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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Program Role
Associate Program Manager, Disasters


Robert Emberson serves as Associate Program Manager of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Program Disasters program area. He is located at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a member of the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory. Emberson has supported the Disasters program since 2018 as a Center Coordinator, providing satellite data and insight to a range of stakeholders before, during and after disasters strike. Emberson is excited to leverage NASA’s unique assets and knowledge to improve the resilience of communities around the world to hazards and disasters.

Emberson joined NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2018 having won a NASA Postdoctoral Program fellowship. His work at NASA has included developing models of population exposure to landslides both globally and locally, working alongside a range of stakeholders. He has supported UN agency teams to provide landslide hazard and exposure estimates for the Rohingya refugee camps in Southern Bangladesh, and has been involved in a series of projects supporting the World Bank to provide landslide hazard assessment for regions in Morocco, Ethiopia, and Nepal. More recently, he was awarded a NASA New Investigator Program grant to develop dynamic soil erosion estimates using satellite rainfall data. He is currently an Associate Research Scientist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, part of the Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research (GESTAR) contract.

Emberson holds a doctorate, summa cum laude, in Geomorphology and Geo-ecology from the University of Potsdam, Germany. His research studied the impact that landslides have on chemical weathering processes in fast-eroding mountain belts. The results demonstrated critical connections between the rapid occurrence of landslides and long-lasting impacts on climate, with implications for geo-engineering solutions to anthropogenic climate change. He has a Masters in Earth Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK, and has also worked as an editor at Nature Geoscience, and as a freelance science writer.