Max Planck Gesellschaft

--- Former member ---

Adam Erickson

Postdoctoral Researcher
Room: C3.009b
Phone: +49 3641 576283
Email: aerickson(at)

Professional Background | My Research at MPI-BGC | Research Interests | Publications

Professional Background

Adam is from the Pacific Northwest region of North America. He completed a Bachelor's degree in International Political Economy from University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where he did his thesis on the impacts of transportation regulations. He received a Master's degree in Community and Regional Planning within the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, where he participated in the Sustainable Cities Initiative and research on the integration of land-use and transportation planning. During this time, Adam also conducted thesis research on state-level watershed management and salmon recovery planning policy in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Based on this work, Adam published two sole-author papers and received his first journal cover, featured on Ambio in September 2015 ( Adam has also done work for municipal governments, non-profit organizations, and industry.

Adam is currently awaiting the defense of his PhD in Forestry from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where he worked in a remote sensing laboratory on the integration of remote sensing and ecological modeling. He published the first chapter of this work introducing the latest version of the ecophysiological tree regeneration model, TACA-GEM, in Ecological Modelling ( His other four research chapters are currently either in preparation or review. During this time, Adam also published research on the automated co-registration of ground-level photogrammetric computer vision models with airborne laser scanning data in forests ( Adam also co-founded the first UBC Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team to compete in the national competition, working together with engineers on design, assembly, and flight planning, while specializing in photogrammetry. Based on this experience, Adam co-founded Wingcopter North America with partners ( His former teammates have gone on to NASA JPL, Matternet, University of Toronto, and to found a Silicon Valley drone computer vision company.

Adam's postdoctoral research at MPI-BGC focuses on two main projects: ESA GlobBiomass and COREGAL. In GlobBiomass, Adam's research focuses on the application of advanced signal processing and deep learning techniques to spaceborne remote sensing data for the improvement of aboveground biomass retrievals. Adam has also participated in the analysis of covariates affecting RADAR-based growing stock volume down-scaling. In COREGAL, Adam is working on algorithm development for the acquisition of aboveground biomass information from reflected GNSS-SDR signals aboard a UAS, as well as methods of linking these retrievals to spaceborne RADAR estimates.

My Research at MPI-BGC

  • Prediction of aboveground biomass applying advanced signal processing and deep learning techniques to spaceborne remote sensing data
  • Collaboration on the development of unbiased RADAR growing stock volume down-scaling methods
  • Development of methods for aboveground biomass retrieval from reflected GNSS-SDR signals aboard a UAS
  • Linking of UAS-based aboveground biomass estimates to spaceborne RADAR estimates

Research Interests

  • Spaceborne, airborne, and terrestrial remote sensing
  • Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS)
  • Deep learning time-series models
  • Process-based and dynamic forest ecosystem models
  • Patterns in the distribution of aboveground biomass
  • Northern forests
  • Plant biochemistry remote sensing techniques
  • Programmed synthetic ecology and its optimization
  • Governance of social-ecological systems


Erickson et al. (2014) A Soil Water Balance Shift is Driving Directional Change in Northern Forests, AGU Fall Meeting,

Erickson, Adam (2015) Nested Localized Institutions for Adaptive Co-Management: A History of State Watershed Management in the Pacific Region of the United States, Society & Natural Resources,

Erickson, Adam (2015) Efficient and Resilient Governance of Social-ecological Systems, Ambio,

Erickson et al. (2015) Past-century Decline in Forest Regeneration Potential Across a Latitudinal and Elevational Gradient in Canada, Ecological Modelling,

Polewski et al. (2016) Object-based Coregistration of Terrestrial Photogrammetric and ALS Point Clouds in Forested Areas, ISPRS Annals,

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