Meet Dr. Wenge Ni-Meister

Dr. Wenge Ni-Meister is a Professor of Geography and Environmental Science at Hunter College of The City University of New York, specializing in remote sensing and fusion of remote sensing with terrestrial ecosystem and land surface process models. Prior to joining Hunter, she worked as a research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), where she fused satellite-observed soil moisture with land surface models through data assimilation to improve seasonal climate forecasting.

Ni-Meister’s current research focuses on using satellite data and terrestrial ecosystem models to advance our understanding of terrestrial ecosystem structure and the carbon, energy, and water balance and their response to natural or human-induced climate changes. She developed a canopy radiative transfer scheme called GORT that is specialized for modeling heterogeneous vegetation canopies. She and her team also developed a GORT-based demographic global dynamic vegetation model – the Ent Terrestrial Biosphere Model (Ent TBM), which is coupled to the NASA GISS Earth System Model (ESM).

As a member of NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission science team, Ni-Meister is currently working on integrating GEDI vegetation structure measurements with the NASA GISS ESM’s demographic dynamic global vegetation model to advance the predictions of global carbon flux and stock. She has also developed a GORT-based lidar model that serves as the theoretical basis for the current GEDI L2B vertical foliage profile and canopy cover fraction products.

Ni-Meister has used GORT to assess the role of clumped and heterogeneous vegetation structures on surface energy and water balance, the timing of snowmelt, and snow albedo feedback (SAF) due to climate change in northern high latitude regions. Overall, her work involves the use of remote sensing data and modeling techniques to gain a better understanding of ecological processes and the impacts of climate change on the environment.

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Dr. Wenge Ni-Meister

Geography Department, Hunter College of The City University of New York, 695 Park Ave., New York, NY10065

Phone: 212-772-5321