Robert H. Fraser

Image Fraser, Robert
Research Scientist

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

Current research and/or projects

Detecting land surface changes and their impacts in Canada using optical imagery and other geospatial data 

  • Mapping Arctic vegetation changes and disturbances resulting from permafrost thaw
  • Ecological applications of EO including beaver engineering
  • Use of drones for Arctic mapping and calibrating satellite-based products

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

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


Key publications

RH Fraser, I Olthof, D Berezanski. 2024. Large multi-decade beaver ponding changes in the subarctic Hudson Bay Lowlands, Canada observed using satellite remote sensing. Environmental Research Letters, 19 044061.

RH Fraser, S Leblanc, C Prevost, J van der Sluijs. 2022. Towards Precise Drone-based Measurement of Elevation Change in Permafrost Terrain Experiencing Thaw and Thermokarst. Drone Systems and Applications 10(1), 406-426.

RH Fraser, D Pouliot, J van der Sluijs. 2022. UAV and High Resolution Satellite Mapping of Forage Lichen (Cladonia spp.) in a Rocky Canadian Shield Landscape. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing 48 (1), 5-18.

RH Fraser, SV Kokelj, TC Lantz, M McFarlane-Winchester, I Olthof, D Lacelle. 2018. Climate sensitivity of high Arctic permafrost terrain demonstrated by widespread ice-wedge thermokarst on Banks Island. Remote Sensing 10 (6), 954.

RH Fraser, J Van der Sluijs, RJ Hall. 2017. Calibrating satellite-based indices of burn severity from UAV-derived metrics of a burned boreal forest in NWT, Canada. Remote Sensing 9 (3), 279.

RH Fraser, I Olthof, TC Lantz, C Schmitt. 2016. UAV photogrammetry for mapping vegetation in the low-Arctic. Arctic Science 2 (3), 79-102.

I Olthof, RH Fraser, C Schmitt. 2015. Landsat-based mapping of thermokarst lake dynamics on the Tuktoyaktuk Coastal Plain, Northwest Territories, Canada since 1985. Remote Sensing of Environment 168:194-204.

RH Fraser, TC Lantz, I Olthof, SV Kokelj, RA Sims. 2014. Warming-Induced Shrub Expansion and Lichen Decline in the Western Canadian Arctic. Ecosystems 07/2014; 17(7).

RH Fraser, I Olthof, SV Kokelj, TC Lantz, D Lacelle, A Brooker, S Wolfe, S Schwarz. 2014. Detecting Landscape Changes in High Latitude Environments Using Landsat Trend Analysis: 1. Visualization. Remote Sensing 10/2014; 6:11533-11557.

RH Fraser, D McLennan, S Ponomarenko, I Olthof. 2012. Image-based predictive ecosystem mapping in Canadian Arctic parks. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 14(1):129-138.

RH Fraser, I Olthof, M Carrière, A Deschamps, D Pouliot. 2011. Detecting long-term changes to vegetation in northern Canada using the Landsat satellite image archive. Environmental Research Letters 10/2011; 6(4):045502.

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

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

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

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

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

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