Richard G. Lathrop Jr.

Photo: Richard G. Lathrop Jr.

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

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

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.

Zampella, R.A., N.A. Procopio, R.G. Lathrop and C.L. Dow. 2007. Relationship of land- use/land-cover patterns and surface-water quality in the Mullica River Basin. Journal American Water Resources Association 43(3): 594-604.

Lathrop, R.G., D. Tulloch, C. Hatfield. 2007. Consequences of Land Use Change in the New York-New Jersey Highlands, USA: Landscape Indicators of Forest and Watershed Integrity. Landscape and Urban Planning 79(2):150-159.

Lathrop, R.G. 2006. The application of a ratio estimator to determine confidence limits on land use change mapping. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 27(10):2033-2038.

Lee, S. and R. G. Lathrop. 2006. Sub-pixel analysis of Landsat ETM using Self-Organizing Map (SOM) neural networks. IEEE GeoScience and Remote Sensing 44(6):1642-1654.

Lathrop, R.G., M. Cole, N. Senyk and B. Butman. 2006. Seafloor habitat mapping of the New York Bight incorporating sidescan sonar data. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 68:221-230.

Lathrop, R.G., P. Montesano, and S. Haag. 2006. A multi-scale segmentation approach to mapping seagrass habitats using airborne digital camera imagery. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 72(6):665-675.

Lathrop, R.G. and J.Hasse. 2006. Tracking New Jersey’s Changing Landscape. In: New Jersey’s Environments: Past, Present, and Future. Ed: N. Maher. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ. pp.. 111-127.

Lee, S. and R. G. Lathrop. 2005. Sub-pixel estimation of urban land cover components with linear mixture model analysis and Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 26(22):4885-4905.

R.G. Lathrop, P. Montesano, J. Tesauro, and B. Zarate. 2005. Statewide mapping and assessment of vernal pools: A New Jersey case Study. Journal of Environmental Management 76:230-238.

Conway, T. and R.G.Lathrop. 2005. Modeling the Future Ecological Consequences of Land Use Policies in an Urbanizing Region. Environmental Management 35(3): 278-291.

Conway, T. and R.G.Lathrop. 2005. Alternative Land Use Regulation and Environmental Impacts: Assessing Future Pathways for a Suburbanizing Coastal Watershed. Landscape and Urban Planning 71(1):1-15.

Technical Reports (last 10 years):

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

Lathrop, R.G. and S. Haag. 2007. Assessment of Land Use Change and Riparian Zone status in the Barnegat Bay and Little Egg Harbor Watershed: 1995-2002-2006. CRSSA Technical Report, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 27 p. /report/CRSSA__BB_LULCC_Riparian_study_2007_revised.pdf

Lathrop, R.G., and A.A. Love. 2007. Vulnerability of New Jersey's coastal habitat to sea level rise. CRSSA Technical Report, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 17 p.

Lathrop, R.G., and A.A. Love. 2007. New Jersey coastal conservation & restoration targets. CRSSA Technical Report, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 47 p.

Love, A.A. and R.G. Lathrop. 2007. Mapping & characterizing the natural & cultural resources of the Delaware Bayshore region: Spatial data report. CRSSA Technical Report, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 34 p.

Lathrop, R.G., M. Allen and A. Love. 2006. Mapping and assessing critical horseshoe crab spawning habitats of Delaware Bay. CRSSA Technical Report, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 37 p.

On-going Projects:

Development of a Mapping and Decision Support Portal for Implementation of Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning in the Mid-Atlantic. NOAA Regional Ocean Partnership. Co-principal Investigator. 1/1/2012-12/30/2015.

Ocean Planning in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Moore Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator. 1/1/2013-1/29//2016.

Decision-making for Coastal Adaptation: Sustaining Coastal Salt Marshes for Ecosystem Services along the Jersey Shore. NOAA COCA. Principal Investigator. 9/1/2014-7/31/2016

Evaluation of Environmentally Sensitive Areas in Barnegat Bay NJ. NJ Department of Environmental Protection. 10/1/2013-9/30/2015

New Jersey Fireshed Mapping. NJ Division of Parks and Forestry. Principal Investigator. 4/1/2014-9/30/2015

New Jersey Storm Surge Mapping in NJFloodMapper. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. 6/1/2014-7/23/2016

New Jersey Resilient Shorelines Initiative. NOAA; subcontract through the Nature Conservancy. Co-Principal Investigator. 4/1/2014-3/30/2016

Professional Service:

Member, New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Advisory Committee (4/1998 – present)
Member, Science Advisory Committee of the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (1/1998- present)
Trustee, American Littoral Society (12/2002 – present); President (2009-2012)
Trustee, The Nature Conservancy, New Jersey Chapter (9/03-2012)
Chair, New Jersey Pinelands Commission Science Advisory Board (4/00 – present)
Member, Science and Technical Advisory Committee, Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program (1/1996- present)
Associate Editor, Forest Science (3/2004 –2011)



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 July 24, 2015