Marc Mayes

Position: Senior Scientist, Ecosystems Science and Remote Sensing, Spatial Informatics Group-Natural Assets Laboratory (SIG-NAL)

Dr. Marc Mayes is an ecosystems scientist and remote sensing expert.  He leads research and projects on landscape and water resources management for climate change adaptation. Example topics include forest, woodland and shrubland resilience and regrowth after disturbances, water and soil resource conservation, and mitigation of natural hazards such as wildfire.  Mayes’ expertise includes applications of satellite, manned aircraft and drone (sUAS) -based remote sensing for environmental monitoring at hillslope to watershed scales.  His projects have addressed forest conservation planning in East Africa and Mexico, landscape hydrology and vegetation water use dynamics in the US Southwest, and California oak woodland phenology and health, including mitigation of goldspotted oak borer (GSOB) invasions.  Mayes has worked on wildfire hazard mitigation and post-fire recovery projects in California since 2018, when he led sUAS-based assessments of flood infrastructure condition after the 2017 Thomas Fire and January 9, 2018 debris flows in Santa Barbara County. He is involved with ongoing research at UCSB’s Sedgwick Reserve on fire behavior in oak woodland and savanna ecosystems, and use of remote sensing technologies to inform prescribed fire planning and operations as part of the TREX (Prescribed Fire Teaching and Learning Exchange) program.  Mayes holds FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot and Wildland Firefighter Type II (FFT2) certifications.

Mayes has worked at SIG-NAL since 2022.  He is also a Research Associate at UCSB’s Earth Research Institute (link), and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Watershed Sciences at Utah State University (link).  Marc earned a Sc.B. in Geology and Chemistry from Brown University, an M.S. in Environment and Resources from the Nelson Institute at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. in Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences from Brown University (Brown University-Marine Biological Lab Joint Ph.D. Program).

Outside of work Marc enjoys triathlon sports, cross-country skiing, kayaking, hiking and exploring new landscapes.  He also plays piano and saxophone.