Matthew Clark

Professor and Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Analysis (CIGA)

Matthew Clark
Matthew Clark




Darwin 12
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I am interested in the conservation of earth's biological diversity in a time of increasing economic activity and global climate change. Investigating and finding solutions to this issue involves aspects of ecology, economics, sociology and politics. It also requires analysis at local to global spatial scales. Geography provides a framework for working at these various scales and across disciplines.

My research uses technological tools to analyze changes in land cover and use due to natural disturbance and human activities. In the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest, I used a combination of space sensors and geographic information system (GIS) spatial analysis to assess variation in forest structure and species composition in neighboring managed and natural landscapes. Increasingly, my research interests have been drawn to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), a region with immense biological richness. In a Costa Rican tropical rain forest, I have experimented with new technology, hyperspectral and lidar sensors, to map forest tree species, habitat diversity and structure.

A new era of economic globalization is broadening and intensifying LAC economic production, helping to increase development and expand the middle class. The changing economy is driving demographic shifts in rural and urban areas and altering the pattern of land use and abandonment. I am interested in using satellite remote sensors and GIS technology to track and model land cover/land use changes across the LAC region to better understand the complex, multi-scale linkages between global and local economies, human activities, and the landscape pattern, function and health of ecosystems.  The ultimate goal is to provide guidance to those organizations and stakeholders that seek to sustain biological diversity while maintaining economic development.


Ph.D. Geography. 2005. University of California, Santa Barbara USA

Dissertation: An assessment of hyperspectral and lidar remote sensing for the monitoring of tropical rain forest trees

M.S. Ecosystem Analysis and Conservation. 1998. University of Washington, Seattle USA

Thesis: An analysis of Western Olympic Peninsula forest structure using combined synthetic aperture radar and Landsat thematic mapper images

B.A.— Integrative Biology and Environmental Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1993

Academic Interests
  • Remote Sensing
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Biogeography
Selected Publications & Presentations
Clark, M.L., Ruiz,J., Fandino, M.C., López-Carr, D. (2021). Conservation priorities in terrestrial protected areas for Latin America and the Caribbean based on an ecoregional analysis of woody vegetation change, 2001–2010. Land, 10(10):1067.
López-Carr, D., Ryan, S.J., Clark, M.L. (in review). Global economic and diet transitions drove Latin American and Caribbean forest change during the first decade of the century. Pre-print:
Reily, S., Clark, M., Bentley, L.B., Matley, C., Piazza, E., Oliveras, I. (2021). The potential of multispectral imagery and 3D point clouds from unoccupied aerial systems (UAS) for monitoring forest structure and the impacts of wildfire in Mediterranean-climate forests. Remote Sensing, 13, 3810.
Okujeni, A., Jänicke, C., Cooper, S., Frantz, D., Hostert, P., Clark, M., Segl, K., van der Linden, S. (2021). Multi-season unmixing of vegetation class fractions across diverse Californian ecoregions using simulated spaceborne imaging spectroscopy data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 264, 112558.

Green, K., Tukman, M., Loudon, D., Schichtel, A., Gaffney, K., Clark, M. (2020). Sonoma County Complex Fires of 2017: Remote sensing data and modeling to support ecosystem and community resiliency. California Fish and Wildlife 2020 Special Fire Issue.

Cooper, S., Okujeni, A., Jänicke, C., Clark, M., van der Linden, S., Hostert, P. (2020). Disentangling fractional vegetation cover: regression-based unmixing of simulated spaceborne imaging spectroscopy data. Remote Sensing of Environment. 246, 111856.

Burns, P., Clark, M., Salas, L., Hancock, S., Jantz, P., Leland, D., Dubayah, R., Goetz, S. (2020). Incorporating canopy structure from simulated GEDI lidar into bird species distribution models. Environmental Research Letters. 15, 095002.

Ackerly, D.D., Kling, M.M., Clark, M.L., Papper, P., Oldfather, M.F., Flint, A.L., Flint, L.E. (2020). Topoclimates, refugia, and biotic responses to climate change. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment.

Ackerly, D.D., Kozanitas, M., Papper, P. Oldfather, M., Clark. M. (2019). Mortality and resprouting in California oak woodlands following mixed-severity fire. Pp. 23-30. Proceedings of the International Oak Society, Davis CA.

Clark, M. L. (2020). Comparison of multi-seasonal Landsat 8, Sentinel-2 and hyperspectral images for mapping forest alliances in Northern California. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 119, 228-245.

Jänicke, C., Okujeni, A., Cooper, S., Clark, M., Hostert, P., & van der Linden, S. (2020). Brightness gradient-corrected hyperspectral image mosaics for fractional vegetation cover mapping in northern California. Remote Sensing Letters, 11(1), 1-10.

Clark, M. L., Buck-Diaz, J., Evens, J. (2018). Mapping of forest alliances with simulated multi-seasonal hyperspectral imagery and machine learning classifiers. Remote Sensing of Environment, 210, 490–507.

Blundo, C., Gasparri, N. I., Malizia, A., Clark, M., Gatti, G., Campanello, P. I., ... & MacDonagh, P. (2018). Relationships among phenology, climate and biomass across subtropical forests in Argentina. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 34(2), 93-107.

Clark, M. L. (2017). Comparison of simulated hyperspectral HyspIRI and multispectral Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 imagery for multi-seasonal, regional land-cover mapping. Remote Sensing of Environment, 200, 311-325.

Guidici, D., & Clark, M. L. (2017). One-Dimensional Convolutional Neural Network Land-Cover Classification of Multi-Seasonal Hyperspectral Imagery in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Remote Sensing, 9(6), 629.

Clark, M. L., & Kilham, N. E. (2016). Mapping of land cover in northern California with simulated hyperspectral satellite imagery. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 119, 228-245.

Aide, T.M., Clark, M.L., Grau, H.R., López-Carr, D., Levy, M., Redo, D., Bonilla-Moheno, M., Riner, G. , Andrade-Núñez, M. J., & Muñiz, M. (2013). The deforestation and reforestation of Latin America and the Caribbean (2001-2010). Biotropica, 45(2), 262–271.

Álvarez-Berrios, N., Redo, D., Aide, T.M., Clark, M.L., & Grau, H.R. (2013). Land Change in the Greater Antilles between 2001 and 2010, Land, 2(2), 81-107.

Bonilla-Moheno, M., Redo, D.J., Aide, T.M., Clark, M.L., and Grau, H.R. (2013). Differences in vegetation change among land tenure regimes in Mexico: a country-wide analysis. Land Use Policy, 30(1), 355-364.

Redo, D.J., Aide, T.M., Clark, M.L.  (2013). Vegetation change in Brazil’s dryland ecoregions and the relationship to crop production and environmental factors: Cerrado, Caatinga and Mato Grosso, 2001-2009. Journal of Land Use Science, 8(2), 123-153.

Bonilla-Moheno, M., Redo, D.J., Aide, T.M., Clark, M.L., and Grau, H.R. (2013). Differences in vegetation change among land tenure regimes n Mexico: a country-wide analysis. Land Use Policy, 30(1), 355-364.

Bonilla-Moheno, M., Aide, T.M., Clark, M.L. (2012). El efecto del cambio poblacional en el de uso del suelo en México [The effect of population change on land use in Mexico], Investigación ambiental. Ciencia y política pública, 4(2), 87-100.

Clark, M.L., Aide, T.M., and Riner, G.R.  (2012). Land change for all municipalities in Latin America and the Caribbean assessed from 250-m MODIS imagery (2001-2010), Remote Sensing of Environment., 126, 84-103.       

Bonilla-Moheno, M., Aide, T.M., Clark, M.L. (2012). The influence of socioeconomic, environmental, and demographic factors on municipality-scale land-use/land-cover change in Mexico. Regional Environmental Change, 12(3), 543-557.

Clark M.L., Roberts D.A. (2012). Species-level differences in hyperspectral metrics among tropical rainforest trees as determined by a tree-based classifier. Remote Sensing, 4(6),1820-1855.

Izquierdo, A.E., Clark, M.L. (2012). Spatial analysis of conservation priorities based on ecosystem services in the Atlantic Forest region of Misiones, Argentina. Forests, 3, 764-786.

López-Carr, D., Davis, J., Jankowsk, M., Grant, L., López-Carr, A.C., Clark, M.L. (2012). Space versus place in complex human-natural systems: Spatial and multi-level models of tropical land use and cover change (LUCC) in Guatemala. Ecological Modeling, 229(24), 64-75.

Redo, D.J., Aide, T.M., Clark, M.L. and Andrade-Núñez, M.J.  (2012). The impact of internal and external policies on land change in Uruguay, 2001 to 2009.  Environmental Conservation, 39,122-131.

Redo, D.J., Grau, H.R , Aide, T.M., and Clark, M.L. (2012). Asymmetric forest transition related to the interaction of socio-economic development and forest type in Central America, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,109, 8839–8844.

Redo, D.J., Aide, T.M., Clark, M.L.  (2012). The relative importance of socio-economic and environmental variables in explaining land change in Bolivia, 2001-2010.  Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 102(4), 778-807.

Sánchez-Cuervo, A.M., Aide, T.M., Clark, M.L., Etter, A. (2012). Land cover change in Colombia: surprising forest recovery trends between 2001 and 2010. PLoS ONE, 7(8), e43943. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043943

Clark, M.L. (2011). Identification of Canopy Species in Tropical Forests Using Hyperspectral Data. In Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Vegetation, eds. Thenkabail, P.S., Lyon, J.G., and Huete, A. CRC Press/Francis & Taylor, Boca Raton, FL.

Clark, M.L., Roberts, D.A., Ewel, J.J., and Clark, D.B. (2011). Estimation of tropical rain forest aboveground biomass with small-footprint lidar and hyperspectral sensors. Remote Sens. of Env., DESDynI VEG-3D Special Issue, 115(11), 2931-2942.

Clark, M.L. and Aide, T.M. (2011). Virtual Interpretation of Earth Web-Interface Tool (VIEW-IT) for collecting land-use/land-cover reference data. Remote Sensing, 3(3), 601-620.

Clark, M.L., Aide, T.M, Grau, H.R., & Riner, G. (2010). A scalable approach to mapping annual land-cover at 250 m using MODIS time-series data: A case study in the Dry Chaco ecoregion of South America. Remote Sens. of Env., 114(11), 2816-2832.