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National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/GISS
Research Scientist
Global Vegetation Distributions
Global Vegetation Distributions, Trace-Gas Emissions, Land-use


Elaine Matthews' principal research interest at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies is global atmosphere-biosphere interactions in order to understand natural and human climate change. Since the mid-1980's, she has specifically focused on the global methane cycle, researching its sources and sinks and its implications for the future. To do this, she and other scientists are working on a model of the global methane cycle. Her other research areas are carbon-emissions from historical land-use change, evaluating emissions of nitrogen species from fertilizer use, and studying the historical links between malaria, climate, and socio-economic factors such as land-use change, government policies, war, and development projects. Ms. Matthews will receive her Ph.D. in Geography from Rutgers University later this year. She received her B.A. in Geography from Hunter College of CUNY in 1973 and her M.A. in Geography from Columbia University in 1978. She has worked as a research scientist for corporations, Columbia University, and, currently, NASA. She also collaborates with junior high school students and teachers in New York City to develop a library of materials and a text book about global warming. In addition, she is an impartial judge at a junior high school annual science fair.