Richard G. Lathrop Jr.

Photo: Richard G. Lathrop Jr.

Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing & Spatial Analysis
Rutgers University Ecological Preserve

Johnson Family Chair in Water Resources & Watershed Ecology
Professor of Environmental Monitoring
Department of Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources
Cook College, Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551 USA
Phone: (848)932-1580

Research Interests

My research program works to integrate insights of landscape ecology and geography with the application of geo-spatial information technology to improve our understanding of the structure and function of coupled human-environmental systems at broader landscape to regional scales. Working with partners, I attempt to translate that understanding into effective and appropriate techniques to improve ‘on-the-ground’ natural resource management and land use planning.



Ph.D. Environmental Monitoring University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thesis: The Integration of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems for Great Lakes
Water Quality Monitoring


M.S. Forestry University of Wisconsin-Madison


M.S. Environmental Monitoring University of Wisconsin-Madison


B.A. Biology Dartmouth College

Recent Publications (last 10 years):

* Student author ** Corresponding author

Merchant, D., Lathrop, R.G., Santos, C.D., Paludo, D., Niles, L., Smith, J., Feigin, S., Dey, A. 2023. Distribution Modeling and Gap Analysis of Shorebird Conservation in Northern Brazil. Remote Sensing 15(2), 452. Online

Giri, S., Kang, Y., MacDonald, K., Tippett, M., Qiu, Z., Lathrop, R.G., Obropta, C.C. 2023. Revealing the Sources of Arsenic in Private Well Water Using Random Forest Classification and Regression. Science of the Total Environment 857 159360. Online

Lathrop, R.G., Merchant, D., Niles, L., Feigin, S., Paludo, D., Santos, C.D., Espoz, C., Smith, J., Dey, A. 2022. Multi-Sensor Remote Sensing of Intertidal Flat Habitats for Migratory Shorebird Conservation. Remote Sensing 14:5016. Online

Giri, S., Mishra. A., Zhang, Z., Lathrop, R.G. and Alnahit, A.O. 2021. Meteorological and Hydrological Drought Analysis and Its Impact on Water Quality and Stream Integrity. Sustainability 13, 8175. Online

Leidman, S.Z., Rennermalm, A.K., Lathrop, R.G., Cooper, M. 2021. Terrain-Based Shadow Correction Method for Assessing Supraglacial Features on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Frontiers in Remote Sensing. Online

Gallagher, M.R., Skowronski, N.S., Lathrop, R.G., McWilliams, T. and Green, E.J. 2020. An Improved Approach for Selecting and Validating Burn Severity Indices in Forested Landscapes. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing Online

Giri, S., Lathrop, R.G., and C. Obropta. 2020. Climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategies through best management practices. Journal of Hydrology 580 124311.

Lathrop, R.G., W. Irving, J.J. Seneca, J. Trimble and R.M. Sacatelli. 2019. The limited role salt marshes may have in buffering extreme storm surge events: Case Study on the New Jersey shore. Ocean and Coastal Management. 178: 104803. Online

Giri, S., Zhang, Z., Krasnuk, D., Lathrop, R.G., 2019. Evaluating the impact of land use on stream integrity using machine learning algorithms. Science of The Total Environment, 133858.

Giri, S., N.N. Arbab and R.G. Lathrop. 2019. Assessing the potential impacts of climate and Land use change on water fluxes and sediment transport in a loosely coupled system. Journal of Hydrology 123955. Online

Lathrop, R.G., L. Niles, P. Smith, M. Peck, A Dey, R. Sacatelli, J. Bognar. 2018. Mapping and modeling the breeding habitat of the Western Atlantic Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa) at local and regional scales. The Condor 120(3):650-665. Online

Giri, S., N.N. Arbab, R.G. Lathrop**. 2018. Water security assessment of current and Future scenarios through an integrated modeling framework in the Neshanic River Watershed. Journal of Hydrology 563:1025-1041. Online

Lathrop, R.G., L. Auermuller, J. Herb, and M. Kaplan. 2017. Integrated Assessment of Risk and Vulnerability. The Use of Online Decision-Support Tools to Communicate Coastal Vulnerability and Promote Adaptation Planning. GI_Forum 2017, Issue 1:352-359. Online

Lathrop, R.G., J. Odell, T. MacDonald, K. Vilacoba, J. Bognar, J. Trimble, C. Bruce, G. Crichton, D. Seminara, J. Herb, M. Campo. 2017. The role of Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal in supporting ocean planning. Frontiers Marine Science 08 August 2017. Online

Lathrop, R.G., J. Bognar, E. Buenaventura, M. Ciappi, E. Green, T. Belton. 2017. Establishment of marine protected areas to reduce water craft impacts in Barnegat Bay, NJ. Journal of Coastal Research SI 78:277-286.

Virzi, T., J.L. Lockwood, R.G. Lathrop, S.M. Grodsky, and D. Drake. 2017. Predicting American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) Breeding Distribution in an Urbanized Coastal Ecosystem using Maximum Entropy Modeling. Waterbirds 40 (Special Publication 1): 104-122.

Kennish, M.J., R.G. Lathrop, A. Spahn, G.P. Sakowicz, and R. Sacatelli. 2016. The JCNERR Sentinel Site: Research and Monitoring Applications. Bulletin of the NJ Academy of Sciences 61(1):1-8.

Skowronski, N.S., S. Haag, J. Trimble, K.L Clarke and R.G. Lathrop**. 2015. Structure-level fuel load assessment in the wildland-urban interface: A fusion of airborne laser scanning and spectral remote sensing methodologies. International Journal of Wildland Fire (In Press).

Lathrop, R.G., S.M. Haag, D. Merchant, M.J. Kennish and B. Fertig. 2014. Comparison of remotely-sensed surveys vs. In Situ Plot-based Assessment of Seagrass Condition in Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey USA. Journal of Coastal Conservation 18:299-308.

Lathrop, R., L. Auermuller, J. Trimble, and J. Bognar. 2014. The Application of WebGIS Tools for Visualizing Coastal Flooding Vulnerability and Planning for Resiliency: The New Jersey Experience. ISPRS Int J of Geo-Information 3:408-429.

Zhang, Y., E. Green, T. Farrell, and R.G. Lathrop**. 2013. Organic carbon storage in New Jersey Forest Lands. Bulletin of the New Jersey Academy of Science 58(2):1-7.

La Puma I.P.*, R.G. Lathrop, N.S. Keuler. 2013. A large-scale fire suppression edge-effect on Forest composition in the New Jersey Pinelands, Landscape Ecology: Volume 28(9):1815-1827.

Schwarz, K.,* S.T.A. Pickett, R.G. Lathrop, K.C. Weathers, R.V. Pouyat, M.L. Cadenasso. 2012. The effects of the urban built environment on the spatial distribution of lead in residential soils. Environmental Pollution 163: 32-39.

Schwarz, K.*, K. C. Weathers, S. T. A. Pickett, R. G. Lathrop, R. V. Pouyat and M. L.Cadenasso.2013. A comparison of three empirically based, spatially explicit predictive models of residential soil Pb concentrations in Baltimore, Maryland, USA: understanding the variability within cities. Environmental Geochemistry and Health. 35(4):495-510.

Lathrop, R.G., L. Auermuller, S. Haag and W. Im. 2012. The StormWater Management Planning Tool: Coastal Water Quality Enhancement Through the Use of an Internet-based Geospatial Tools. Coastal Management 40(4):339-354.

Lathrop, R.G.(editor). 2011. The Highlands: Critical Resources, Treasured Landscapes. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ. 366 p.

Lathrop, R. G. 2011. Agricultural and Urban Land Use Patterns. In: The Highlands: Critical Resources, Treasured Landscape. Ed: R. Lathrop. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ. pp. 259-273.

Lathrop, R. G., M.L. Tyrell, and M. Hall 2011. Future Vision of the Highlands. In: The Highlands: Critical Resources, Treasured Landscapes. Ed: R. Lathrop. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ. pp. 316-330.

Zhang, Y., Z. Miao, J. Bognar, and R.G. Lathrop Jr. 2011. Landscape Scale Modeling of the Potential Effect of Groundwater-level Declines on Forested Wetlands in the New Jersey Pinelands. Wetlands 26:1112-1122. *Corresponding author.

Struwe, L., P. E. Smouse, E. Heiberg, S. Haag, & R. G. Lathrop. 2011. Spatial Evolutionary and Ecological Vicariance Analysis (SEEVA), a Novel Approach to Biogeography and Speciation Research, with an Example from Brazilian Gentianaceae. Journal of Biogeography . ABSTRACT

Miao, Z., R. G. Lathrop Jr.**, M. Xu, I. P. LaPuma, K. L. Clark, J. Hom, N. Skowronski, and S. Van Tuyl. 2011. Simulation and sensitivity analysis of carbon storage and fluxes in the New Jersey Pinelands. Environmental Modelling & Software 26(9):1112-1122. ** Corresponding author.

McCarthy, K. and R.G. Lathrop. 2011. Stormwater Basins of the New Jersey Coastal Plain: Subsidies or Sinks for Frogs and Toads? Urban Ecosystems 14:395-413 (Online First).

Lathrop, R.G. 2009. Vegetation and Wildlife. In: Mapping New Jersey: An Evolving Landscape. Ed. M. Lurie and P. Wacker. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ. pp. 34-37.

Miao, Z., M. Xu, R.G. Lathrop, and Y. Wang. 2008. Comparison of A-Cc curve fitting methods in determining maximum ribulose 1.5-biphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase carboxylation rate, potential light saturated electron transport rate and leaf dark respiration. Plant, Cell and Environment. (Online).

Niles, L.J., H. P. Sitters, A.D. Dey, P.W. Atkinson, AL.J. Baker, K.A. Bennett, R. Carmona, K.E. Clark, C. Espoz, P.M. Gonzalez, B.A. Harrington, D.E. Hernandez, K.S. Kalasz, R.G. Lathrop, R.N. Matus, C.D.T. Minton, R.I.G. Morrison, M.K. Peck, W. Pitts, R.A. Robinson, and I.L Serrano. 2008. Status of the Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa) in the Western Hemisphere. Studies in Avian Biology: 36. 204 p.

Burne, M.R. and R.G. Lathrop. 2008. Remote and field identification of vernal pools. In: Science and Conservation of Vernal Pools in Northeastern North America. Ed. A. J.K. Calhoun and P.G.deMaynadier. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. pp. 55-68.

Technical Reports (last 10 years):

Giri, R.G., D. Krasnuk, R.G. Lathrop, S.J. Malone and J. Herb. 2016. State of the Raritan Report: Volume 1. PDF available on webpage

Lathrop, R.G., J. Bognar, and Hasse, J.E. 2016. Changing Landscapes in the Garden State: Land Use change in NJ 1986 through 2012. PDF

Lathrop, R.G., and J. Bognar, E. Buenaventura, J. Rovito and J. Trimble. 2014. New Jersey Coastal Flood Exposure. PDF

Lathrop, R.G., and J. Bognar, 2014. Modeling the Fate of New Jersey's Salt Marshes Under Future Sea Level Rise. PDF

Baker, R.J., Wieben, C.M., Lathrop, R.G., and Nicholson, R.S., 2014. Concentrations, loads, and yields of total nitrogen and total phosphorus in the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor watershed, New Jersey, 1989–2011, at multiple spatial scales: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5072, 64 p., ARTICLE.

Kennish, M. D. Fertig, and R. Lathrop. 2012. Assessment of Nutrient Loading and Eutrophication in Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey in Support of Nutrient Management Planning. Rutgers University Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences. Prepared for New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. 596 pp.

Lathrop, R.G. and S. Haag. 2011. Assessment of Seagrass Status in the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary System: 2003-2009. CRSSA Technical Report, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 56 p.

Hasse, J., and R. Lathrop. 2010. Changing Landscapes in the Garden State: Urban Growth and Open Space Loss 1986 through 2007. New Brunswick, NJ: Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis, Rutgers University.

Hasse, J. and R.G. Lathrop. 2008. Tracking New Jersey's Dynamic Landscape: Urban Growth and Open Space Loss 1986-1995-2002. CRSSA Technical Report, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 66 p. /HasseLathrop_njluc_final_report_07_14_08.pdf

On-going Projects:

NJForestAdapt: Place-based WebGIS Visualization Tool to assist Forest Managers in New Jersey. USDA-NIFA McIntire-Stennis. Principal Investigator. 9/1/2015-9/30/2018.

Ocean Planning in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Coastal State Stewardship Foundation. Principal Investigator. 1/1/2018-12/31//2018.

Investigating the Interconnectedness of Climate Change, Nuisance Mosquito Populations, and Long-term Resilience of Coastal Salt Marsh Systems. NOAA NERRS Science Collaborative. Principal Investigator. 11/1/2016-10/31/2019.

Shorebird Conservation in Lagoa de Peixe, Brazil. National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator. 10/1/2018-9/31/2020.

Professional Service:

Member, New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Advisory Committee (4/1998 – present); Chair (2017-present)
Member, New Jersey Fish & Game Council (4/2017-present)
Member, Science Advisory Committee of the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (1/1998-present)
Trustee, American Littoral Society (12/2002–2017); President (2009-2012)
Trustee, The Nature Conservancy, New Jersey Chapter (9/03-2012)
Chair, New Jersey Pinelands Commission Science Advisory Board (4/00 – 2016)
Member, Science and Technical Advisory Committee, Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program (1/1996- 2010)



Introduction to Aerial Photo Interpretation – Fall
Digital Image Analysis – Spring
Advanced Environmental Geomatics
Principles of Natural Resource Management
Winter Field Ecology
Ecological Field Techniques


Geospatial Information Science Graduate Certificate
Environmental Geomatics Undergraduate Certificate


Faculty Advisor to Rutgers Outdoors Club
Faculty Director of the Rutgers Ecological Preserve

Past Projects

New Jersey Landscape Change
New York-New Jersey Highlands Regional Study
Mapping New Jersey's Critical Wildlife Habitat
Coastal Studies
Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve
Monitoring Hemlock Forest Decline in New Jersey

Last updated September 2023