Personal Chair
Telephone: (01792) 295234
Room: Academic Office - 242
Second Floor
Wallace Building
Singleton Campus

2011 - Professor in Dept. of Geography, Swansea University
2009 - 2011 Reader in Dept. of Geography, Swansea University
2000 - 2009 Lecturer/Senior lecturer in Dept. of Geography, Swansea University
1995 - 2000 Higher Scientific Officer, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH)
1992 - 1995 Research Fellow at NERC Environmental Systems Science Centre (ESSC)

Research interests
My interest is the use of global satellite remote sensing to improve understanding of climate change, forest resources and in particular the role of land/atmosphere interactions. I have developed a widely used model of light transport for the optical domain (FLIGHT), based on Monte Carlo solution of radiative transfer (North, IEEE 1996). This is used to model vegetation photosynthesis and light use efficiency, to relate satellite-measured spectra to land surface properties, and has recently been extended to model light detection and ranging (LiDAR) (North et al., 2010, Morton et al., 2014). The forcing by atmospheric aerosols is currently a key uncertainty in climate change models, and in accurate measurement of the Earth's reflectance. I have developed a method for simultaneous estimation of atmospheric aerosol loading and surface reflectance, applicable to multi-angle imaging sensors (North, 2002, Bevan et al., 2012). The method has now been operationalised for the European Space Agency instruments ATSR-2 and AATSR under the ESA Climate CHange Initiative, and is under development for application to the GMES Sentinel-3 Mission, to be launched in 2015.

Areas of Expertise

  • Satellite remote sensing of land and atmosphere
  • Modelling of land surface interation with the atmosphere


  1. Sogacheva, L., Popp, T., Sayer, A., Dubovik, O., Garay, M., Heckel, A., Hsu, N., Jethva, H., Kahn, R., Kolmonen, P., Kosmale, M., Leeuw, G., Levy, R., Litvinov, P., Lyapustin, A., North, P., Torres, O., Arola, A. Merging regional and global aerosol optical depth records from major available satellite products Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 20 4 2031 2056
  2. Chen, B., Pang, Y., Li, Z., Lu, H., Liu, L., North, P., Rosette, J., North, P., Rosette, J. Ground and Top of Canopy Extraction From Photon-Counting LiDAR Data Using Local Outlier Factor With Ellipse Searching Area IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 16 9 1447 1451
  3. Hernandez-Clemente, R., North, P., Hornero, A., Zarco-Tejada, P. Monitoring Forest Health with Sun-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence Observations and 3-D Radiative Transfer Modeling IGARSS 2018 - 2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 5999 6002
  4. Chen, B., Pang, Y., Li, Z., North, P., Rosette, J., Sun, G., Suárez, J., Bye, I., Lu, H., Suarez-Minguez, J. Potential of Forest Parameter Estimation Using Metrics from Photon Counting LiDAR Data in Howland Research Forest Remote Sensing 11 7 856
  5. Henocq, C., North, P., Heckel, A., Ferron, S., Lamquin, N., Dransfeld, S., Bourg, L., TOTE, C., Ramon, D., North, P. OLCI/SLSTR SYN L2 Algorithm and Products Overview IGARSS 2018 - 2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 8723 8726

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  • GEG236 The Earth from Space: Monitoring Global Environmental Change

    This module introduces the growing role of Earth Observation in Geography, in the context of monitoring global environmental change. Emphasis will be given to practical use of airborne and satellite imagery in a range of geographical applications. In addition to a grounding in the principles of remote sensing, the course will offer in-depth understanding of the use of satellite observations in the study of global change in particular of deforestation and desertification. Practical exercises will teach image processing skills and familiarity with the range of information sources available for remotely sensed imagery.

  • GEG268 Dissertation Preparation

    The module prepares students for their independent research dissertation through dissertation fairs, lectures and a series of tutorials focusing upon the formulation and construction of a research proposal. The module also includes three lectures which explore career opportunities for Geography graduates and skills to enhance graduate employability.

  • GEG331 Dissertation Report: Geography

    The dissertation is an original, substantive and independent research project in an aspect of Geography. It is typically based on approximately 20 - 25 days of primary research and several weeks of analysis and write-up. The end result must be less than 10,000 words of text. The dissertation offers you the chance to follow your personal interests and to demonstrate your capabilities as a Geographer. During the course of your dissertation you will be supported by a student-led discussion group and a staff supervisor, and you will also provide constructive criticism to fellow students undertaking related research projects, learning from their research problems and subsequent solutions. This support and supervision is delivered through the 'Dissertation Support' module, which is a co-requisite.

  • GEG332 Dissertation Support: Geography

    This module provides structured, student-led peer-group support and academic staff group supervision for students undertaking the 30-credit 'Dissertation Report: Geography' module. This support and supervision is assessed through the submission of a PowerPoint Poster in TB1 and the submission in TB2 of an individually composed, critical and reflective log of the 5 dissertation peer-group meetings and the 4 group supervisory meetings (with a verified record of attendance at meetings). Working within a supervised Student Peer Group, you will also have the opportunity to provide constructive criticism to fellow students undertaking related research projects, learning from their research problems and subsequent solutions. This module complements the 'Dissertation Report: Geography' module, which is a co-requisite.

  • GEG333 Geographical Research Frontiers

    This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their competence as a Geographer by undertaking a critical analysis of a wide variety of literature-based sources in order to develop a cogent, substantial, and persuasive argument. While the Dissertation in Geography normally focuses on the design and execution of an evidenced-based research project that assesses the capacity of students to undertake effective data analysis and interpretation, the purpose of this module is to assess the extent to which students are capable of engaging with the academic literature at the frontier of a particular part of Geography. Students select from a wide range of research frontiers in Human and Physical Geography that have been identified by the academic staff within the Department. Given that this module emphasizes student-centred learning, none of the frontiers will have been covered in other modules, although in many cases modules will have taken students up to some of these frontiers. However, to orientate students and provide them with suitable points of departure and way-stations, there will be a brief introduction to each frontier and a short list of pivotal references disseminated via Blackboard. (Note: The topic selected by you must not overlap with the subject of your Dissertation. If there is any doubt about potential overlap, this must be discussed with your Dissertation Support Group supervisor and agreed in writing.)

  • GEGM04 Modelling Earth Systems

    An understanding of the environment is increasingly important in many areas, e.g. industry, agriculture, conservation, health, science, and planning. This module introduces computational modelling in a geographical context. It aims to develop thinking about environmental issues within a modelling framework, and to develop practical skills in developing and using computational models, and in computer data analysis and visualisation. Examples are focused on solving practical scientific problems in environmental dynamics and climate change, focussing on modelling the terrestrial carbon and hydrological cycles.


  • UAV Remote Sensing For The Detection Of Oak Decline (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Jacqueline Rosette
  • Quantitative estimation of vegetation traits and temporal dynamics using 3-D radiative transfer models, high-resolution hyperspectral images and satellite imagery (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Jacqueline Rosette