Dr. Christopher Small

Lamont Research Professor, Marine and Polar Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Columbia Climate School

Adjunct Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DEES), Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

304b Oceanography
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
61 Route 9W
Palisades, NY 10964


  • 1963 - Born 

  • 1985 - BS Geophysics & Geology, University of Wisconsin Madison 

  • 1989 - MA Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin 

  • 1993 - PhD Geophysics, Scripps Inst. Oceanography, Univ. of California San Diego 

  • 1993 - Lamont Postdoctoral Fellow 

  • 2010 - Lamont Research Professor


Only select projects listed below
Name Start Date End Date
Desertification or "re-greening": Adaptation lessons learned in coping with late 20th century drought in West Africa 7/18/16 7/17/20
Development of a Prototype Land Cover Monitoring System to map Vegetation Change in the Dhofar mountains 12/1/15 3/31/17
Long Term Monitoring, Research and Analysis of Bangladesh Coastal Zone (Sustainable Polders Adapted to Coastal Dynamics) Under Coastal Embankment Improvement Project 11/1/18 5/1/21
Mega Urban Changes and Impacts in the Decade of the 2000s 11/14/12 7/31/17
Mult-source imaging of infrastructure and urban growth using Landsat, Sentinel and SRTM 7/7/15 7/6/19
NYC Previous Surface Mapping Project Phase 3 6/1/09 9/30/15
Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Modeling: Research Technology Development and Applications 7/1/13 7/31/15
Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of the Ganges Brahmaputra Delta: Field-Validated, Multi-Sensor Analysis of Interannual Flooding and Channel Movement 7/18/12 6/16/18
Storms, Forms, and Complexity of the Urban Canopy: How Land Use, Settlement Patterns, and the Shapes of Cities Influence Severe Weather 7/23/12 11/30/16
EAGER: Collaborative Research: Rapid Production of Geospatial Network Inputs for Spatially Explicit Epidemiologic Modeling of COVID-19 in the USA 6/1/20 5/31/21
The Impact of Disruptions to Migration on Land Use and Resilience in Agricultural Systems 5/1/22 10/31/25
Secondary School Field Research Program: Engaging NYC Students in Local Field Research 7/1/21 7/31/22


Only select publications listed below
Name Published Date
Robust Cloud Suppression and Anomaly Detection in Time-Lapse Thermography 2024
Spectral Characteristics of the Dynamic World Land Cover Classification 2023
Which Vegetation Index? Benchmarking Multispectral Metrics to Hyperspectral Mixture Models in Diverse Cropland 2023
Spectrometry of the Urban Lightscape 2022
Evolution of Urban Spatial Clusters in China: A Graph-Based Method Using Nighttime Light Data 2021
Land Cover Dynamics on the Lower Ganges–Brahmaputra Delta: Agriculture–Aquaculture Transitions, 1972–2017 2021
Spatiotemporal Characterization of VIIRS Night Light 2021
The Climatic Temporal Feature Space: Continuous and Discrete 2021
Grand Challenges in Remote Sensing Image Analysis and Classification 2020
Spatiotemporal evolution of COVID‐19 infection and detection within night light networks: comparative analysis of USA and China 2020
Coupled Spatiotemporal Characterization of Monsoon Cloud Cover and Vegetation Phenology 2019
Mapping and Monitoring Rice Agriculture with Multisensor Temporal Mixture Models 2019
Multisensor Characterization of Urban Morphology and Network Structure 2019
Spatiotemporal Characterization of Mangrove Phenology and Disturbance Response: The Bangladesh Sundarban 2019
Decades of urban growth and development on the Asian megadeltas 2018
Multisensor Analysis of Spectral Dimensionality and Soil Diversity in the Great Central Valley of California 2018
Spectral Mixture Analysis as a Unified Framework for the Remote Sensing of Evapotranspiration 2018
Global cross-calibration of Landsat spectral mixture models 2017
Humans on Earth: Global extents of anthropogenic land cover from remote sensing 2016
Observations of Cyclone-Induced Storm Surge in Coastal Bangladesh 2016
Spatial Structure and Scaling of Agricultural Networks 2016
Correlation scales of digital elevation models in developed coastal environments 2015
Sensitivity of crop cover to climate variability: Insights from two Indian agro-ecoregions 2014
Winter crop sensitivity to inter-annual climate variability in central India 2014
International Research Institute for Climate and Society 2013
Mapping cropping intensity of smallholder farms: A comparison of methods using multiple sensors 2013
Multi-scale standardized spectral mixture models 2013
Night on Earth: Mapping decadal changes of anthropogenic night light in Asia 2012
Spatiotemporal dimensionality and Time-Space characterization of multitemporal imagery 2012
Designing Index-Based Weather Insurance for Farmers in Adi Ha, Ethiopia: Report to OXFAM America, July 2009 2009
Global Infrastructure: The Potential of SRTM Data to Break New Ground 2001
The structure and segmentation of the Southeast Indian Ridge 1999


Small, C., A. Macdonald, D. Sousa, Spatial network connectivity of population and development in the USA; Implications for disease transmission, ArXiv, 2020, https://arxiv.org/abs/2004.14237

Small, C., Spatiotemporal Network Evolution of Anthropogenic Night Light 1992-2015, 
ArXiv, 2020,  https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.12197

Small, C. S. van der Linden, A. Okujeni, B. Waske, Remote sensing of urban environments, Ch. 6.01 in Comprehensive Remote Sensing,  Oxford: Elsevier, 2018

Barrozo, L.V.; Pérez-Machado, R.P.; Small, C.; Cabral-Miranda, W. Changing spatial perception: dasymetric mapping to improve analysis of health outcomes in a megacity. Journal of Maps, v. 11, p. 1-6, 2015

Small, C., D. Sousa, Spatial Scaling of Land Cover Networks, ArXiv, 2015

Small, C., C. Elvidge, D. Balk, M. Montgomery, Spatial Scaling of Stable Night Lights,  Remote Sensing of Environment, 115, p.269-280, 2011

Small, C, M. Steckler, N. Seeber, H. Akhter, S. Goodbred, B. Mia, B. Imam, Spectroscopy of Sediments in the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta: Spectral Effects of Moisture, Grain Size and Lithology, Remote Sensing of Environment, 113, p.342-361, 2009

Small, C. Comparative Analysis of Urban Reflectance and Surface Temperature, Invited submission , Remote Sensing of Environment, v.104, p.168-189, 2006

Small, C., F. Pozzi and C. Elvidge, Spatial Analysis of Global Urban Extent  from DMSP-OLS Night Lights, Remote Sensing of Environment, v.96, p.277-291, 2005

Small, C. and J. Cohen, Continental Physiography, Climate and the Global Distribution of Human Population, Invited submission, Current Anthropology, v.45, p.269-277, 2004

Small, C. and R. Nicholls, A Global Analysis of Human Settlement of Coastal Zones,  Journal of Coastal Research,  v. 19, n. 3, p. 584-599, Summer 2003

Small, C. and L. Danyushevsky, Geophysical Consequences of Spreading Center Migration,  Geology, v. 31, n. 5, p. 399-402, 2003

Small, C. and T. Naumann, Holocene Volcanism and the Global Distribution of Human Population, Environmental Hazards, v.3, p.93-109, 2001

Small, C., Estimation of Urban Vegetation Abundance by Spectral Mixture Analysis, International Journal  of Remote Sensing, v.21, n.7, 2001

Cohen, J. and C. Small, Hypsographic Demography: The Distribution of Human Population by Altitude,  Proceedings National Academy of Sciences.,  1998

Small, C., Global Systematics of Mid-Ocean Ridge Morphology, American Geophysical Union Monograph: Faulting and Magmatism at Mid-Ocean Ridges, 1998