• 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


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

New NCALM lidar data over Yosemite National Park, California
April 26, 2021
OpenTopography is pleased to announce the release of a new lidar dataset covering approximately 74 sq km covering the Illilouette Creek basin in Yosemite National Park, California. This...
Lidar point cloud colored by elevation over a meadow in Yosemite Valley, California.

OpenTopography is pleased to announce the release of a new lidar dataset covering approximately 74 sq km covering the Illilouette Creek basin in Yosemite National Park, California. This dataset was collected for Dr. Sally Thompson at the University of California, Berkeley in order to assess the occurrence and characteristics of post-fire erosion gullies caused by the Empire Fire in the Illilouette Creek basin...

Continue reading at OpenTopography.

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.