Jan U.H. Eitel                                                                                                          Assistant Research Professor                                                                                    Geospatial Laboratory for Environmental Dynamics 
Department of Natural Resources and Society 
College of Natural Resources                                                                               University of Idaho                                                                                                           PO Box 441133                                                                                                             Moscow, Idaho 83844-1133

Email:                                                                                                Ph: +1 208-596-9277                                                                                                 Skype: jansteeple


I am currently an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Idaho’s McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) and the former AmericaView State Coordinator for Idaho. I do have a background in ecology, stemming from my pre-graduate degree in Forest Ecology and Management from the University of Freiburg (Germany),  my PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, and my real-world experiences and research in a wide variety of ecosystems world-wide. Classes I currently teach at MOSS include CSS 560 (Place-based Ecology for Environmental Educators) and CSS 566 (Advanced Field Ecology Course Design). I am very interested in developing and assessing hands-on, field-based curricula that engage learners in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). For these curricula, I am particularly interested in making use of low-cost, high-tech tools (e.g., flying cameras, time-lapse cameras) some of which he actively develops and tests in collaboration with MOSS graduate students (e.g., low cost terrestrial LiDAR, flatbed scanner for foliar chlorophyll analysis). A longer term goal of my work at MOSS is to help promote and create a field research station that provides unique ecological and socio-economic research opportunities to a broad research audience.

My primary research interest is in developing and using novel remote sensing tools and techniques to advance our understanding of processes that control the environment we live in. I do have extensive experience working with both optical remote sensing and LiDAR data and have led the development of an autonomously operating terrestrial laser scanner (ATLS). I also have experience delivering introductory workshops to the statistical computing and graphics program R. In my free-time, I enjoy spending time with my two kids and wife. Also, being a former NCAA Division 1 regional champion in the steeple-chase, I still enjoy endurance sports such as trail running, mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and Nordic skiing.


Pregraduate Degree 2002. Freiburg, Germany, Forest Ecology                                 B.S. 2003. University of Idaho, Forest Resources                                                        M.S. 2005. University of Idaho, Forest Resources                                                      Ph.D. 2008. University of Idaho, Natural Resources

REFERRED PUBLICATIONS (*denote student co-authors, 56 total)

Magney, T.S., Logan, B.A., Reblin, J.S., Boelman, N.T., Eitel, J.U.H., Greaves, H.E., Griffin, K.L., Prager, C.M., Vierling, L.A. 2017. Xanthophyll cycle activity in two prominent arctic shrub species. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 49(2), 273-285,  DOI:
Silva, C., Hudak, A., Vierling, L., Klauberg, C., Garcia, M., Ferraz, A., Keller, M., Eitel, J.U.H., Saatchi, S., 2017. Impacts of Airborne Lidar Pulse Density on Estimating Biomass Stocks and Changes in a Selectively Logged Tropical Forest. Remote Sens. 9, 1068. doi:10.3390/rs9101068

Prager, C.M., Naeem, S., Boelman, N., Eitel, J.U.H., Greaves, H., Heskel, M., Magney, T.S., Menge, D.N.L., Vierling, L.A., Griffin, K.L. 2017. A gradient of nutrient enrichments reveals nonlinear impacts of fertilization of Arctic plant diversity and ecosystem function. Ecology and Evolution, 7(7), 2449-2460, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2863

Corrao, M.V., Link, T.E., Heinse, R., Eitel, J.U.H. 2017. Modeling of terracette-hillslope soil moisture as a function of aspect, slope and vegetation in a semi-arid environment. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, DOI: 10.1002/esp.4114.

Ma, L.X., Zheng, G., Eitel, J.U.H., Magney, T.S., Moskal, L.M. 2017. Retrieving forest canopy extinction coefficient from terrestrial and airborne lidar. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 236, 1-21.

Greaves, H.E.*, Vierling, L.A., Eitel, J.U.H., Boelman, N., Magney, T.S., Prager, C.M.*, Griffin, K.L. 2017. Applying terrestrial lidar for evaluation and calibration of airborne lidar-derived shrub biomass estimates in Arctic tundra. Remote Sensing Letters, 8:2, 175-184, DOI: 10.1080/2150704X.2016.1246770.

Zheng, G., Ma, L.X., Eitel, J.U.H., He, W., Magney, T.S., Moskal, L.M., Li, M.S. 2017. Retrieving directional gap fraction, extinction coefficient, and effective leaf area index by incorporating scan angle information from discrete. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 55(1), 577-590.

Cohn, T.S., Wyckoff, W., Rinella, M., Eitel, J.U.H. 2016. Seems like I hardly see them around anymore: Historical geographies of Cottonwood decline along the Wind River. Water History, 8(4), 405-429, 10.1007/s12685-016-0187-5.

Eitel, J.U.H.,  Höfle, B., Vierling, L.A., Abéllan, A., Asner, G., Deems, J.S., Blennie, C., Joerg, P.C., LeWinter, A., Magney, T.S.*, Mandlburger, G., Morton, D., Müller, J., Vierling, K. 2016. Beyond 3-D: the new spectrum of lidar applications for Earth and Ecological sciences. Remote Sensing of Environment, 186, 372-392.

Eitel, J.U.H., Magney, T.S., Vierling. L.A., Greaves, H.E.*, Zheng, G. 2016. An automated method to quantify crop height and calibrate satellite-derived biomass using hypertemporal lidar. Remote Sensing of Environment, 187, 414-422.

Gersony, J.T., Prager, C.M., Boelman, N.T., Eitel, J.U.H., Gough, L., Greaves, H.E., Griffin, K.L., Magney, T.S., Sweet, S.K., Vierling, L.A., Naeem, S. 2016. Scaling thermal properties from the leaf to the canopy in the Alaskan arctic tundra. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 48(4), 739-754.

Magney, T.S.*, Eitel, J.U.H., Vierling, L.A. 2016. Mapping wheat nitrogen uptake from RapidEye vegetation indices. Precision Agriculture, 17 (4).

Ma, L., Zheng, G., Eitel, J.U.H., Magney, T.S.*, Moskal, M. 2016. Determining woody-to-total area ratio using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2016.06.021

Magney, T.S.*, Eitel, J.U.H., Griffin, K.L., Boelman, N.T., Greaves, H.E.*, Prager, C.M., Logan, B.A., Zheng, G., La, M., Fortin, E.A., Oliver, R.Y., Vierling, L.A. 2016. LiDAR canopy radiation model reveals patterns of photosynthetic partitioning in an Arctic shrub. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 221, 78–93. doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2016.02.007

Corrao, M.*, Heinse, R., Eitel, J.U.H., Cosens, B., Link, T. 2016. Soil Moisture Differences between Terracette Benches and Risers on Semiarid Rangeland Hillslopes. Vadose Zone Journal, 15 (1), 1-10.

Krofcheck, D.J.*, Eitel, J.U.H., Lippitt, C.D., Vierling, L.A., Schulthess, U., Litvak, M.E. 2016. Remote sensing based simple models of GPP in both disturbed and undisturbed pinon-juniper woodlands in the southwestern U.S. Remote Sensing, 8, 2-16.

Magney, T.S.*, Eitel, J.U.H., Huggins, D.R., Vierling, L.A. 2016. Proximal NDVI derived phenology improves in-season predictions of wheat quantity and quality. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 217, 46-60.

Magney, T.S.*, Vierling, L.A., Eitel, J.U.H., Huggins, D.R., Garrity, S.R. 2016. Response of high frequency Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) measurements to environmental conditions in wheat. Remote Sensing of Environment, 173, 84-97.

Ma, L., Zheng, G., Eitel, J.U.H., Moska, M., He, W., Huang, H. 2016. Improved salient feature-based approach for automatically separating photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic components within terrestrial lidar point cloud data of forest canopies. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 54 (2), 679-696.

Zheng, G., Ma, L.X., He, W., Eitel, J.U.H., Moskal, L.M., Zhang, Z.Y. Assessing the contribution of woody materials to forest angular gap fraction and effective leaf area index using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data. 2016. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 54(3) 1475-1487.

Boelman, N.T., Holbrook, J.D., Greaves, H.E.*, Krause, J.S., Chumura, H.E., Magney, T.S.*, Perez, J.H., Eitel, J.U.H., Gough, L., Vierling, K.T., Wingfield, J.C., Vierling, L.A. 2016. Airborne laser scanning and spectral remote sensing give a bird’s eye perspective on arctic tundra breeding habitat at multiple spatial scales. Remote Sensing of Environment, 184, 337-349.

Boelman, N.T., Magney, T.S., Logan, B.A., Griffin, K.L., Eitel, J.U.H., Greaves, H.E., Prager, C.M., Vierling, L.A. 2016. Spectral determination of concentrations of functionally diverse pigments in increasingly complex arctic tundra canopies. Oecologia, 182(1), 85-97.

Greaves, H.E.*, Vierling, L.A., Eitel, J.U.H., Boelman, N.T., Magney, T.S.*, Prager, C.M., Griffin, K.L. 2016. High-resolution mapping of aboveground shrub biomass in Arctic tundra using lidar and imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment, 184, 361-373

Grayson, L.M.*, Keefe, R.F., Tinkham, W.T., Eitel, J.U.H., Saralecos, J.D., Smith, A.M.S., Zimbelman, E.G. 2016. Accuracy of WAAS-Enabled GPS-RF Warning Signals When Crossing a Terrestrial Geofence. Sensors, 16(6), 912, doi:10.3390/s16060912

Corrao, M.*, Link, T., Cosens, B., Eitel, J.U.H., Heinse, R. 2015. Using Science to Bridge Management and Policy: Terracette Hydrologic Function and Water Quality Best Management Practices in Idaho. Rangelands, 37 (5), 191-199. 

Parsons, R.*, Eitel, J.U.H., Whitney, B., Eitel, K.B., Magney, T.S., Vierling, L.A. 2015. Connecting the Dots: Lasers Link Students to their 3-D World. Science Scope. 39 (2) , 28-35.

Veletsianos, G., Miller, B., Eitel, K.B., Eitel, J.U.H., Hougham, J., Hansen, D. 2015. Lessons Learned from the Design and Development of Technology-Enhanced Outdoor Learning Experiences. TechTrends, 59 (4), 78-86.

Anderson, C.L.*, Miller, B.G., Eitel, K.B., Veletsianos, G., Eitel, Eitel, J.U.H., Hougham, R.J. 2015. Exploring Techniques for Integrating Mobile Technologies into Field-Based Environmental Education. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 19 (6).

Greaves, H.E.*, Vierling, L.A., Eitel, J.U.H., Boelman, N.T., Magney, T.S., Prager, C.M., Griffin, K.L. 2015. Estimating aboveground biomass and leaf area of low-stature Arctic shrubs with terrestrial LiDAR. Remote Sensing of Environment. 164, 26–35. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2015.02.023

Eitel, J.U.H., Magney, T.S.*, Vierling, L.A., Dittmar, G. 2014. Assessment of crop foliar nitrogen using a novel dual-wavelength laser system and implications for conducting laser-based plant physiology. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 97, 229-240.

Eitel, K.B., Wilhelm, F., Parsons, R.*, Eitel, J.U.H. 2014. Lakes Alive! Science Scope, 38(2), 22-29.

Eitel, J.U.H., Magney, T.S.*, Vierling, L.A., Brown, T.T., Huggins, D.R. 2014. LiDAR based biomass and crop nitrogen estimates for rapid, non-destructive assessment of wheat nitrogen status. Field Crops Research, 159, 21-32.

Krofcheck, D.J.*, Eitel, J.U.H., Vierling, L.A., Schulthess, U., Hilton, T.M., Dettweiler-Robinson, E., Pendleton, R., Litvak, M.E. 2014. Detecting mortality induced structural and functional changes in a pinon-juniper woodland using Landsat and RapidEye time series. Remote Sensing of Environment, 151, 102-113.

Magney, T.S.*, Eusden, S.A., Eitel, J.U.H., Logan, B., Jiang, J., Vierling, L.A. 2014. Assessing Leaf Photoprotective Mechanisms using Terrestrial LiDAR: Towards Mapping Canopy Photosynthetic Performance in Three-dimensions. New Phytologist, 201, 344-356.

Charbonnier, F., le Maire, G., Dreyer, E., Casanoves, F., Christina, M., Dauzat, J., Eitel, J.U.H., Vaast, P., Vierling, L.A., Roupsard, O. 2013. Competition for light in heterogeneous canopies: Application of MAESTRA to a coffee (Coffea arabica L.) agroforestry system, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 181, 152-169.

Eitel, J.U.H., Vierling, L.A., Magney, T.S.* 2013. A lightweight, low cost autonomously operating terrestrial laser scanner for quantifying and monitoring ecosystem structural dynamics. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 180, 86-96.

Naupari, J.A.*, Vierling, L.A., Eitel, J.U.H. 2013. Delineating native and invasive plant functional groups in shrub-steppe vegetation using bidirectional reflectance. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 7 (1), doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.7.073563

Magney, T.S.*, Eitel, K.B., Eitel, J.U.H., Schon, J., Jansen, V.S.*, Rittenburg, R.A.*, Vierling, L.A. 2013. Keeping a (Digital) Eye on Our Planet’s Clock. The Science Teacher, 80, 37-43.

Vierling, L.A., Yu, Y., Eitel, J.U.H., and Oldow, J.S. 2012. Shrub characterization using terrestrial laser scanning and implications for airborne LiDAR assessment. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 38, 1-14.

Hudak, A.T., Strand, E.K.,  Vierling, L.V., Byrne, J., Eitel, J.U.H., Martinuzzi, S., Falkowski, M.J. 2012.  Quantifying Aboveground Forest Carbon Pools and Fluxes from Repeat LiDAR Surveys. Remote Sensing of Environment, 123, 25-40.

Eitel, J.U.H., Vierling, L.A., Litvak, M.E., Long, D.S., Schulthess, U., Ager, A.A., Krofcheck, D.J.*, Stoscheck, L.* 2011. Broadband, red-edge information from satellites improves early stress detection in a New Mexico conifer woodland. Remote Sensing of Environment, 115, 3640-3646.

Sankey, J.B. †, Eitel, J.U.H. †, Glenn, N.F., Germino, M.J., Vierling, L.A. 2011. Quantifying relationships of burning, roughness, and potential dust emission with laser altimetry of soil surfaces at submeter scales. Geomorphology, 135, 181-190. (†=equal first authorship)

Eitel, J.U.H., Williams, C.J., Vierling, L.A., Al-Hamdan, O.Z., Pierson, F.B. 2011. Suitability of terrestrial laser scanning for studying surface roughness effects on concentrated flow erosion processes in rangelands. Catena, 87, 398-407.  

Eitel, J.U.H., Vierling, L.A., Long, D.S., Hunt, E.R. 2011. Early season remote sensing of wheat nitrogen status using a green scanning laser. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 151: 1338-1345.

Hunt, E.R., Daughtry, C.S.T., Eitel, J.U.H., Long, D.S. 2011. Remote sensing chlorophyll content at leaf and canopy scales using a visible band index. Agronomy Journal, 103, 1090-1099.

Eitel, J.U.H., Vierling, L.A., Long, D.S., Litvak, M., Eitel, K.C.B. 2011. Simple assessment of needleleaf and broadleaf chlorophyll content using a flatbed color scanner. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 41: 1445-1451.

Garrity, S.R., Eitel, J.U.H., Vierling, L.A. 2011. Disentangling the relationships between plant pigments and the photochemical reflectance index reveals a new approach for remote estimation of carotenoid  content. Remote Sensing of Environment, 115: 628-635.

Smith, A.M.S., Eitel, J.U.H., and Hudak, A.T. 2010. Spectral Analysis of Charcoal on Soils: Implications for Wildland Fire Severity Mapping Methods. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 19: 976-983.

Eitel, J.U.H., Vierling, L.A., Long, D.S., 2010. Simultaneous measure of plant structure and chlorophyll content in broadleaf saplings with a terrestrial laser scanner. Remote Sensing of Environment, 114: 2229-2237.

Eitel, J.U.H., Keefe, R.F., Long, D.S., Davis, A.S., and Vierling, L.A., 2010. Active ground optical remote sensing for improved monitoring of seedling stress in nurseries. Sensors, 10: 2843-2850.

Long, D.S., Eitel, J.U.H., and Huggins, D.R., 2009. Assessing nitrogen status of dryland wheat using the canopy chlorophyll content index. Crop Management, doi:10.1094/CM-2009-1211-01-RS.

Eitel, J.U.H., Long, D.S., Gessler, P.E., Hunt, E.R., and Jr., Brown, D.J., 2009. Sensitivity of Ground-Based Remote Sensing Estimates of Wheat Chlorophyll Content to Variation in Soil Reflectance. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 73: 1715-1723.

Pimstein, A., Eitel, J.U.H.,  Long, D.S., Mufradi, I., Karnieli, A., Bonfil, D.J., 2009. A spectral index to monitor the head-emergence of wheat in semi-arid conditions. Field Crops Research, 111: 218-225.

Eitel, J.U.H., Long, D.S., Gessler, P.E. and Hunt, E.R., Jr., 2008. Combined Spectral Index to Improve Ground-Based Estimates of Nitrogen Status in Dryland Wheat. Agronomy Journal, 100: 1694-1702.

Eitel, J.U.H.,Long, D. S., Gessler, P. E. and Smith, A. M. S., 2007. Using in-situ measurements to evaluate the new RapidEye™ satellite series for prediction of wheat nitrogen status. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 28: 4183-4190.

Eitel, J.U.H., Gessler, P.E., Smith, A.M.S. and Robberecht, R., 2006. Suitability of existing and novel    spectral indices to remotely detect water stress in Populus spp. Forest Ecology and Management, 229: 170 -182.

Popular Press Publications:

Jensen, T. 2014. Fine Tuning Remote Sensing Technologies for Nitrogen Application in Semi-Arid Cereal Crops, Better Crops with Plant Food, 98(3): 7-8. Article is based on my dissertation work published in Eitel et al. (2008, 2009; see details for publications under refereed publications above). Download article

Awards and Honors:

2017 Outstanding researcher award (faculty nominated), College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho

2017 Outstanding teacher award (student nominated), College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho

2009 Outstanding graduate student, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho

2009 Outstanding graduate student, Forest Resources Department, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho