Researchers in ERI have developed and deployed systems to monitor energy resource
development and utilization. Monitoring systems / methods include Differential Absorption
Lidar (DIAL), hyperspectral, multispectral and infrared imaging, proton transfer mass
spectrometry, and eddy covariance. Investigators also use satellite imaging datasets
in addition to ground and airborne systems developed at MSU.
Dr. Knighton has been actively involved in the development and application of chemical
ionization mass spectrometry for nearly 20 years. That interest continues today and
is primarily focused on using drift tube reaction mass spectrometry for the quantification
of trace level volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from a wide variety of natural
and anthropogenic sources.
Research in our group seeks to integrate geospatial data and tools (remote sensing,
GIS, and GPS) to develop monitoring systems that characterize landscape and vegetation
patterns to improve understanding of ecosystem processes and drivers. Our research
contributes to the development of monitoring systems at a variety of scales (from
site to continental) and across a variety of applications across the broad field of
My areas of expertise include laser research and development, laser remote sensing,
electro-optics, feedback and control, and optical technology development for communications.
I design, build, and calibrate optical remote sensing systems and use them to explore
the natural Earth environment. From infrared imaging of clouds to laser detection
of fish, optical remote sensing helps answer intriguing scientific questions while
providing fascinating engineering challenges.
Ph.D. 2006, Duke University; B.A. 2001, University of Wisconsin. Surface-atmosphere
exchange of water, energy, and trace gases with an emphasis on plot scale measurements
and regional and global scale synthesis. Specific interests including quantifying
the impacts of land use change and climate change on the surface energy balance, the
carbon cycle, and hydrology in temperate, boreal, and arctic ecosystems.