Associate Professor

Office: 541-737-6332

Strand Agriculture Hall

Strand Agriculture Hall 334

170 SW Waldo Place

170 SW Waldo Place
Corvallis, OR 97331

Profile Field Tabs

Brief Research Interests: 

Satellite remote sensing using time series imagery, pattern and processes of landscape change, "Landtrendr"



Geospatial analysis, remote sensing, modeling, landscape ecology, disturbance dynamics, computational methods.

Research Interests

Humans depend on landscapes to provide sustainable services, yet most landscapes are under increasing stress as they respond to both natural and anthropogenic processes of change.  Using satellite-based remote sensing as my primary tool, my goal is to develop new conceptual and analytical approaches to directly observe landscape change processes and relate those changes to driving forces. 

Current Research

My current research projects focus on:
- Developing novel algorithms to extract information from large time-series databases
- Linking field measurements with spatially- and temporally-rich image data
- Integrating remotely-sensed outputs into mechanistic biogeochemical models
- Understanding disturbance interactions in forests
- Characterizing drivers and consequences of carbon dynamics in forests

- Visualizing and representing methodological uncertainties in spatially-explicit data

I currently lead projects focusing on landscape dynamics, land cover change, and carbon dynamics. Recent collaborators include the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, as well as other universities and NASA. 


PHD.  2004.  Oregon State University. Department of Forest Science.  

MA. 1994. University of Colorado, Boulder. Department of Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology. 

BS.  1992. University of Houston. Department of Biology.  


GEOG 560:  Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Fall)

GEOG 562:  Programming for GIS (Spring)

GEOG 201:  Introduction to geospatial science and technology (Fall)

Graduate Students

Jane Darbyshire (PhD)

Tyler Harris (MS)

Paulo Murillo-Sandoval (PhD)

Visiting student: Zhongkui Shi 



Peer reviewed articles

Hais, Martin, Jan Wild, Luděk Berec, Josef Brůna, Robert Kennedy, Justin Braaten, Zdeněk Brož.  Accepted. Landsat imagery spectral trajectories – important variables for spatially predicting the risks of bark beetle disturbance. Remote Sensing.

Neeti, N., and Robert Kennedy.  Accepted.  Comparison of national level biomass maps for conterminous US:  Understanding pattern and causes of differences” Carbon Balance and Management.  

Meigs, Garrett W., Zald, Harold S. J., Campbell, John L., Keeton, William S., and Robert Kennedy. Accepted.  Do insect outbreaks reduce the severity of subsequent forest fires?  Environmental Research Letters.

Alonso, Alice, Muñoz-Carpena, Rafael, Kennedy, Robert E., and Carolina Murcia. Accepted. Wetland landscape spatial-temporal degradation dynamics using the new Google Earth Engine cloud-based platform: opportunities for non-specialists in remote sensing.  Transactions of ASABE. 

Turner, David P., Ritts, William D., Kennedy, Robert E., Gray, Andrew N., and Zhiqiang Yang. 2016. Regional carbon cycle responses to 25 years of variation inclimate and disturbance in the US Pacific Northwest. Regional Environmental Change DOI 10.1007/s10113-016-0956-9.

Tanase, Mihai, Kennedy, Robert, and Aponte, Cristina. 2015. Radar Burn Ratio for fire severity estimation at canopy level:  An example for temperate forests.  Remote Sensing of Environment 170:14-31. 

Kennedy, Robert E., Yang, Zhiqiang, Braaten, Justin, Thompson, Catharine, Antonova, Natalya, Jordan, Chris, and Nelson, Peder. 2015. Attribution of disturbance change agent from Landsat time-series in support of habitat monitoring in the Puget Sound region, USA. Remote Sensing of Environment 166:271-285.

Turner, David P., Ritts, William D., Kennedy, Robert E., Gray, Andrew N. and Yang, Zhiqiang. 2015. Effects of harvest, fire, and pest/pathogen disturbances on the West Cascades ecoregion carbon balance. Carbon Balance and Management 10:12 DOI 10.1186/s13021-015-0022-9.

Meigs, G.W., Campbell, J.L., Zald, H.S.J., Bailey, J.D., Shaw, D.C., and R.E. Kennedy 2015. Does wildfire likelihood increase following insect outbreaks in conifer forests? Ecosphere 6(7):118.

Bartz, K.K., Ford, M.J., Beechie, T.J., Fresh, K.L., Pess, G.R., Kennedy, R.E., Rowse, M.L., and M. Sheer. 2015.  Trends in developed land cover adjacent to habitate for threatened salmon in Puget Sound, Washington, U.S.A. PLoS One 10(4): e0124415. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124415.

McDowell, N.G., Coops, N.C., Beck, P.S.A., Chambers, J.Q., Gangodagamage, C., Hicke, J.A., Huang, C.Y., Kennedy, R., Krofcheck, D.J., Litvak, M., Meddens, A.J.H., Muss, J., Negron-Juarez, R., Peng, C.H., Schwantes, A.M., Swenson, J.J., Vernon, L.J., Williams, A.P., Xu, C.G., Zhao, M.S., Running, S.W., & Allen, C.D. 2015. Global satellite monitoring of climate-induced vegetation disturbances. Trends in Plant Science, 20, 114-123.

Meigs, G.W., Kennedy, R.E., Gray, A.N., & Gregory, M.J. 2015. Spatiotemporal dynamics of recent mountain pine beetle and western spruce budworm outbreaks across the Pacific Northwest Region, USA. Forest Ecology and Management, 339, 71-86.

Yin, H., Pflugmacher, D., Kennedy, R.E., Sulla-Menashe, D., & Hostert, P. 2014. Mapping Annual Land Use and Land Cover Changes Using MODIS Time Series. Ieee Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 7, 3421-3427.

Bright, B.C., Hudak, A.T., Kennedy, R.E., & Meddens, A.J.H. 2014. Landsat Time Series and Lidar as Predictors of Live and Dead Basal Area Across Five Bark Beetle-Affected Forests. Ieee Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 7, 3440-3452.

Park, Taejin, Kennedy, Robert, Choi, Sungo, Wu, Jianwei, Lefsky, Michael A., Myneni, Ranga B., and Knyazikhin, Yuri.  (In press).  Application of physically-based slope correction for maximum forest canopy height estimation using waveform lidar across different footprint sizes and locations. Remote Sensing.

Kennedy, Robert E., Andréfouët, Serge, Gómez, Cristina, Griffiths, Patrick, Hais, Martin, Healey, Sean, Helmer, E. H., Hostert, Patrick, Lyons, Mitchell, Meigs, Garrett W., Pflugmacher, Dirk, Phinn, Stuart, Powell, Scott, Scarth, Peter F., Sen, Susmita, Schroeder, Todd A., Schneider, Anne-Marie, Sonnenschein, Ruth, Vogelmann, James E., Wulder, Michael A., & Zhu, Zhe 2014. Bringing an ecological view of change to Landsat-based remote sensing. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, DOI:10.1890/130066.

Roy, D.P., Wulder, M.A., Loveland, T.R., Woodcock, C.E., Allen, R.G., Anderson, M.C., Helder, D., Irons, J.R., Johnson, D.M., Kennedy, R., Scambos, T.A., Schaaf, C. B., Schott, J.R., Sheng, Y., Vermote, E.F., Belward, A.S., Bindschadler, R., Cohen, W.B., Gao, F., Hipple, J.D., Hostert, P., Huntington, J., Justice, C.O., Kilic, A., Kovalskyy, V., Lee, Z. P., Lymburner, L., Masek, J.G., McCorkel, J., Shuai, Y., Trezza, R., Vogelmann, J., Wynne, R.H., Zhu, Z. (In Press). Landsat-8: science and product vision for terrestrial global change research. Remote Sensing of Environment.

Main-Knorn, Magdalena, Cohen, Warren, Kennedy, Robert E, Grodzki, Wojciech, Pflugmacher, Dirk, Griffiths, Patrick, & Hostert, Patric. 2013. Monitoring coniferous forest biomass change using a Landsat trajectory-based approach. Remote Sensing of Environment 139:277-290.

Powell, Scott L., Cohen, Warren B, Kennedy, Robert E, Healey, Sean P., & Huang, Chengquan. 2013. Empirical observation of trends in biomass loss due to disturbance in the conterminous U.S.:1986-2004. EcosystemsDOI: 10.1007/s10021-013-9713-9.

Sulla-Menashe, Damien, Kennedy, Robert E., Yang, Zhiqiang, Braaten, Justin, Krankina, Olga N., & Friedl, Mark A. (In press). Detecting forest disturbance in the Pacific Northwest from MODIS time-series using temporal segmentation. Remote Sensing of Environment

Masek, Jeffrey G, Goward, Samuel N, Kennedy, Robert E, Cohen, Warren B, Moisen, Gretchen G, Schleeweis, Karen, & Huang, Chengquan. 2013. United States Forest Disturbance Trends Observed Using Landsat Time Series. Ecosystems, 10.1007/s10021-013-9669-9, 1-18

Kennedy, Robert.E., Yang, Zhiqiang, Cohen, Warren B., Pfaff, Eric, Braaten, Justin, & Nelson, Peder. 2012. “Spatial and temporal patterns of forest disturbance and regrowth within the area of the Northwest Forest Plan.” Remote Sensing of Environment 122:117-133.

Pflugmacher, Dirk L., Cohen, Warren B., & Kennedy, Robert E. 2012. “Using Landsat-derived disturbance history (1972-2010) to predict current forest structure.” Remote Sensing of Environment 122:146-165.

Ohmann, Janet L., Gregory, Matthew J., Roberts, Heather M., Cohen, Warren B., Kennedy, Robert E., & Yang, Zhiqiang. 2012.  “Mapping change of older forest with nearest-neighbor imputation and Landsat time series.”  Forest Ecology and Management 272:13-25.

Campbell, John L., Kennedy, Robert E, and Warren B Cohen. 2012.  “Assessing the carbon consequences of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) encroachment.” Rangeland ecology and management 65(3): 223-231. 

Kennedy, Robert E. 2012. “New views on changing arctic vegetation.” Environmental Research Letters, 7: 011001.

Griffiths, Patrick, Kuemmerle, Tobias, Kennedy, Robert E., Abrudan, Ioan V., Knorn, Jan, & Hostert, Patrick. 2012. “Using annual time-series of Landsat images to assess the effects of forest restitution in post-socialist Romania.” Remote Sensing of Environment, 118: 199-214.

Meigs, Garrett W., Kennedy, Robert E., & Cohen, Warren B. 2011. “A Landsat time series approach to characterize bark beetle and defoliator impacts on tree mortality and surface fuels in conifer forests.”  Remote Sensing of Environment. 115:3707-3718.

Pflugmacher, Dirk, Krankina, Olga N., Cohen, Warren B., Fried, Mark A., Sulla-Menashe, Damien,  Kennedy, Robert E., Nelson, Peder, Loboda, Tatiana V., Kuemmerle, Tobias, Dyukarev, Egor, Elsakov, Vladimir, & Kharuk, Viacheslav I. 2011. “Comparison and assessment of coarse resolution land cover maps for Northern Eurasia.” Remote Sensing of Environment 115: 3539-3553.

Turner, David P., Ritts, W. David, Yang, Zhiqiang, Kennedy, Robert E., Cohen, Warren B., Duane, Maureen V., Thornton, Peter E., & Law, Beverly E. 2011. “Decadal trends in net ecosystem production and net ecosystem carbon balance for a regional socioecological system.” Forest Ecology and Management, 262: 1318-1325.

Turner, David P., Göckede, Matthias, Law, Beverly E., Ritts, W. David, Cohen, Warren B., Yang, Zhiqiang, Hudiburg, Tara, Kennedy, Robert E., & Duane, Maureen. 2011. “Multiple constraint analysis of regional land-surface carbon flux.” Tellus Series B-Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 63: 207-221.

 Kennedy, Robert E., Yang, Zhigiang, & Cohen, Warren B. 2010. “Detecting trends in forest disturbance and recovery using yearly Landsat time series:  1. LandTrendr - Temporal segmentation algorithms.” Remote Sensing of Environment 114: 2897-2910.

Cohen, Warren B.,Yang, Zhiqiang, & Kennedy, Robert E. 2010. “Detecting trends in forest disturbance and recovery using yearly Landsat time series: 2. TimeSync - Tools for calibration and validation.” Remote Sensing of Environment 114:2911-2924.

Powell, S.L., Cohen, Warren B., Healey, Sean P., Kennedy, Robert E., Moisen, Gretchen G., Pierce, Kenneth B., & Ohmann, J.L. 2010. “Quantification of live aboveground forest biomass dynamics with Landsat time-series and field inventory data: A comparison of empirical modeling approaches.” Remote Sensing of Environment, 114, 1053-1068.

Kennedy, Robert E., Townsend, Philip A., Gross, John, Cohen, Warren B., Bolstad, Paul, Wang, Y.Q., & Phyllis Adams. 2009. “Remote Sensing Change Detection Tools for Natural Resource Managers: Understanding concepts and tradeoffs in the design of landscape monitoring projects.” Remote Sensing of Environment 113:1382-1396.

Pflugmacher, Dirk, Cohen, Warren, Kennedy, Robert E., & Lefsky, Michael. 2008. “Regional applicability of forest height and aboveground biomass models for the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System.”  Forest Science 54:647-657.

Goward, Samuel N., Masek, Jeffrey G., Cohen, Warren B., Collatz, G. Jim, Healey, Sean, Houghton, Richard A., Huang, Chengquan, Kennedy, Robert, Law, Beverly, Powell, Scott, Turner, David, & Wulder, Michael A. 2008. “Forest disturbance and north American carbon Flux.” EOS 89:105-106.

Kennedy, Robert E.,  Cohen, Warren B. & Schroeder, T. A. 2007. “Trajectory-based change detection for automated characterization of forest disturbance dynamics. Remote Sensing of Environment 110:370-386.

Cohen, Warren B., Maiersperger, Thomas K., Turner, David P., Ritts, W. David, Pflugmacher, Dirk, Kennedy, Robert E., Kirschbaum, Alan A. Running, Steven W., Costa, Martin, & Gower, S. Thomas. 2006. “MODIS land cover and LAI collection 4 product quality across nine sites in the western hemisphere.” IEEE Transaction on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 44, 1843-1857.

Kennedy, Robert E., Turner, David P., Cohen, Warren B., & Guzy, Michael. 2006. “A method for efficient spatial modeling of biogeochemical models.” Landscape Ecology 21: 213-224.  

Lee, Kyu-Sung, Cohen, Warren B., Kennedy, Robert E., Maiersperger, Thomas K., & Gower, S. Thomas. 2004. “Hyperspectral versus multispectral data for estimating leaf area index in four different biomes.” Remote Sensing of Environment 91:508-520.

Kennedy, Robert E., & Warren B. Cohen. 2003. “Automated designation of image tie-points for multiple-image coregistration.” International Journal of Remote Sensing,24(17): 3467-3490.

Parmenter, Andrea. W., Hansen, Andy, Kennedy, Robert E., Cohen, Warren B., Langner, Ute, Lawrence, Rick, Maxwell, Bruce, Gallant, Alisa, & Richard Aspinall. 2003. “Greater Yellowstone Land Cover Change.” Ecological Applications 13(3): 687-703.

Morisette, Jeffrey T., Nickeson, Jaime E., Davis, Paul, Wang, Yuije, Tian, Yuhong, Woodcock, Curtis E., Shabanov, Nikolay, Hansen, Matthew, Cohen, Warren B., Oetter, Doug R., & Kennedy, Robert E. 2003. “High spatial resolution satellite observations for validation of MODIS land products: IKONOS observations acquired under the NASA Scientific Data Purchase.” Remote Sensing of Environment 88:100-110.

Kennedy, Robert E., Cohen, Warren B., & Gen Takao. 1997. “Empirical methods to compensate for a view-angle-dependent brightness gradient in AVIRIS imagery,” Remote Sensing of Environment 62:277-291.


Peer reviewed reports

Moeur, Melinda, Ohmann, Janet L., Kennedy, Robert E., Cohen, Warren B., Gregory, Matthew J., Yang, Zhiqiang, Roberts, Heather, Spies, Thomas A., & Fiorella, Maria (2011). Northwest Forest Plan–the first 15 years (1994–2008): status and trends of late-successional and old-growth forests. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-853. Portland, OR: F.S. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Kennedy, Robert E., Cohen, Warren B., Kirschbaum, Alan A., & Haunreiter, Erik. 2007. Protocol for Landsat-based Monitoring of Landscape Dynamics at  North Coast and Cascades Network Parks. In, U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, USGS Biological Resources Division.


Scientific Visualizations

“The Secret Life of Forests”:  Writer: Ellen Gray. Animators:  Greg Shirah, Alex Kekesi, Horace Mitchell.  Producer and video editor: Matthew R. Radcliff.  Narrator:  Robert Kennedy.  Scientists:  Robert Kennedy, Zhigiang Yang, Justin Braaten.   Published 12/11/2012.


Book chapters

Kennedy, Robert E., Yang, Zhiqiang, Braaten, Justin, Nelson, Peder, & Cohen, Warren B. 2011. “Monitoring landscape dynamics of national parks in the western United States.” Chapter 3 In Remote sensing of protected lands. Editor:  Y.Q. Wang. CRC Press.

Healey, Sean P., Cohen, Warren B., Yang, Zhiqiang, & Kennedy, Robert E. 2007. “Remotely sensed data in the mapping of forest harvest patterns.” In M.A. Wulder & S.E. Franklin (Eds.), Understanding forest disturbance and spatial pattern: remote sensing and GIS approaches. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.