Matt Jones

Matt Jones

Research Scientist

Send Email: 

Office Phone:  406-243-6318  


My current research focuses on using satellite microwave data to track phenology across biomes at continental and global scales. Ideally we can use the microwave signal to determine the start, peak and end of the growing season and incorporate optical-IR satellite imagery and corresponding vegetation indices to inform and enhance our phenology models. Assessments of these long term phenology trends will allow us to identify times of significant plant stress and physiological constraints to canopy evaporation, ecosystem productivity and terrestrial carbon sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

I also co-lead the Land Product Validation (LPV) Phenology Sub-Group of The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Working Group on Calibration and Validation (WGCV), which aims to address the challenges associated with the validation of global land products. The newly formed Phenology Sub-Group is in the process of developing a plan on how to effectively use ground to airborne level phenological measurements to validate satellite-based phenology products. This plan involves an internationally coordinated remote sensing phenology validation and inter-comparison effort.


  • M.S. 2006, Resource Conservation, University of Montana
  • Teaching Credential Program 1998, Secondary Mathematics, San Francisco State University
  • B.A.1995, Philosophy - Emphasis on Ethics and Public Policy, University of California Santa Barbara

C.V.pdf image


My masters project assessed water quality of Flathead Lake using MODIS satellite imagery, GIS analysis and field data collection of water samples.   After my masters, I moved to California where I worked for the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University.  I was a member of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory Science Team working in every phase of system calibration and data collection using the airborne dual hyperspectral/lidar system.  The focus of that research was invasive species detection and remote measurement of vegetation biochemical properties over Hawaiian rainforests.  After Carnegie, I spent a small amount of time working in Santa Cruz, CA for NOAA fisheries on the Landscape Ecology Team as a GIS and Remote Sensing Scientist before I was drawn back to the Biostation, NTSG and the Montana lifestyle.


  • Guan, K., Wood, E. F., Medvigy, D., Kimball, J., Pan, M., Caylor, K. K., Jones, M. O. Terrestrial hydrological controls on land surface phenology of African savannas and woodlands. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 2014
  • Jones, M. O., Kimball, J. S., Small, E.E., Larson, K.M. Comparing Land Surface Phenology Derived from Satellite and GPS Network Microwave Remote Sensing. International Journal of Biometeorology, 2013
  • Jones, M. O., Kimball, J. S., Jones, L.A. Satellite Microwave Detection of Boreal Forest Recovery from the Extreme 2004 Wildfires in Alaska and Canada. Global Change Biology, 2013
  • Dash, J., M.O. Jones, Nightingale, J. Validating Satellite-Derived Vegetation Phenology Products. Eos, 2013
  • Jones, M.O., J.S. Kimball, L.A. Jones, K.C. McDonald. Satellite Microwave Detection of North America Start of Season Phenology. Remote Sensing of Environment, 2012
  • Jones, M.O., L.A. Jones, J.S. Kimball, K.C. McDonald. Microwave Remote Sensing for Monitoring Global Land Surface Phenology. Remote Sensing of Environment, 2011
  • Isoscape Maps and Graphics Contributions, Isoscapes: Understanding movement, pattern, and process on Earth through isotope mapping, West J.B.; Bowen, G.J.; Dawson, T.E.; Tu, K.P. (Eds.), 2010
  • Asner G.P., D.E. Knapp, T. Kennedy-Bowdoin, M.O. Jones, R.E. Martin, J. Boardman, R.F. Hughes. Invasive species detection in Hawaiian rainforests using airborne imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR. Remote Sensing of Environment, 2008
  • Asner G.P, M.O. Jones, R.E. Martin, D.E. Knapp, R.F. Hughes. Remote Sensing of Native and Invasive Species in Hawaiian Forests. Remote Sensing of Environment, 2008
  • Asner G.P, D.E. Knapp, M.O. Jones, T. Kennedy-Bowdoin, R.E. Martin, J. Boardman, C.B. Field. Carnegie Airborne Observatory: In-flight fusion of hyperspectral and waveform-LiDAR for 3-D studies of ecosystem structure and function. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, 2008
  • Cover Image, Carnegie Science, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Spring 2007