Skip to Main Content
Profile Photo

Kevin Turpie

Research Associate Professor

Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology
Geography and Environmental Systems
Off Campus, Room Code 616.2 NASA GSFC
Ph D, University of Maryland (2012)
MS, The Johns Hopkins University (1991)
BS, University of Maryland (1986)

Dr. Turpie is a Research Associate Professor and an affiliate faculty of the Geography and Earth Sciences (GES) department, where he teaches remote sensing classes. Dr. Turpie has over two decades of experience with ocean color remote sensing, where he has been heavily involved in remote sensing models, instrument calibration and mission design, data quality assessment, and uncertainty analysis. His work also has a focus on coastal and inland aquatic remote sensing, where he specializes in hyperspectral remote sensing and applications in wetlands where he has done field campaigns and developed a marsh canopy reflectance model. His work has involved several NASA space borne instruments, including the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS), the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS), the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), and the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI). In support of his academic work and coastal research, he has also worked with data from Landsat, Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO), the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), and the European Space Agency's Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer about the Project for On-Board Autonomy (CHRIS/Proba). He was the Ocean Color Science Principle Investigator and Ocean Discipline Lead on the VIIRS NASA Science Team, which is part of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) mission and led the VIIRS Ocean Science Team, part of the NASA Ocean Ecology Branch. He continues to advise the Joint Polar-orbiting Satellite System (JPSS) project regarding future VIIRS instruments. He is also an appointed member of the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) Science Study Group (SSG), where he is applying his combined experience of terrestrial and aquatic problems to help define the future HyspIRI mission. He has expanded this role by becoming the founding chair of the international HyspIRI Aquatic Data Products Working Group (HASG). Dr. Turpie has also work with astronomy missions. In 1993, he also worked with Nobel laureate Dr. John Mather on the NASA Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), where he mapped the distribution of foreground emission lines that marked the location of water and carbon across our galaxy using the interferometric data from the Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS).

Research Interests

Dr. Turpie's current research can be divided into two major areas: ocean color and coastal remote sensing. For the former, he is interested in studying sensor calibration and behavior, and how these influence remote sensing applications in marine and aquatic remotes sensors. He developed methods for data quality assessment and visualization and has done research in ocean color uncertainty analysis. He is also interested in development of remote sensing models that model the transmission and reflection of light at the air-water interface and how this changes with deep or the presents of emergent vegetation. With regard to the latter major area, Dr. Turpie is exploring ways to retrieve information about the conditions in shallow water environment, including coastal marsh ecosystems, through remote sensing. In particular, he is interested in developing methods to assess and record changes in the canopy architectural of coastal marshlands that are caused by climate change and human activities. His research looks to accomplish this through satellite data applications, ground data, and radiative transfer modeling. It is his hope that the result will contribute a methodology to understand, monitor and manage these precious ecological resources.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Turpie's teaching interests include graduate and undergraduate courses and seminars introducing remote sensing techniques using satellite and airborne imagery in conjunction with in situ data and models, with the following foci: coastal and inland aquatic environments and their response to climate change and human influence; wetland field work design and data collection techniques for support of remote sensing; and remote sensing sensor calibration and validation for aquatic research; remote sensing theory, modeling, and quantitative geography. Dr. Turpie is also interested in developing and teaching coursework that conveys quantitative skills and reasoning, particularly for applications in the Earth sciences.

Selected Classes
Fall 2015 GES 381 – Remote Sensing
Intellectual Contributions

ca 109 Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD NASA Science and Technical Information (STI) Technical Memoranum (TM)

Explaining the Spectral Red-Edge Features of Inundated Marsh Vegetation 5 vol. 29 7 Coconut Creek, FL Journal of Coastal Research

A synthesis of VIIRS solar and lunar calibrations Proceeding of the SPIE, Earth Observing Systems XVIII 8855-8866

98 NASA White Paper