Robert Emberson, Associate Scientist, Earth Sciences

Robert Emberson

Contact Info

Phone: 301-614-5815

Research Interests

Research interests include the exposure of human population and infrastructure with natural hazards, and understanding the impact of hazards on human systems. Dr. Emberson is keenly interested in landslides, both as a geomorphic process and as a part of disaster risk reduction concepts. As a result of his experience in geomorphology and surface geochemical processes, he also is interested in an integrated understanding of erosional impacts, with a particular focus on soil degradation and related effects on hydrological systems. He also is deeply interested in the communication and conduct of science as a human enterprise in the 21st century.


Dr. Emberson has been involved in landslide hazard and exposure research since 2018 when he joined the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Hydrological Sciences Laboratory. He spent 2 years as a Fellow with the NASA Postdoctoral Program before moving to GESTAR in August 2020, where he will continue much of his landslide-related work. Since arriving at GSFC, he been involved in several projects, including the development of landslide hazard and exposure assessments for the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, working alongside UN agencies. Dr. Emberson also is part of the NASA Disaster Coordinator Team, to help disseminate and communicate information to a range of stakeholders during natural disasters. He is excited to continue to develop landslide analyses as part of GESTAR as well as branch out into new challenges, including developing remote sensing assessments of surface erosion and associated impacts.

Prior to joining USRA and the NASA Postdoctoral Program, he completed his PhD at the University of Potsdam, Germany, where he studied the relationship between landslides and river geochemistry. He has also worked as an Editor for Nature Geoscience and as a freelance science writer.