Molly Elizabeth Brown

Molly Elizabeth Brown
University of Maryland, College Park | UMD, UMCP, University of Maryland College Park · Department of Geographical Sciences

PhD

About

194
Publications
69,565
Reads
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8,889
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2015 - present
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • Professor
October 2008 - January 2015
NASA
Position
  • Researcher
January 2008 - January 2015
NASA
Position
  • Researcher
Education
January 2000 - August 2002
August 1998 - December 1999

Publications

Publications (194)
Article
Full-text available
Carbon cycle science is at the heart of research on global climate change and its long-term impacts, as it examines the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans, land, and the impact of fossil fuel emissions on this cycling. Given the urgency of the climate challenge, NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) requires all funded investigators...
Article
Remote Sensing affords the opportunity to monitor and evaluate data scarce regions where field collection efforts are costly. A particular challenge is monitoring and evaluation in regions with smallholder agricultural systems (∼1 ha) that are often subsistence focused, vulnerable to food insecurity and data scarce. Using multi-day moderate resolut...
Article
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Underlying policy efforts to address global climate change is the scientific need to develop the methods to accurately measure and model carbon stocks and fluxes across the wide range of spatial and temporal scales in the Earth system. Initiated in 2010, the NASA Carbon Monitoring System is one of the most ambitious relevant science initiatives to...
Article
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Early warnings of the risks of pest and disease outbreaks are becoming more urgent, with substantial increases in threats to agriculture from invasive pests. With geospatial data improvements in quality and timeliness, models and analytical systems can be used to estimate potential areas at high risk of yield impacts. The development of decision su...
Article
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Acute malnutrition affects a sizeable number of young children around the world, with serious repercussions for mortality and morbidity. Among the top priorities in addressing this problem are to anticipate which children tend to be susceptible and where and when crises of high prevalence rates would be likely to arise. In this article, we highligh...
Article
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Aquaculture has the potential to sustainably meet the growing demand for animal protein. The availability of water is essential for aquaculture development, but there is no knowledge about the potential inland water resources of the Rwenzori region of Uganda. Though remote sensing is popularly utilized during studies involving various aspects of su...
Article
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Food systems are at the center of a brewing storm consisting of a rapidly changing climate, rising hunger and malnutrition and significant social inequities. At the same time, there are vast opportunities to ensure that food systems produce healthy and safe food in equitable ways that promote environmental sustainability, especially if the world ca...
Article
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Despite early warning signs about threats to food security, humanitarian interventions often lag behind these warning signs. Climate and conflict conditions are among the most important factors preceding food system failures and malnutrition crises around the world. Research shows how conflict and climate conditions can upend functional food and ec...
Article
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Substantial investment from both the private and public sectors will be needed to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2), which focuses on ending poverty and achieving zero hunger. To harness the private sector, high quality, transparent metrics are needed to ensure that every dollar spent reaches the most marginalized segments...
Article
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It is widely anticipated that climate change will negatively affect both food security and diet diversity. Diet diversity is especially critical for children as it correlates with macro and micronutrient intake important for child development. Despite these anticipated links, little empirical evidence has demonstrated a relationship between diet di...
Article
This article considers the tremendous potential for satellite remote sensing information delivered via mobile digital applications to improve decision making in emerging agricultural economies. Earth observations have been available for use in weather and other models to support decision making since the late 1970s, with the launch of the advanced...
Article
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The NASA Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) and Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) have been planned and funded by the NASA Earth Science Division. Both programs have a focus on engaging stakeholders and developing science useful for decision making. The resulting programs have funded significant scientific output and advancements in unders...
Article
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Virtually all climate monitoring and forecasting efforts concentrate on hazards rather than on impacts, while the latter are a priority for planning emergency activities and for the evaluation of mitigation strategies. Effective disaster risk management strategies need to consider the prevailing “human terrain” to predict who is at risk and how com...
Article
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We conducted text mining analyses on nearly the entirety of academic literature related to food security. Assessing the literature's spatial scope, we found a truly global body of research conducted across 187 different countries, but with significant spatial heterogeneities in where research is conducted. Comparing the spatial distribution of the...
Article
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Migration has long been used as a strategy for livelihood diversification in rural, subsistence communities. Yet in order for migration to effectively serve as a livelihood diversification strategy, it should meet certain conditions: migration should ease financial burdens, should confer access to economically valuable resources and information, an...
Article
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Children who experience poor nutrition during the first 1000 days of life are more vulnerable to illness and death in the near term, as well as to lower work capacity and productivity as adults. These problems motivate research to identify basic and underlying factors that influence risks of child malnutrition. Based on a structured search of exist...
Article
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Changing precipitation patterns caused by climate change are expected to have major impacts on food security and nutrition in agrarian areas in developing countries. However, the linkages between the duration and severity of precipitation shocks and their effects on child nutrition and household food security metrics remain underexplored. In this s...
Article
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As climate change continues, it is expected to have increasingly adverse impacts on child nutrition outcomes, and these impacts will be moderated by a variety of governmental, economic, infrastructural, and environmental factors. To date, attempts to map the vulnerability of food systems to climate change and drought have focused on mapping these f...
Article
Satellite time-series data are bolstering global change research, but their use to elucidate land changes and vegetation dynamics is sensitive to algorithmic choices. Different algorithms often give inconsistent or sometimes conflicting interpretations of the same data. This lack of consensus has adverse implications and can be mitigated via ensemb...
Article
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As the cost of satellite missions grow, government agencies are working to increase the relevance and usefulness of the Earth science data that they produce. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) early adopter program seeks to formalize partnerships with users of data early within the satellite planning process to ensure the...
Article
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A challenge in addressing climate risk in developing countries is that many regions have extremely limited formal data sets, so for these regions, people must rely on technologies like remote sensing for solutions. However, this means the necessary formal weather data to design and validate remote sensing solutions do not exist. Therefore, many pro...
Article
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Global agriculture is under pressure to meet increasing demand for food and agricultural products. There are several global assessments of crop yields, but we know little about the uncertainties of their key findings, as the assessments are driven by the single best yield dataset available when each assessment was conducted. Recently, two different...
Data
Supporting information text, table, and figures. (DOCX)
Article
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The goal of drought-related weather index insurance (WII) is to protect smallholder farmers against the risk of weather shocks and to increase their agricultural productivity. Estimates of precipitation and vegetation greenness are the two dominant satellite datasets. However, ignoring additional moisture- and energy-related processes that influenc...
Chapter
The world has experienced rapid urbanization over the past five decades, with resulting substantial changes to the food system. Strong urbanization is associated with economic growth, which allows for investment in substantial increases in energy, water, and land used in intensive agriculture required to support urban populations. Given the cost of...
Article
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Given that smallholder farmers are frequently food insecure and rely significantly on rain-fed agriculture, it is critical to examine climate variability and food insecurity. We utilize data from smallholder farmer surveys from 12 countries with 30 years of rainfall data to examine how rainfall variability and household resources are correlated wit...
Article
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Failures in either water systems or food systems, or a combination of system failures, could provide the underlying explanation for continued high levels of malnutrition in many regions. We focus on child health and offer the first spatially explicit analysis of the interaction between water source and food insecurity on children’s health in Burkin...
Article
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Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the use of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) data and imagery for time-sensitive applications such as monitoring wildfires, floods, and extreme weather events. In September 2016, NASA sponsored a workshop for data users, producers, and scientists to discuss the needs of time-sensitive science ap...
Article
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Ethiopia experiences significant climate-induced drought and stress on crop and livestock productivity, contributing to widespread food insecurity. Here, we present subseasonal crop water stress analyses that indicate degrading, growing conditions along Ethiopia’s eastern highlands, including productive and populated highland regions. These seasona...
Article
Rapidly expanding global trade in the past three decades has lifted millions out of people out of poverty. Trade has also reduced manufacturing wages in high income countries and made entire industries uncompetitive in some communities, giving rise to nationalist politics that seek to stop or reverse further trade expansion in the United States and...
Article
NASA's Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission, scheduled to launch no later than April 2018 (and currently slated for October 2017), is being developed to continue the multiyear observations of the earth's surface elevation, ice, and clouds started by ICESat. To increase the use of the satellite data after launch, the ICESat-...
Article
North Africa, the world's largest dust source, is non-uniform, consisting of a permanently arid region (Sahara), a semi-arid region (Sahel), and a relatively moist vegetated region (Savanna), each with very different rainfall patterns and surface conditions. This study aims to better understand the controlling factors that determine the variation o...
Article
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As our climate changes through time there is an ever-increasing need to quantify how and where it is changing so that mitigation strategies can be implemented. Urban areas have a disproportionate amount of warming due, in part, to the conductive properties of concrete and asphalt surfaces, surface albedo, heat capacity, lack of water, etc. that mak...
Article
Climate change and a rapidly growing human population have put ever greater strains on the global food system. Although the number of food insecure people in the world has reached a record low, changing land use and climate variability will threaten our ability to maintain this progress. Profound changes in the structure of economies around the wor...
Article
As our climate changes through time there is an ever increasing need to quantify how and where it is changing so that mitigation strategies can be implemented. Urban areas have a disproportionate amount of warming due, in part, to the conductive properties of concrete and asphalt surfaces that make up an urban environment. The NASA Climate Adaptati...
Article
Keywords: North American Carbon Program Carbon cycle Knowledge domain Knowledge visualization Communities of practice Co-authorship network analysis a b s t r a c t The North American Carbon Program (NACP) was formed to further the scientific understanding of sources, sinks, and stocks of carbon in Earth's environment. Carbon cycle science integra...
Article
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NASA provides daily satellite remote sensing observations on a wide variety of environmental parameters at the global scale, including rainfall, temperature, vegetation health, ocean productivity and soil moisture conditions. Many organizations and individuals use this data to better understand the Earth system using models and diagnose the impact...
Article
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A B S T R A C T In the context of a changing climate, there is an urgent need to better understand the impact that weather disturbances have on food affordability in the developing world. While the influence of international markets on local food markets has received considerable attention, in contrast, the potential influence of weather disturbanc...
Article
The Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) provides an international forum for the exchange of technical information on geostationary and polar-orbiting meteorological satellite systems. In 2013, the CMGS established the Socioeconomic Benefits Tiger Team (SETT) to develop a credible methodology and common terminology for articulati...
Research
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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) requested the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) to undertake a review of current and potential capabilities at regional remote sensing centers in Africa to use remote sensing (RS) applications for societal benefit. In addition, USAID requeste...
Article
The National Research Council (NRC) recently highlighted the dual role of NASA to support both science and applications in planning Earth observations. This article reports the efforts of the NASA Applied Sciences Program and NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission to integrate applications with science and engineering in prelaunch plannin...
Article
The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will provide soil moisture data with unprecedented accuracy, resolution, and coverage, enabling models to better track agricultural drought and estimate yields. In turn, this information can be used to shape policy related to food and water from commodity markets to humanitarian relief efforts. New da...
Article
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RECOVER is a site-specific decision support system that automatically brings together in a single analysis environment the information necessary for post-fire rehabilitation decision-making. After a major wildfire, law requires that the federal land management agencies certify a comprehensive plan for public safety, burned area stabilization, resou...
Article
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Previous studies have drawn attention to substantial hydrological changes taking place in mountainous watersheds where hydrology is dominated by cryospheric processes. Modelling is an important tool for understanding these changes but is particularly challenging in mountainous terrain owing to scarcity of ground observations and uncertainty of mode...
Article
Global environmental change, through anthropogenic activities and climatic changes, is promoting broad-scale alterations to energy availability across the world's ecosystems. However, spatio-temporal variation in available energy is a key driver of animals' life histories, movement patterns and abundance, thus shaping the global distribution of ind...
Article
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Climate change and degradation of ecosystem services functioning may threaten the ability of current agricultural systems to keep up with demand for adequate and inexpensive food and for clean water, waste disposal and other broader ecosystem services. Human health is likely to be affected by changes occurring across multiple geographic and time sc...
Article
Quantification of the contribution of the hydrologic components (snow, ice and rain) to river discharge in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is important for decision-making in water sensitive sectors, and for water resources management and flood risk reduction. In this area, access to and monitoring of the glaciers and their melt outflow is ch...