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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Geospatial Science and Engineering

First Advisor

David Roy


In the past decade light detection and ranging (lidar) data have proven to be useful in the three-dimensional characterization of vegetation. Until the advent of a systematic lidar data collection across the Conterminous United States, large spatial area vegetation canopy height characterization will be limited. The combination of disparate airborne lidar, land cover and ecoregion information and Landsat surface reflectance data is investigated at the National scale to develop a capability to predict vegetation canopy height at national scale. Three research hypotheses concerned with better understanding the relationship between vegetation canopy height, land cover, ecoregions and spectral reflectance are addressed. The research described in this dissertation makes an important contribution to advancing understanding of the capability of Landsat data to help estimate vegetation canopy heights; an attribute that has profound implications for landcover, biomass and carbon studies at the National scale. This dissertation research has, to date, resulted in two published papers, one in press and one submitted.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Plant canopies -- Remote sensing Spectral reflectance Land cover


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright