University of Calgary

Greg McDermid

  • Professor

Research Interests:

I am a geospatial scientist whose research activities revolve around the application of remote sensing and other geospatial technolgies to environmental monitoring and ecology. I am involved in a wide variety of interdisciplinary research collaborations in the fields of wildlife ecology, biodiversity assessment, ecological monitoring, plant-phenology assessment, and vegetation mapping. I'm interested in a broad range of remote sensing and other GIScience pursuits, including digital image processing, spatial analysis, environmental modelling, and data fusion/integration.


I joined the department in January, 2005 and was promoted to Associate Professor in April, 2011. I've studied at the University of Calgary (B.Sc., 1991; M.Sc. 1993) and the University of Waterloo (Ph.D., 2005) in areas of physical geography, GIS, and environmental remote sensing. Prior to this current academic gig, I founded and managed an Internet publishing and consulting company out of Fort Collins, Colorado from 1994 to 2001.

Recent Publications

Castilla, G., A. Hernando, C. Zhang, and G.J. McDermid, 2014: The impact of object size on the thematic accuracy of landcover maps.  International Journal of Remote Sensing, 35(3): 1029-1037. 

 Castilla, G., J.N. Hird, B. Maynes, D. Crane, J. Cosco, J. Schieck, and G.J. McDermid, 2013: Broadening modern resource inventories: A new protocol for mapping natural and anthropogenic features.  The Forestry Chronicle, 89(5): 681-689. 


Nielsen, S., M.R.L. Cattet, J. Boulanger, J. Cranston, G.J. McDermid, A.B.A. Shafer and G.B. Stenhouse, 2013: Environmental, biological and anthropogenic effects on grizzly bear body size: temporal and spatial considerations. BMC Ecology, 13(31): 1-12.


Linke, J., G.J. McDermid, M.-J. Fortin, and G.B. Stenhouse, 2013: Relationships between grizzly bears and human disturbances in a rapidly changing multi-use forest landscape.  Biological Conservation, 166: 54-63. 


Nijland, W., N.C. Coops, S. Coogan, S.E. Nielsen, G.J. McDermid, and G.B. Stenhouse, 2013: Vegetation phenology can be captured with digital repeat photography and linked to variability of root nutrition in Hedysarum alpinum.  Applied Vegetation Science, 16(2): 317-324.


Linke, J., and G.J. McDermid, 2012: Monitoring landscape change in a multi-use forest area in west-central Alberta, Canada using the disturbance-inventory framework.  Remote Sensing of Environment, 125: 112-124.


DeCesare, N.J., M. Hebblewhite, F. Schmiegelow, D. Hervieux, G.J. McDermid, L. Neufeld, M. Bradley, J. Whittington, K. Smith, L.E. Morgantini, M. Wheatley, and M. Musiani, 2012.  Transcending scale-dependence in identifying habitat with resource selection functions.  Ecological Applications, 22(4): 1068-1083.


Chen, G., K. Zhao, G.J. McDermid, and G.J. Hay, 2012.  The influence of sampling density on geographically weighted regression: a case study using forest canopy height and optical data.  International Journal of Remote Sensing, 33(9): 2909-2924.  DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2011.624130.


Coops, N.C., T. Hilker, C.W. Bater, M.A. Wulder, S. Nielsen, G.J. McDermid, and G. Stenhouse, 2012: Linking ground-based to satellite-derived phenological metrics in support of habitat assessment. Remote Sensing Letters, 3(3): 191-200.  DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2010.550330.


Castilla, G., J. Linke, A.J. McLane, and G.J. McDermid, 2011.  Quantifying bias in pattern indices extracted from spatially offset landscape samples.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 41(10):2090-2096.  DOI: 10.1139/X11-123.


Bater, C.W., N.C. Coops, M.A. Wulder, S.E. Nielsen, G.J. McDermid, and G.B. Stenhouse, 2011: Design and installation of a camera network across an elevation gradient for habitat assessment. Instrumentation Science and Technology, 39(3): 231-247.  DOI: 10.1080/10739149.2011.564700.


Franklin, S.E., Y. He, A.D. Pape, X. Guo, and G.J. McDermid, 2011: Landsat-comparable land cover maps using the ASTER and SPOT images: a case study for large-area mapping programmes.  International Journal of Remote Sensing, 32(8): 2185-2205.  DOI: 10.1080/01431161003674642.


McLane, A.J., C. Semeniuk, G.J. McDermid, and D. Marceau, 2011:  The role of agent-based models in wildlife ecology and management.  Ecological Modelling, 222(8): 1544-1556.  DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.01.020.


Bater, C.W., N.C. Coops, M. A. Wulder, T. Hilker, S.E. Nielsen, G.J. McDermid, G.J., G.B. Stenhouse, 2011. Using digital time-lapse cameras to monitor species-specific understorey and overstorey phenology in support of wildlife habitat assessment. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 180: 1-13. DOI 10.1007/s10661-010-1768-x. 


Linke, J. and G.J. McDermid, 2011: A conceptual model for multi-temporal landscape monitoring in an object-based environment.  Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observation and Remote Sensing, 4(2): 265-271.  DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2010.2045881.


Musiani, M., M. Anwar, G.J. McDermid, M. Hebblewhite, and D. Marceau, 2010: How humans shape wolf behavior in Banff and Kootenay National Parks, Canada.  Ecological Modelling, 221(19): 2374-2387. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2010.06.019.


Nielsen, S.E., G.J. McDermid, G.B. Stenhouse, and M.S. Boyce, 2010: Dynamic wildlife habitat models: Seasonal foods and mortality risk predict occupancy-abundance and habitat selection in grizzly bears.  Biological Conservation, 143(7): 1623-1634.  DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.04.007.


Stewart, B.P., M.A. Wulder, G.J. McDermid, and T. Nelson, 2009: Disturbance capture and attribution through the integration of Landsat and IRS-1C imagery. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 35(6): 523-533.


Wang, K., S.E. Franklin, X. Guo, Y. He, and G.J. McDermid, 2009: Problems in remote sensing of landscapes and habitats.  Progress in Physical Geography, 33(6): 747-768. DOI: 10.1177/0309133309350121.


McLane, A.J., G.J. McDermid, and M.A. Wulder, 2009: Processing discrete-return profiling LiDAR data to estimate canopy closure for large-area forest mapping and management.  Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 35(3): 217-229.


Hilker, T., M.A. Wulder, N.C. Coops, J. Linke, G.J. McDermid, J.G. Masek, F. Gao, and J.C. White, 2009: A new data fusion model for high spatial- and temporal-resolution mapping of forest disturbance based on Landsat and MODIS.  Remote Sensing of Environment, 113(8): 1613–1627.  DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2009.03.007.


Linke, J., G.J. McDermid, D.N. Laskin, A.J. McLane, A.D. Pape, J. Cranston, M. Hall-Beyer, and S.E. Franklin, 2009: A disturbance-inventory framework for flexible and reliable landscape monitoring.  Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 75(8): 981-996.


McDermid, G.J., R.J. Hall, G.A. Sanchez-Azofeifa, S.E. Franklin, G.B. Stenhouse, T. Kobliuk, and E.F. LeDrew, 2009: Remote sensing and forest inventory for wildlife habitat assessment.  Forest Ecology and Management, 257(11): 2262-2269.


Hird, J. and G.J. McDermid, 2009: Noise reduction of NDVI time series: An empirical comparison of selected techniques.  Remote Sensing of Environment, 113(1): 248-258.


Linke, J., G.J. McDermid, A.D. Pape, A.J. McLane, D.N. Laskin, M. Hall-Beyer, and S.E. Franklin, 2009: The influence of patch delineation mismatches on multi-temporal landscape pattern analysis.  Landscape Ecology, 24(2): 157-170.


McDermid, G.J., J. Linke, A.D. Pape, D.N. Laskin, A.J. McLane, and S.E. Franklin, 2008: Object-based approaches to change analysis and thematic map update: challenges and limitations.  Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 34(5): 462-466.


McDermid, G.J. and I.U. Smith, 2008: Mapping the distribution of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) in Waterton Lakes National Park using logistic regression and classification tree analysis.  Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 34(4): 356-366.


Hebblewhite, M., E. Merrill, and G.J. McDermid, 2008: A multi-scale test of the forage maturation hypothesis in a partially migratory ungulate population, Ecological Monographs, 78(2): 141-166.




Graduate Student Alumni


Julia Linke, PhD (currently a PostDoc in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto) - Development and application of a framework for flexible and reliable landscape monitoring: changes in the Alberta foothills and the impact on grizzly bear habitat.

Erin Latham, MGIS (currently a PhD student in the Department of Geography, University of Victoria) - Changes in bighorn sheep habitat of the Sierra Nevada mountains.


Aleksandra Sobol, MGIS (currently with Freestone Consulting) - The impact of sampling intensity and failed GPS acquisitions on animal home-range estimation.


Ben Curry, MGIS - A comparison of relative and absolute change detection for measuring forest disturbance.

Shadan Sanii, MGIS (currently with Stantec) - Assessing the effect of point density and terrain complexity of LiDAR-derived DEMs in multiple resolutions.

Jennifer Hird, MSc (currently with the Foothills Facility for Remote Sensing and GIScience) - Noise reduction for time series of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI): an empirical comarison of selected techniques.


Iain Smith, MGIS (currently with Timberline Natural Resources Group) - Mapping the distribution of whitebark pine in Waterton Lakes National Park using logistic regression and classification tree analysis.

Sarah Miall, MGIS (currently with Suncor Energy) - Knowledge formulation with H-resolution satellite imagery: object-oriented versis pixel-based approaches.

Adam McLane. MGIS (currently a PhD student at the University of Calgary) - Processing discrete-return profiling LiDAR data to estimate canopy closure for the purpose of grizzly bear management in northern Alberta.

Katie Yalte, MGIS (currently with the Foothills Research Institute) - Relative change detection: an overlooked advantage.


Prasanna Man Shrestha, MGIS (currently with Tera Environmental Consutants) - Comparison of ordinary-least-squares regression, spatial autoregression, and geographically-weighted regression for modeling forest structural attributes using a geographical information system/remote sensing approach.

Dan Austin, MGIS (currently with Summit Environmental Consultants) - Object-oriented processing and high-spatial-resolution imagery: Comparison of pixel- and object-based image classification of an IKONOS-2 image centered around Barrier Lake, Alberta.

Curriculum Vitae



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