Elitsa Peneva-Reed, PhD


Elitsa Peneva-Reed is a geographer who has been with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia since 2014. Her work has been supported by two programs: Land Carbon and Silva Carbon.

Under the Land Carbon program, she is the project chief of an international multi-agency (U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Micronesia Conservation Trust  (MCT) Blue Carbon Project “Mangrove Mapping and Carbon Assessment” utilizing satellite observations and ground data collection in the Federated States of Micronesia and in the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, USA. As part of this project, she has led numerous field trips to establish permanent above ground biomass plots and produced a high-resolution mangrove distribution map over the island of Pohnpei, to be used to extrapolate the AGB measurements to the entire island.

For the Silva Carbon program, she has produced various reports to assess the capacity transfer in countries such as Peru, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and others. She is currently working on remote sensing training materials for South East Asian countries.

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  • Ph.D., Geography, University of South Carolina, 2011
  • Linking Local Knowledge and Satellite-derived Land Use/Land Cover Change Information in Krabi Province, Thailand.
  • M.S., Geography, University of Southern Mississippi, 2005
  • Mapping seagrass distribution off Horn Island using airborne hyperspectral imagery
  • M.A., International Relations, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohrisdki”, 2003
  •   The Evolution of Remote Sensing and the National Security Issues Arising from the Use of Very High Resolution Satellite Imagery.



  • 2017 IUFRO Conference, Germany: Dynamics of mangrove aboveground carbon stocks estimated with Landsat time series and field data in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida.
  • 2017 Third Annual Florida Mangrove Workshop, St. Petersburg, USA: Management of Mangrove Ecosystems for Biological Carbon Sequestration in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
  • 2016 INTECOL Conference, China: Mangrove Monitoring and Carbon Assessment in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
  • 2015 GFOI Workshop, Republic of the Congo: Overview on Time Series Analysis for Forest Cover Change.
  • 2007 AGU, San Francisco, USA: Remote sensing approach for documenting the conversion of mangroves to aquaculture in Krabi province, Thailand.
  • 2007 AAG, San Francisco, USA: Loss of Mangroves, Gain in Aquaculture: Spatially and temporally detailed means of tracking changes in land use and valuation in coastal Thailand.



  • Peneva-Reed, E., and Romijn, E., 2018. Assessment of Capacity Building Activities for Forest Monitoring and Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Systems Development To Inform the Development of Best Practice Guidance Document. USGS Open File Report. (Under Review).
  • Peneva-Reed, E., Gálmez, V., and Olofsson, P., 2014. Comparative evaluation of two methodologies for forest monitoring in Peru. USGS Report prepared as a request from the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment (MINAM), 52 p.
  • Peneva-Reed, E., 2014. Understanding land-cover change dynamics of a mangrove ecosystem at the village level in Krabi Province, Thailand, using Landsat data.  GIScience & Remote Sensing. 51(04): 403-426. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15481603.2014.936669?needAccess=true
  • Peneva-Reed, E., 2011. Linking Local Knowledge and Satellite-derived Land Use/Land Cover Change Information in Krabi Province, Thailand. Doctoral Dissertation. 
  • Peneva, E., Griffith, J., and Carter, G., 2007. Seagrass Mapping in the Northern Gulf of Mexico using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery: A Comparison of Classification Methods. Journal of Coastal Research. 24(4): 850-856.http://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/06-0764.1