Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Calum Hoad

Research interests:

I am interested in the effect of spatial and temporal resolution on earth observation data analyses, including the use of UAVs (drones) to capture high spatiotemporal resolution data and the use of UAV data for satellite data validation. I also hold strong interests in the biosphere and cryosphere, particularly in relation snow-vegetation interactions in Arctic ecosystems.

I’m heavily involved in science outreach and hold interests in methods for conveying complex scientific information to lower-secondary-school-age audiences.

Career history:

I studied for an MA(Hons) in Geography at the University of Aberdeen from 2014-2018, attaining First Class Honours. During my undergraduate degree, my principal interests were in the cryosphere, biosphere and Geographic Information Science. I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on cartographically representing snow avalanche hazards in Scotland, combining GIS with snow science and the risk taking attitudes of back country recreationists.

After graduating from Aberdeen, I worked for 2 years as a GIS Technician for a maritime specialist publishing company. During this period, I set up the GIS infrastructure at the company (GIS was new to the business) and produced maps for a series of navigational guides covering shipping bottlenecks around the world.

In October 2020, I began my PhD at the University of Edinburgh, studying ‘Arctic Greening Across Scales’ as part of the newly formed Satellite Data in Environmental Science CDT. Since beginning the PhD, I have conducted one field season collecting data with a drone in the Canadian Yukon (which I am currently analysing) and have co-founded a successful schools outreach programme for Earth Observation science – ‘SatSchool’ (

Active research projects:

"Snow and landcover types as both artefact and signal in Arctic greening trends"

Remote sensing, Arctic tundra, UAV, Arctic greening, vegetation indices

Recent publications:


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