Barry N. Rock

Faculty Fellow and Scholarly Coach, Research and Engagement Academy
Scholarly Coach, Writing Academy
Professor Emeritus, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment


Barry N. Rock, Ph.D. is a Faculty Fellow in the Office of Engagement and Faculty Development, and has recently served as Co-chair of the UNH Writing Academy. Dr. Rock is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. He received a B.A. in Botany, from the University of Vermont and both his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Botany, from the University of Maryland. Following receipt of his doctorate, Dr. Rock held the positions of Assistant and Associate Professor of Biology at Alfred University, Alfred, New York. In 1978, Dr. Rock became site botanist for the joint NASA/Geosat remote sensing study conducted at Lost River, West Virginia. In 1987, he joined the faculty at the University of New Hampshire as an Associate Professor of Forest Resources and the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS). 

Dr. Rock's research and publications have focused on remote sensing of vegetation, specifically on basic and applied research dealing with biophysical properties (pigment concentrations, anatomical characteristics, and moisture conditions) of leaves and their influence on reflectance features which may be remotely detected. During the 1994-95 academic year, Dr. Rock assumed the position of Senior Scientist and Assistant Director of the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program, an environmental education outreach project directed from the White House. Dr. Rock developed the hands-on science activities to be conducted by GLOBE students on an international scale (26 participating countries, involving over 2500 schools). GLOBE was patterned after ideas presented by Al Gore in Earth in the Balance

Between 1997 and 2001, Dr. Rock coordinated a New England regional survey of climate change impacts to the region, both over the past 100 years, and those projected for the future.


Scholarly Agenda

  • Investigating the physiological and anatomical connections between poor air quality and foliar damage to forest species, primarily spruce (both Norway and red), white pine, and sugar maple
  • Connecting the spectral reflectance characteristics associated with the foliar damage (above) as measured in the field and the lab with the capabilities of airborne (hyperspectratral) and Earth-orbiting sensors (primarily Landsat Thematic Mapper) to detect, map, and monitor forest damage over wide areas
  • Helping to create a series of K-16 science outreach programs at UNH (Forest Watch, Project SMART, and Maple Watch) and Elizabeth City State University (Watershed Watch), in addition to serving as the first Chief Scientist of GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment), an international K-12 Science/Education outreach program developed by the White House (1994/95)

Funding Sources

  • National Science Foundation
  • NASA
  • NOAA
  • Fulbright Office

External Partners

  • Primary, Middle and High Schools across New England
  • Great Bay Community College and the College of the Albemarle
  • Elizabeth City State University
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Charles University, Prague

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Barry Rock