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Belén Franch Gras

Belén Franch Gras




Affiliation: Universitat de València

Fields or areas of research Remote sensing (observation of the Earth by satellite) , Monitoring of agriculture , Atmospheric and angular correction of satellites, analysis of the variation of the surface albedo and relation with climate change , Estimates of cereal production

Belen Franch Gras (Valencia, 1984) received her Cum Laude PhD in Physics on April 2013 by the Department Física de la Terra i Termodinàmica of the Universitat de València. From 2013 to 2019 she worked as Associate Research Professor at the University of Maryland and as an Associate Researcher at NASA. Since 2019 she works at the Universitat de València as a distinguished researcher and at the University of Maryland as Adjunct Associate Professor. Her main research is focused on the use of remote sensing satellite images to analyze the Earth's surface. On the one hand, Belen works on the estimation and analysis of surface albedo, an essential parameter in climate models since it controls the radiative balance, that is, how much heat a surface absorbs or reflects. During her PhD, Belen developed a model that allows the estimation of this parameter on a daily basis and reducing its uncertainty. Currently, her work focuses on adapting this model to medium to high spatial resolution sensors to improve water balance estimates and correct directional effects. On the other hand, Belen works on estimating the production of the main cereals exported internationally before being harvested. The main objective is to provide early, transparent, objective and quantitative information on the status of these cereals in the main exporting countries. Currently, Belen leads the crop yield estimates working group within the NASA-funded NASA Harvest international consortium. In addition, since 2019 she is member of the Group on Earth Observations Global Agriculture Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative. In 2018 Belen Franch was awarded by NASA with the Early career achievement medal of honor for her exceptional contribution in the field of remote sensing and her contribution to a better understanding of the Earth system and its agricultural resources and in 2019 she received a NASA Goddard award as a member of the Land Long Term Data Record Team for their outstanding work in producing, validating and distributing the longest satellite-based global land surface CDR to date In December 2018, she obtained the highest score of the senior category in the Generació Talent program of the Generalitat Valenciana.

People associated with the project as predoctoral research staff: 1