bay
email: forrest.s.melton at nasa dot gov
Mail Stop 232-21
Moffett Field, CA 94035
(650) 604-2787

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Bio and Research Interests

Forrest Melton is a Senior Research Scientist in the Division of Science and Environmental Policy at California State University, Monterey Bay, and the NASA Ames Cooperative for Research in Earth Science and Technology (ARC-CREST).  Since 2003, he has worked in the Ecological Forecasting Lab at NASA Ames Research Center on the development of modeling and data assimilation frameworks including the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS) and the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX).  His research interests include ecosystem and carbon cycle modeling, and applications of satellite data and ecosystem models to improve management of natural resources.  Forrest holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Earth Systems Science from Stanford University, and has authored numerous papers and book chapters on applications of remote sensing.  He is the recipient of honor awards from NASA for his contributions to TOPS and NEX, and has been recognized for his work on applications of satellite data for water management with awards from the California Department of Water Resources and the Federal Labs Consortium.


2012 - Present: Associate Program Manager for Water Resources, NASA Applied Sciences Program, NASA HQ.
2002 – Present: Sr. Research Scientist, NASA ARC-CREST / California State University, Monterey Bay. 
1999 – 2002: Software Engineering Manager, Zack Systems, Inc.
1998 – 1999: Project Manager, Marine Adv. Tech. Education Center., Monterey Peninsula College.
1996 – 1999: Lecturer & Research Assoc., Earth Systems Science & Policy, CSU Monterey Bay.


M.S.     1996, Earth Systems, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
B.S.      1994, Earth Systems, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Awards and Honors

Co-Recipient of NASA Honor Award, NASA Earth Exchange, Aug., 2013
Co-Recipient of  Federal Labs Consortium, Far West Region, Outstanding Partnership Award, Aug., 2011
Co-Recipient of NASA Honor Award, Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System Team, Aug., 2011
Co-Recipient of NASA ARC Team Honor Award, Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System Team, October 2010
California Department of Water Resources, Remote Sensing Science Service Award, Oct. 2010
Individual Recipient of NASA Ames Research Center Honor Award, October 2009

Selected Publications

Zhang, G., Ganguly, S., White, M., Nemani, R. R., Dash, J., Atkinson, P., Chockalingam, J., Melton, F., Milesi, C., Hiatt, S., Xiong, J., and R. B. Myneni, 2014. Evaluation of the MODIS Phenology Product with Ground Measurements and Inter-comparison with Existing Phenology Products from the AVHRR and MERIS Sensors for North America, Remote Sensing of Environment (accepted).

Wu, Z., Thenkabail, P., Mueller, R., Zakzeski, A., Melton, F., Johnson, L., Rosevelt, C., Dwyer, J., Jones, J., and Verdin, J.  2014.  Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, in press.

Monahan, W.B., T. Cook, F. Melton. J. Connor, B. Bobowski.  2014.  Forecasting species’ responses to climate change at management-relevant scales: Limber Pine in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Plos One, doi:    10.1371/journal.pone.0083163, available online: 

Grimm, N. B., Chapin III, F. S., Bierwagen, B., Gonzalez, P., Groffman, P. M., Luo, Y., Melton, F., Nadelhoffer, K., Pairis, A., Raymond, P., Schimel, J. & Williamson, C. E. (2013). The impacts of climate change on ecosystem structure and function. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 11(9), 474-482.

Thrasher, B., Xiong, J., Wang, W., Melton, F., Michaelis, A., and R. Nemani. 2013.  New downscaled climate projections suitable for resource management in the U.S.  Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union 94(37):321-323.

Pike, A., E. Danner, D. Boughton, F. Melton, R. Nemani, B. Rajagopalan, and S. Lindley (2013), Forecasting river temperatures in real time using a stochastic dynamics approach, Water Resour. Res., 49, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20389.

Melton, F., Johnson, L., Lund, C., Pierce, L., Michaelis, A, Guzman, A., Trout, T., Temesgen, B., Frame, K., Sheffner, E., and Nemani, R.  2012.Satellite Mapping of Crop Condition and Evapotranspiration for Irrigation Management Support with the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction Systems.  IEEE J-STARS, special issue on Interoperability Architectures and Arrangements for Multi-Disciplinary Earth Observation Systems.  IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, vol.5, no.6, pp.1709-1721, Dec. 2012, doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2012.2214474.

Danner, E., Melton, F., Pike, A., Hashimoto, H., Michaelis, A., Caldwell, J., Rajagopalan, B., Nemani, R., Dewitt, L., and S. Lindley. 2012.  River Temperature Forecasting: a Coupled-Modeling Framework for Management of River Habitat.  IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, vol.5, no.6, pp.1752-1760, Dec. 2012, doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2012.2229968.

Diuk-WAsser, M.A., Gatewood, A., Cislo, P., Brinkerhoff, R., Hamer, S., Rowland, M., Cortinas, R., Vourc’h, Gwenael, Melton, F., Hickling, G., Tsao, J., Bunikis, J., Barbour, A., Kitron, U., Piesman, J., Fish, D.  (2012). Human risk of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease agent, in eastern United States. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 86(2), 320.

Charland, K. M., Buckeridge, D. L., Hoen, A. G., Berry, J. G., Elixhauser, A., Melton, F., & Brownstein, J. S. (2012). Relationship between community prevalence of obesity and associated behavioral factors and community rates of influenza‚Äźrelated hospitalizations in the United States. Influenza and other respiratory viruses.

S. Ganguly, R.R. Nemani, G. Zhang, Y. Knyazikhin, C Milesi, A Michaelis, H. Hashimoto, W. Wang, P. Votava, A. Samanta, F. Melton, J. Dungan, E. Vermote, F. Gao, R.B. Myneni, Generating Global Leaf Area Index from Landsat: Algorithm Formulation and Demonstration, 2012, Remote Sensing of Environment, 122, 185-202.

Nemani, R., Votava, P., Michaelis, A., Melton, F., and Milesi, C. 2011.  NASA Earth Exchange:  A collaborative supercomputing environment for global change science.  EOS,13(9):109-110.

Gross, J., Hansen, A., Goetz, S., Theobald, D., Melton, F., Piekielek, N., and Nemani, R.  2011.  Remote sensing for inventory and monitoring of U.S. national parks.  In Chapter 2 in Y.Q. Yang (ed.), Remote sensing of protected areas. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL.

Hansen, A., Davis, C., Piekielek, N., Gross, J., Theobald, D., Goetz, S., Melton, F., and DeFries, R.  2011.  Delineating the ecosystems containing protected areas for monitoring and management.  Bioscience, 61(5).

Barker, C, Johnson, W, Eldridge, B, Park, Bborie, Melton, F, Reisen, W.  2010.  Temporal connections between Culex tarsalis abundance and transmission in western equine encephalomyelitis virus in California.  American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene 82(6):1185-1193. 

Diuk-Wasser, M, Vourc’h, G, Cislo, P, Gatewood, A, Melton, F, Hamer, S, Rowland, M, Cortinas, R, Hickling, G, Taso, J, Barbour, A, Kitron, U, Piesman, J, Fish, D.  2010.   Field and climate based model for predicting the density of host-seeking nymphal Ixodes scapularis, an important vector of tick-borne disease agents in the eastern U.S.  Global Ecology & Bigeography,19(4):504-514.

Hashimoto, H., Melton, F., Ichii, K., Milesi, C., Wang, W., Nemani, R.  2010.  Evaluating the impacts of climate and elevated CO2 on tropical rainforests of the western Amazon basin using ecosystem models and satellite data.  Global Change Biology, 16(1):255-271.

Nemani, R, Hashimoto, H, Votava, P, Melton, F., Wang, W, Michaelis, A, Mutch, L, Milesi, C, Hiatt, S, and White, M.  2009.  Monitoring and forecasting ecosystem dynamics using the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS).  Remote Sensing of Environment 113(7):1497-1509.

Charland KML, Buckeridge DL, Sturtevant JL, Melton F, Reis BY, Mandl KD, Brownstein JS. 2008.  Effect of environmental factors on the spatio-temporal patterns of influenza spread in the United States. Epidemiology and Infection, 137:1377-1387.
Geller, G. and Melton, F.  2008.  Looking forward:  Applying an ecological model web to assess impacts of climate change.  Biodiversity 9(3&4): 79-83.

Gatewood, A, Liebman, K, Vourc’h, G, Bunikis, J, Hamer, S, Melton, F, Tsao, J, Barbour, A, Fish, D, Diuk-Wasser, M.  2008.  Climate and tick seasonality predict Borrelia burgdorferi genotype distribution.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75(8): 2476-2483.

Nemani, R., Votava, P., Michaelis, A., White, M., Melton, F., Milesi, C., Golden, K. 2008. Terrestrial Observation & Prediction System (TOPS): Developing ecological nowcasts & forecasts by integrating surface, satellite and climate data with simulation models, in Res. and  Econ. Applications of Rem. Sensing Data Products. Aswathanarayana, U. and R. Balaji (eds.). AGU.
Turner, W., Gross, J.E., Nemani, R.R., Melton, F.  (2006).  Applying Remotely Sensed Data to National Parks Management.  Park Science 24(1): 30 -36.

Melton, F., Lobitz, B., Turner, W., Sheffner, E, and Haynes, J.  2005. Ecological models and applied science. EOS Transactions, 86(35):310.

Service and Memberships

Suomi / NPP Satellite Mission, Science Team, Applications Representative, 2011 to present

American Geophysical Union

American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing