Dr. Stephen Prince is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland. Prior to moving to the United States in 1987, he was an Associate Professor at the University of London, UK. Although formally retired (since 2014), he continues to be active in research at UMD. He is the author of over 100 peer reviewed articles and many other publications.  He has advised over 30 Doctoral and Masters students.

Dr. Prince’s expertise is in vegetation remote sensing, using a wide range of satellite sensors, currently with special emphasis on dryland degradation and desertification. In he has worked on the carbon cycle at regional scales using remotely sensed data and field measurements, on global vegetation dynamics, monitoring and modeling land surface processes, and on methods to map desertification and relate it to its human causes. His current research is on dryland degradation in the Sahel, South Western USA, Middle East, and Australia.

Dr. Prince chaired the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) Data Information System (DIS) Global Primary Production Data Initiative (GPPDI) and was Principal Investigator in the IGBP Global Analysis, Integration and Modeling (GAIM) Ecosystem Model-Data Inter-comparison (EMDI) program. He has assisted the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UNCCD in the establishment of ecosystem monitoring systems in West & Southern Africa and in the FAO GLADA program (Global Land Degradation Assessment in drylands). He was the NASA Project Team Leader for the HAPEX-Sahel international measurement campaign 1991-1993 in Niger, West Africa. Currently he is a Coordinating Lead Author for the UN IPBES Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment.

Areas of Interest

  • Dryland ecology at regional (Sub-Saharan Africa, SW USA, Middle East, Australia) to global scales.


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    University of Lancaster, UK. Plant ecophysiology. 1971
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    University of Bristol, UK. Botany with Chemistry and Geology. 1966
  • UN Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) - Coordinating Lead Author

Former Students

  • Dr. Niall Hanan
    Professor, Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence (GIScCE), South Dakota State Universi
  • Dr. Scott Goetz
    Professor, Northern Arizona University
  • Dr. Douglas Fuller
    Professor and Associate Dean, Dept. of Geography and Regional Studies,University of Miami, FL
  • Dr. Jingli Yang
    President and CEO, Earth Resources Technology, Inc., MD, USA
  • Dr. Konrad Wessels
    Chief Scientist, CSIR, South Africa
  • Dr. Molly Brown
    Physical Scientist, NASA,Goddard Space Flight Center, MD, USA
Stephen D. Prince
Rm. 1115, LeFrak Hall
Department of Geographical Sciences
sprince [at] umd.edu