NTSG Personnel

Jennifer Watts

Research Scientist


Personal Summary

I study carbon cycle dynamics, surface hydrology, and changes in permafrost affected landscapes across Arctic-Boreal regions. My research interests include using satellite remote sensing data to inform terrestrial carbon (CO2, CH4) flux modeling, using information from eddy covariance to improve carbon emission models, and better understanding biogeophysical processes regulating greenhouse gas emissions in northern landscapes. When not in the office, I am usually somewhere in the mountains – backpacking, skiing, or mountain biking.



PhD (2017) Systems Ecology, University of Montana 

MS (2008) Land Resources and Environmental Sciences-Land Rehabilitation, Montana State University

BS (2006) Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University

Teaching Experience

Please contact me if you are an undergraduate interested in pursuing research in Arctic ecology and applied remote sensing.


The NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) https://above.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/above/inv_pgp.pl?pgid=3377


 Zona D, B Gioli, R Commane, J Lindaas, S C Wofsy, C E Miller, S J Dinardo, S Dengel, C  Sweeney, A Karion, R Y-W Chang, J M Henderson, P C Murphy, J P Goodrich,  V Moreaux, A      Liljedahl, J D Watts, J S Kimball, D A Lipson, W C Oechel (2016) Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 113: 40-45

  Davidson S J, M J Santos, V L Sloan, J D Watts, G K Phoenix, W C Oechel, D Zona. (2016) Remote sensing of arctic tundra vegetation communities along a latitudinal gradient in North      Alaska, USA. Remote Sensing 8: 1-14

Du J, J S Kimball, L A Jones, and J D Watts (2016) Implementation of satellite based fractional water cover indices in the pan-Arctic region using AMSR-E and MODIS. Remote   Sens.  Environ.  184, 469-481

Du J., J S Kimball, C Duguay, Y Kim, J D Watts (In Press) Satellite microwave assessment of northern hemisphere lake ice phenology from 2002 to 2015.  Cryosphere.

Hursh A, A Ballantyne, L Cooper, M Maneta, J S Kimball, J D Watts (2016) The sensitivity of soil   respiration to soil temperature, moisture, and carbon supply at the global scale.       Global Change  Biology. Doi:10.1111/gcb.13489

   Watts J D, Kimball J S, Bartsch A, and McDonald K C (2014) Surface water inundation in the boreal-Arctic: potential impacts on regional methane emissions. Environ. Res. Lett. 9: 1-13

  Watts J D, Kimball J S, Parmentier F J W, Sachs T, Rinne J, Zona D, Oechel W, Tagesson T, Jackowicz-Korczyński M, and Aurela A (2014) A satellite data driven biophysical modeling    approach for estimating northern peatland and tundra CO2 and CH4 fluxes.  Biogeosciences 11: 1961-1980

  Watts J D, Kimball J S, Jones L A, Schroeder R, and McDonald K C (2012) Satellite microwave remote sensing of contrasting surface water inundation changes within theArctic-Boreal      region.  Remote Sens. Environ. 127: 223-236

 Watts J D, Powell S, Lawrence R L, and Hilker T (2011) Improved classification of conservation tillage adoption using high temporal and synthetic satellite imagery. Remote Sens. Environ.  115: 66-75

 Watts J D, Lawrence R L, Miller P, and Montange C (2011) An analysis of cropland carbon sequestration estimates for North Central Montana. Climatic Change 108: 301- 331

 Watts J D, Lawrence R L, Miller P, and Montange C (2009) Monitoring of cropland practices for carbon sequestration purposes in north central Montana by Landsat remote sensing. Remote  Sens. Environ. 113: 1843-1852


Professional Experience

Topic Areas

Carbon Cycles (CO2, CH4)
Satellite-based Monitoring of Terrestrial Surfaces
Arctic-Boreal Ecosystems
Applied Passive Microwave Remote Sensing
Surface Hydrology; Flooding; Inundation
Permafrost Regions
Climate Change Impacts in Alaska & Canada
Science (STEM) Education in Rural Alaskan Villages 


NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship (2003-2016)
PEO International Scholar Award (2015); http://www.cas.umt.edu/geography/news-events.php
AmeriFlux Training Award (2015)

International Experience

2017  –  International Methane Budgets workshop (ARCUS/NASA sponsored).  Seattle, Washington.  

2016  –  Alaska Science Communication workshop participant (NSF sponsored).  Sitka Sound Science Center, Sitka, Alaska.  

2016  –  Session Chair;  XI International Conference on Permafrost. Potsdam, DE, June 17-24

2016  –  Selected participant in the ARCUS (Arctic Research Consortium of the United States) Make an Impact: The Arctic in the Classroom workshop, Fairbanks, Alaska

2015  –  FluxCourse Training Program, University of Colorado. 

2015  –  Arctic Permafrost Training Program, North Central Siberia, Russia

2014  –  Greenhouse Gas Data Workshop, Observatoire de Haute-Provence, France. Hosted by the International Carbon Observing Program (ICOS) and the US National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).  This workshop included training for science project management and budgeting.

2014  –  Summer Field Campaign, North Slope, Alaska. CO2 and CH4 carbon flux measurements at NASA SMAP partner Cal./Val. and Amerflux tower eddy covariance sites using a LGR Ultraportable Greenhouse Gas Analyzer and collection of ancillary field data including vegetation spectral (visible and infrared) profiles, leaf area index (LAI), soil thermal/moisture profiles.  Participation with San Diego State University and the University of Sheffield, UK. 

2013  –  Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) Network, Alaska.  Thaw Depth Measurement Team. Participation with George Washington University.

2012  –  NASA SMAP-VEX12 Field Campaign, Winnipeg, CN. Cropland and Forest Science Team.

2012  –   LI-COR Eddy Covariance Training Workshop.  Berkeley, CA.

2011  –  Arctic Climate System Modeling Summer Program. International Arctic Research Center (IARC), Fairbanks, Alaska.