Dr. Robert H. Fraser

Research Scientist

Research in the application of satellite remote sensing to environmental and natural resource issues

Current research and/or projects

Detecting land cover change and its impact in Canada using optical satellite imagery and other geospatial data 

  • Earth Observation (EO) applications for forest fire monitoring and mapping http://cwfis.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/en_CA/fm3maps/tri
  • Land cover change detection at regional to national scales
  • Ecological applications of EO—including methods for monitoring ecological integrity of Canada’s national parks
  • Northern vegetation mapping and monitoring


Education and awards

B.Sc. (Honours – Biology), 1993, University of Ottawa

M.F.S. (Environmental Science), 1995, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University

Ph.D. (Water Resources / GIS), 1999, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University

Earth Sciences Sector Merit Award (2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008)

Canadian Forest Service Merit Award, 2006 (NRCan Forest Fire Emissions Reporting System Team)

Department of Natural Resources Merit Award, 1999

Government of Canada - Head of the Public Service Award, 1998 (Fire Project Team)

NASA Graduate Student Fellowship in Earth System Science (1995-1998)

Key publications

Fraser, R.H., Olthof, I., Carriere, M., Deschamps, A., and Pouliot, D. 2011. A Method for Trend-based Change Analysis in Arctic Tundra using the 25-year Landsat Archive. Accepted for Polar Record.

Fraser, R.H., Olthof, I., and Pouliot, D. 2009. Monitoring land cover change and ecological integrity in Canada's national parks. Remote Sensing of Environment,113:1397–1409.

Olthof, I., and R.H. Fraser. 2007. Mapping northern land cover fractions using Landsat ETM+. Remote Sensing of Environment, 107: 496-509.

Fraser, R.H., and Latifovic, R. 2005. Mapping insect-induced tree defoliation and mortality using coarse spatial resolution imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26:193-200.

Fraser, R.H., A. Abuelgasim, and R. Latifovic. 2005. A method for detecting large-scale forest cover change using coarse spatial resolution imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment, 95:414-427.

Tansey, K., Grégoire J-M., Binaghi, E., Boschetti, L., Brivio, P., Ershov, D., Flasse, S., Fraser, R., Graetz, D., Maggi, M., Peduzzi, P., Pereira, J., Silva, J., Sousa, A., and Stroppiana, D. 2004. A global inventory of burned areas at 1 km resolution for the year 2000 derived from Spot Vegetation data.  Climatic Change, 67:345-377.

Fraser, R.H., Hall, R.J., Landry, R., Lynham, T., Lee, B., and Li, Z. 2004. Validation and calibration of Canada-wide coarse-resolution satellite burned area maps. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, 70:451-460.

Fraser, R.H., and Li, Z. 2002. Estimating fire-related parameters in boreal forest using SPOT VEGETATION. Remote Sensing of Environment, 82:95-110.

Fraser, R.H., Li, Z., and Cihlar, J. 2000. Hotspot and NDVI differencing synergy (HANDS): a new technique for burned area mapping over boreal forest. Remote Sensing of Environment, 74(3):362-376.