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Barrett N. Rock
Professor Emeritus
Forestry/Botany/Remote Sensing
Joint Appointment Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
Ph.D., University of Maryland

Dr. Barrett N. Rock,Professor in the Complex Systems Research Center, received a B.A. in Botany, from the University of Vermont (1966); an M.S. in Botany, from the University of Maryland (1970); and a Ph.D. in Botany, from the University of Maryland (1972). Following receipt of his doctorate, Dr. Rock held the positions of Assistant and Associate Professor of Biology at Alfred University, Alfred, New York (1972-1981). In 1978 Dr. Rock became site botanist for the joint NASA/Geosat remote sensing study conducted at Lost River, West Virginia. From 1981-1987 he was a group leader of the Geobotanical Remote Sensing Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. In August, 1987, Dr. Rock joined the faculty at the University of New Hampshire as an Associate Professor of Forest Resources and the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS).

Dr. Rock's research and publications have focused on remote sensing of vegetation, specifically on basic and applied research dealing with biophysical properties (pigment concentrations, anatomical characteristics, and moisture conditions) of leaves and their influence on reflectance features which may be remotely detected. He has been involved in vegetation discrimination and mapping of deciduous forest species in the eastern United States, spectral characterization and mapping of arid and semi-arid vegetation in the western United States, as well as assessment of state-of-health in coniferous vegetation using remotely sensed data, with emphasis on the use of high-spectral resolution data sets for this purpose.

In 1985, Dr. Rock initiated an international cooperative field study in which field spectral data gathered from spruce and fir in decline in both the U.S. and West Germany were compared. This field study led to a Joint NASA/DFVLR Aircraft deployment of high-spectral resolution sensor systems covering sites in the Black Forest and Bavaria in 1986. In 1990, Dr. Rock became an active member of the Ad Hoc ECE/FAO Committee of Experts on the Practical Application of Satellite Data for Forest Damage Assessment, which is charged with the selection of an International Network of Study Sites, including several located in Eastern Europe. In 1992, Dr. Rock developed two pre-college outreach programs focused on involving elementary, middle and high school students and teachers in environmental assessment activities which employ spectral characterization and satellite-based remote sensing. During the 1994/5 academic year, Dr. Rock assumed the position of Senior Scientist and Assistant Director of the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program, an environmental education outreach project directed from the White House in Washington, D.C. Dr. Rock developed the hands-on science activities to be conducted by GLOBE students on an international scale (26 participating countries, involving over 2500 schools). GLOBE was patterned after ideas presented by Al Gore in Earth in the Balance.

Between 1997 and 2001, Rock coordinated a New England regional survey of climate change impacts to the region, both over the past 100 years, and those projected for the future. In 2001, he was the lead author and general editor of Preparing for a Changing Climate: New England Regional Overview of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, conducted as a major outreach component of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's National Assessment project. This New England Regional Assessment can be accessed on the Web at:

During the academic year 2001-02 Dr. Rock taught forest remote sensing courses at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, as well as continued his ongoing research in central Europe and working with K-12 students in the Czech Republic.

Publications by Rock