Michael Palace

Michael Palace

Earth Sciences
Phone: (603) 862-4193
Office: Earth Systems Research Center, Morse Hall, Durham, NH 03824

I am an environmental scientist focusing on the terrestrial carbon cycle, vegetation dynamics, landscape ecology, and snow characterization using field measurements, remote sensing, and geospatial science. My research ranges from field studies of vegetation structure to the use of satellite imagery in an effort to predict disease, understand forest dynamics, and find and interpret past human settlement patterns. At UNH, I am the coordinator for the Environmental Science interdisciplinary undergraduate major, and presently lead the Graduate Geospatial Science Certificate Program. I am or have been a Principal Investigator on ten major remote sensing projects, seven completed and three active. My research has received external funding from NASA, NSF, USAID, USDA, USGS, and DOD. I am actively developing an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) center and have deployed UAS systems for five different field projects around the globe. As a previous affiliate faculty at the University of Brasilia, I have aided and hosted visiting Brazilian PhD students. I am a former TEDx speaker, where my talked focused on the creative aspects of science the interdisciplinary aspects of scientific studies. At UNH, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in geospatial science, remote sensing, environmental science, and tropical ecology. I have been active member in the scientific community, leading sessions at conferences, reviewing papers for multiple journals, and serving on review panels for NASA, NSF, and DOE. I also served on NASA Data Review Panels and DOE planning campaigns. Production of electronic music and audio field recording, as a semi-professional, is a focus of my creative outlet. I have numerous albums under the pseudonym “horchata” and have made many field recordings during my trips to Amazonia and other locations. Recently, I have been using modified image sensors to track the body movements of dancers in real-time and in three dimensions, while converting the data to sound and music.

Courses Taught

  • ESCI 451: Earth in Film/Honors
  • ESCI 777/877: Earth/Envi Sciences GIS
  • ESCI 778/878: Earth/Envi Sci Remote Sensing
  • ESCI 796: Top/Geospatial Disease Climate
  • ESCI 878: Earth/Envi Sci Remote Sensing
  • ESCI 896: Top/Geospatial NetworkAnalysis
  • ESCI/GSS 777/877/807: Earth/Envi Sciences GIS
  • INCO 790: Advanced Research Experience


  • Ph.D., Natural Resources Management, University of New Hampshire
  • M.S., Environmental Science, University of Virginia
  • B.A., Archaelogy/Envir Sci, University of Virginia

Research Interests

  • Earth/Terrestrial Remote Sensing
  • Remote Sensing
  • Tropical Forestry

Selected Publications

  • Varner, R. K., Crill, P. M., Frolking, S., McCalley, C. K., Burke, S. A., Chanton, J. P., . . . Coordinators, I. P. (2022). Permafrost thaw driven changes in hydrology and vegetation cover increase trace gas emissions and climate forcing in Stordalen Mire from 1970 to 2014. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY A-MATHEMATICAL PHYSICAL AND ENGINEERING SCIENCES, 380(2215). doi:10.1098/rsta.2021.0022

  • Palace, M., Herrick, C., DelGreco, J., Finnell, D., Garnello, A. J., McCalley, C., . . . Varner, R. K. (2018). Determining Subarctic Peatland Vegetation Using an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). REMOTE SENSING, 10(9). doi:10.3390/rs10091498