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John Townshend

Research Professor/Emeritus Professor
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Primary Expertise: 
Environmental Science

A leading expert on deforestation, John Townshend is a Research Professor/Emeritus Professor of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. His current research focuses on the rates and causes of vegetation cover change through the use of remotely sensed data from satellites, funded primarily through NASA grants. He is also the principal investigator of the Global Land Cover Facility, which houses the largest open-access, non-governmental online collection of Landsat data in the world. 

Townsend is the author of more than 100 articles in professional journals and more than 30 book chapters.

He is chair of the advisory committee to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Division of Early Warning and Assessment for North America and serves as a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Digital Earth. He previously held a senior National Academy of Sciences fellowship at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Ph.D. Geomorphology, University College London
B.Sc. Geography, University College London