Jon Ranson is the head of the Biospheric Sciences Branch at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The branch consists of approximately 20 government scientists and over 65 affiliated university scientists and support contractors who use NASA’s technology to better understand the earth’s terrestrial ecosystems and their role in the global carbon cycle. Ranson also worked at NASA’s headquarters as acting program manager for land cover and land use change and remote sensing science.
Ranson has been involved in using remote sensing to study the earth’s vegetation since the late 1960s when he was a work study student at Colorado State University. He received a BS and a MS from Colorado State. After earning a PhD from Purdue University, he joined NASA as a physical scientist. His current research activities focus on changes in forest ecosystems in northern latitudes in response to climate change. As part of that effort, he has studied forests both on the ground and from space-borne instruments in the northern U.S., Canada, and Siberia. In addition, he is actively involved in mission concept studies bringing to bear new technologies regarding the problems of understanding natural and human-induced changes on forests and implications for climate change.
Ranson has published over 150 scientific, technical, and symposia papers and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, and the American Geophysical Union.