Joseph O. Sexton, Ph.D. is the Chief Scientist and cofounder of terraPulse, Inc., a satellite technology company dedicated to providing globally consistent, long-term monitoring of land assets. Dr. Sexton leads the development of terraPulse’s market and product strategies, a role in which he is responsible for exploring and developing markets, guiding new algorithms and data products, and representing key clients in the design and creation of technological solutions.
Trained as a forest and wildlife ecologist, Dr. Sexton holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation from the University of Florida, an M.S. in Forest Resources from Utah State University, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Duke University. As a NASA postdoctoral scientist and then professor at the University of Maryland, Joe led the development of the world’s first global, time-serial maps of tree-canopy cover based on 30-meter resolution Landsat satellite data and the first annual, 30-meter time-series of urban impervious cover, and he contributed to the world’s first global, 30-meter map series of surface inundation. Since he and his partners founded the company in 2014, terraPulse has produced satellite-based map series of the cover, loss, and gain of global tree canopy and surface water—as well as regional- to continental-scale maps of forest stand age, site index, forage and habitat value, and land-use change—for a variety of government, academic, nonprofit, and commercial clients.
Joe serves on the Advisory Board for the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative’s Biomass project and on the User Working Group of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s ecological data archive. He also continues to work with academic scientists and land managers across the globe, contributing to the development of emerging methods and publishing theoretical and practical solutions in the top journals in the field, including Nature Climate Change, Science Advances, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.