Hestir, Erin


Erin Hestir, joined North Carolina State University in August 2014 as a Chancellor’s Excellence Program cluster hire in geospatial analytics. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and a faculty fellow in the Center for Geospatial Analytics.  Her research program focuses on earth observations to address the multiple stressors acting upon the earth’s systems under threat for water and food security and biodiversity. Dr. Hestir’s expertise is in using geospatial technologies and techniques such as airborne high spectral and high spatial imaging spectroscopy, LiDAR and satellite remote sensing coupled within situ sensor networks and long term monitoring programs. These technologies all provide large amounts of spatially and temporally explicit earth observations. These big data can provide new opportunities to quantify ecosystem and water responses to environmental and climate change at regional to continental scales. She will be teaching earth observation to students in Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and in the Center for Geospatial Analytics. 

Prior to joining NC State, Dr. Hestir was a postdoctoral fellow in Environmental Earth Observation in Australia’s  national science agency, the CSIRO. In Australia she led a research program to improve systematic monitoring of water quality and aquatic ecosystems using earth observations, which was used to influence national sustainable resource management activities.Erin finished her dissertation at CSTARS under the supervision of Susan Ustin on “Trends in Estuarine Water Quality and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation.” The goal of her project was to characterize how submerged aquatic vegetation impacts aquatic habitat through alterations in hydrodynamics and turbidity.  Her research identified trends in submerged aquatic vegetation distribution and water turbidity in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of California, part of the largest estuary in the Western United States.

Dr. Hestir was an adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. She is also a member of the international GEO Biodiversity Observation Network Freshwater working group and the GEO Inland and Coastal Water Quality working group. She received her Ph.D. in Geography from UC Davis and a B.A. in Physical Geography from UC Berkeley.  

Dr. Hestir is an assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a faculty member in the Environmental Systems Graduate Group at UC Merced. Her information can be found at https://eorsblog.wordpress.com/blog/about/ .  

Contact Information 

Dr. Erin L. Hestir 

Assistant Professor | Center for Geospatial Analytics 

Department of Marine, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

North Carolina State University

ResearcherID B-1288-2012

Email : ehestir@ucmerced.edu  T +1 (919) 515-7778 

4154 Jordan Hall

2800 Faucette Dr.

Raleigh, NC 27695 USA


Adjunct Senior Lecturer 

University of Southern Queensland




2005 – 2010     Ph.D. Geography University of California, Davis

1998-2004       B.A. Geography University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests

• Estuarine, watershed and wetland hydrology, geomorphology, and biogemorphology. I am interested in leveraging geospatial technologies; and in situ investigations to study interactions between vegetation and sediment transport, and characterizing how vegetation influences physical pattern and process in local and regional landscapes. 
• Using remote sensors, including hyperspectral, multi-spectral, and LiDAR to develop remote sensing products to characterize ecosystem variability and for investigations into current, historic, and potential vegetation distribution, water quality, and landform dynamics.