• Lake Fryxell Facility Zone and surrounding area, Taylor Valley, Antarctica
  • False-color image from Titan Multi-Wave intensity, University of Houston
  • Dragon's Back Pressure Ridge, San Andreas Fault
  • Dune Fields near White Sands, New Mexico
  • Ancient Mayan settlement of Caracol, Belize

Welcome

COVID-19 UPDATE

Due to COVID-19, the researchers at NCALM are primarily working remotely but are still available via email at ncalm [at] egr.uh.edu. We are once again able to undertake field data acquisitions. Contact us for details.


The mission of the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) is to:

  • Provide research-quality airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) observations to the scientific community.
  • Advance the state of the art in airborne laser mapping.
  • Train and educate graduate students with knowledge of airborne mapping to meet the needs of academic institutions, government agencies, and private industry.

NCALM is based at the University of Houston and is operated in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley. The center is supported by the National Science Foundation and is associated with the multi-disciplinary Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences graduate program at the University of Houston.

News

Hu earns NASA funding award
March 31, 2021
Xie Hu, a 2020 hire as an assistant professor in the Cullen College of Engineering's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and at the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping,...
Xie Hu, a 2020 hire as an assistant professor in the Cullen College of Engineering's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and at the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping, has received a $375,000 grant from NASA for a research proposal.

Xie Hu, a 2020 hire as an assistant professor in the Cullen College of Engineering's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and at the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping, has received a $375,000 grant for her research proposal from NASA.

NCALM Announces 2020 Seed Proposal Winners
March 10, 2021
2020 Student Seed Proposal Winners Selected The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping surveys multiple projects each year for graduate student PIs whose research would be enhanced by...
 Geodetic Imaging

2020 Student Seed Proposal Winners Selected

The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping surveys multiple projects each year for graduate student PIs whose research would be enhanced by airborne lidar data. Students write and submit a two- to three-page proposal to be considered for an award (ncalm.cive.uh.edu/seed/about). The applications are reviewed by the NCALM Steering Committee, who select winners based on intellectual merit and broader impact.

NCALM would like to announce that the 2020 seed proposal winners have been awarded. Eight projects were selected to receive lidar data this year. Congratulations to the following students and their advisors:

Jordan Fields (Francis Magilligan) Dartmouth CollegeField validation of the virtual velocity approach for estimating bedload transport in gravel-bedded rivers

Kenton Fisher (Ryan Ewing) Texas A&M UniversityTopographic signatures of barrier island vulnerability

Michael Hasson (Mathieu Lapotre) Stanford UniversityMorphodyamics of an unvegetated meandering river in the McLeod Springs Wash, Nevada

Justin Higa (Seulgi Moon) University of California, Los AngelesTopographic and lithologic controls on subsurface weathering in the southern Sierra Nevada, California

Conor McMahon (Dar Roberts) University of California, Santa BarbaraRiparian vegetation mapping, classification, and historic drought response on the San Pedro River

Sarah Newcomb (Sarah Godsey) Idaho State UniversityLinking snowpack heterogeneity to subsurface storage and transmissivity in the rain-snow transition zone

Cara Piske (Adrian Harpold) University of Nevada, RenoUsing lidar to investigate forest-snow interactions in a high elevation critical zone

Sophie Rothman (Scott McCoy, Joel Scheingross) University of Nevada, RenoImpact of waterfall formation on river long profiles

Lee Approved for NOAA Grant to Forecast Inundation Extents
January 18, 2021
For University of Houston professor Hyongki Lee, living firsthand through the calamity and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 has shaped his research interests, and brought to...
Hyongki Lee, an associate professor in the Cullen College of Engineering's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, is the principal investigator for a grant that will hopefully lead to better flood forecasting.

For University of Houston professor Hyongki Lee, living firsthand through the calamity and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 has shaped his research interests, and brought to the forefront how important the need for a forecast flood extent can be...

Continue reading at Cullen College of Engineering.

Long-Time Director of NCALM, Ramesh Shrestha, Hanging Up His Lidar Wings
December 22, 2020
Dr. Ramesh Shrestha Retiring Dr. Ramesh Shrestha will retire in January 2021 after 35 years in academia – the last 17 as Director of the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping. Ramesh...
Dr. Ramesh Shrestha

Dr. Ramesh Shrestha Retiring

Dr. Ramesh Shrestha will retire in January 2021 after 35 years in academia – the last 17 as Director of the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping. Ramesh has had an immeasurable impact on the applications of lidar to both science and education. NCALM has acquired airborne data for hundreds of projects all over the globe, enabling the research of hundreds of investigators, under his leadership. Ramesh was also instrumental in the establishment of a graduate program in Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences at the University of Houston. A letter of farewell to the community from Ramesh can be found here.

Despite the retirement of our founding director, mentor, and friend, the NCALM team, now led by Craig Glennie, aims for a continued improvement of the service we provide to the broad research community, with a range of sensor and platform options and community initiatives, such as cost-distributed campaigns for Mesoamerica and Alaska. Seed proposals are currently being solicited for 2020 (ncalm.cive.uh.edu/news/ncalm-invites-graduate-students-submit-2020-seed-proposals), with a deadline of December 31, and NCALM has released a community expression of interest for projects in Alaska for Summer 2021 (ncalm.cive.uh.edu/news/call-expressions-interest-alaska-airborne-lidar-campaign). Anyone interested in airborne or remotely piloted system (sUAS) lidar for their projects should contact the new Director of NCALM at clglennie [at] uh.edu.

Call for Expressions of Interest for Alaska Airborne Lidar Campaign
December 4, 2020
Alaska Airborne Lidar Campaign for Small- and Medium-Sized Projects The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping is announcing a call for expressions of interest from researchers with...
Alaska

Alaska Airborne Lidar Campaign for Small- and Medium-Sized Projects

The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping is announcing a call for expressions of interest from researchers with small- to medium-sized projects and budgets in Alaska for Summer 2021. NCALM has received numerous inquiries from researchers with small projects in Alaska over the years. The size of these projects and their associated budgets make them economically and practically unfeasible. It is possible to survey small projects, and bring large benefits to the broader community, if several small projects are grouped together and the mobilization costs are distributed, however. Project mobilization is also aided by larger projects funded by other sources.

NCALM has initial commitments for flights near Anchorage, AK. We are looking for additional projects to complement these sites. The smallest individual project budget that will be considered is $10,000. Exact coverage will be determined based on collection density, distance to airports, neighboring projects, and other factors. Send a short description of your project, potential budget, and KMZ of your study area if you have interest in participating in a community collection campaign. Projects must be research focused and can include, but are not limited to, glaciology, geology, hydrology, and seismology.

Please contact us for more information about the campaign and forward this announcement to other researchers that may have an interest in such data collection. The more projects that are organized together, the larger the areas that can be collected for individual projects. NCALM plans to perform data collection in Summer 2021.

Contact NCALM at ncalm [at] egr.uh.edu for more information.

Notes:

    NCALM is not providing the budget or funds to perform mapping. We are organizing a campaign to optimize the funds researchers currently have or can obtain. If you are interested in pursuing cooperative work, please send NCALM a response that includes a KMZ of your study area, a one-to-two paragraph description of your research objectives, and a budget of your potentially available funds. NCALM will work with PIs to develop a plan to allow data collection in their focus area.

Deadlines:

    NCALM is requesting a preliminary commitment by May 1, 2021, so we can begin logistics and flight planning. A final commitment and confirmation of funds will be requested by June 1, 2021, so the mapping campaign can be executed during Summer 2021.