Dr. Sergii Skakun is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment at the Department of Geographical Sciences and the College of Information Studies (iSchool). He joined UMD in October 2015. From 2013 to 2015, he was a Senior Engineer at Samsung SDI (South Korea), where he was responsible for developing industrial vision inspection systems. From 2006 to 2013, he has held multiple positions (latest Senior Scientist) at the Space Research Institute (Ukraine), where he was performing research in remote sensing. He received PhD in Computer Science from National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 2005.

Dr. Skakun has participated as a PI or Co-I in projects funded by NASA, NSF, Google, European Commission (EC), EC Joint Research Center (JRC), U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF), National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, State Space Agency of Ukraine and Science & Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU).

He is a two-time recipient as a PI of the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) grants "Agriculture Velocity of Winter Wheat" (2022-2025, Leonid Shumilo) and "Climate induced agriculture change hotspots and its implication to global food security in the former Soviet Union (Russia and Ukraine)" (2021-2024, Abdul Qadir).

His recent projects include "Artillery Craters and Unexploded Ordnance Mapping in Ukraine using High Resolution Satellite Imagery" (NASA, 2023-2024), "High-Impact Hot Spots of Land Cover Land Use Change: Ukraine and Neighboring Countries" (NASA, 2021-2023), "FAI: Advancing Deep Learning Towards Spatial Fairness" (NSF, 2022-2025) and "Maintenance and refinement of the Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 VIIRS Land Surface Reflectance product suite" (NASA, 2021-2024). He is currently a Co-I on two NASA Agricultural Programs: Harvest and Acres.

Within Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), he is co-leading a Cloud Masking Inter-comparison Exercise (CMIX, https://calvalportal.ceos.org/cmix). He is currently an Associate Editor for the journal Remote Sensing of Environment. As of now, he authored or co-authored >70 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 3 books (in Ukrainian/Russian), and 6 chapters in edited books.

His current research focus is to advance methods, models and emerging technologies in the area of data science for heterogeneous remote sensing data fusion, processing and analysis, and their applications to Earth System Science and areas of societal benefit.

Recent papers:

  • Shumilo, L., Skakun, S., Gore, M. L., Shelestov, A., Kussul, N., Hurtt, G., Karabchuk, D., Yarotskiy, V. (2023). Conservation policies and management in the Ukrainian Emerald Network have maintained reforestation rate despite the war. Communications Earth & Environment, 4, art. num. 443. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-023-01099-4
  • Abys, C., Skakun, S., & Becker-Reshef, I. (2024). Two decades of winter wheat expansion and intensification in Russia. Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, 33, art. num. 101097. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsase.2023.101097https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsase.2023.101097
  • Qadir, A., Skakun, S., Eun, J., Prashnani, M., Shumilo, L. (2023). Sentinel-1 time series data for sunflower (Helianthus annuus) phenology monitoring. Remote Sensing of Environment, 295, art. num. 113689. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2023.113689
  • Duncan, E. C., Skakun, S., Kariryaa, A., & Prishchepov, A. V. (2023). Detection and mapping of artillery craters with very high spatial resolution satellite imagery and deep learning. Science of Remote Sensing, 7, art. num. 100092. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.srs.2023.100092
  • Doxani, G., Vermote, E. F., Roger, J. C., Skakun, S., Gascon, F., Collison, A., ... & Yin, F. (2023). Atmospheric Correction Inter-comparison eXercise, ACIX-II Land: An assessment of atmospheric correction processors for Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 over land. Remote Sensing of Environment, 285, art. num. 113412. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2022.113412
  • Skakun, S., Wevers, J., Brockmann, C., Doxani, G., Aleksandrov, M., Batič, M., Frantz, D., Gascon, F., Gómez-Chova, L., Hagolle, O., López-Puigdollers, D., Louis, J., Lubej, M., Mateo-García, G., Osman, J., Peressutti, D., Pflug, B., Puc, J., Richter, R., Roger, J.-C., Scaramuzza, P., Vermote, E., Vesel, N., Zupanc, A., Žust, L. (2022). Cloud Mask Intercomparison eXercise (CMIX): An evaluation of cloud masking algorithms for Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2. Remote Sensing of Environment, 274, art. num. 112990. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2022.112990
  • Zhang, Y., Skakun, S., Adegbenro, M.O., & Ying, Q. (2022). Leveraging the use of labeled benchmark datasets for urban area change mapping and area estimation: a case study of the Washington DC–Baltimore region. International Journal of Digital Earth, 15(1), 1169-1186. https://doi.org/10.1080/17538947.2022.2094001
  • Abys, C., Skakun, S., & Becker-Reshef, I. (2022). The Rise and Volatility of Russian Winter Wheat Production. Environmental Research Communications, 4(10), art. num. 101003. https://doi.org/10.1088/2515-7620/ac97d2
  • Eun, J., & Skakun, S. (2022). Characterizing land use with night-time imagery: the war in Eastern Ukraine (2012–2016). Environmental Research Letters, 17, art. num. 095006. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac8b23

He is teaching the following courses:

  • GEOG156 / INST156 “How NASA Sees the Earth” (GenEd course),
  • GEOG371 “Programming for Image Analysis”,
  • GEOG272/GEOG372 "Remote Sensing".

As part of the NASA Harvest team, results of his research on the impact of the war in Ukraine on agriculture was featured in the mass media:

Areas of Interest

  • Remote sensing
  • Agricultural monitoring
  • Machine learning in remote sensing
  • Disaster monitoring and risk assessment

Degrees

  • Degree Type
    PhD
    Degree Details
    Computer Science, Space Research Institute NASU-SSAU (Ukraine), 2005
  • Degree Type
    MS
    Degree Details
    Applied Mathematics, National Technical University of Ukraine “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, 2004
  • Degree Type
    BS
    Degree Details
    Applied Mathematics, National Technical University of Ukraine “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, 2002
Course Name Course Title Semester Syllabus
GEOG271 Introduction to Earth Observation Science Fall 2020 Syllabus
GEOG271 Introduction to Earth Observation Science Fall 2019 Syllabus
Course Name Course Title Semester Syllabus
GEOG271 Introduction to Earth Observation Science Spring 2018 Syllabus

Ongoing projects (PI or UMD PI):

2023-2024 PI for the NASA Rapid Response project “Artillery Craters and Unexploded Ordnance Mapping in Ukraine using High Resolution Satellite Imagery”
2022 – 2025 PI for the NASA project “Agriculture Velocity of Winter Wheat” within Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST).
FI: Leonid Shumilo (graduate student)
2022 – 2025 Co-PI for the NSF project “FAI: Advancing Deep Learning Towards Spatial Fairness” (NSF Program on Fairness in Artificial Intelligence in Collaboration with Amazon).
PI: X. Jia (University of Pittsburgh), Co-PI: Y. Xie (UMD)
2021-2024 UMD PI for the NASA project “Maintenance and refinement of the Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 VIIRS Land Surface Reflectance product suite”.
PI: E. Vermote (NASA/GSFC)
2021 2024 PI the NASA project “Climate induced agriculture change hotspots and its implication to global food security in the
former Soviet Union (Russia and Ukraine)” within Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science
and Technology (FINESST)
FI: Abdul Qadir (graduate student)

2021 – 2023

PI for the NASA project “High-Impact Hot Spots of Land Cover Land Use Change: Ukraine and Neighboring Countries

Completed projects:

2019 – 2022

UMD PI for the NASA project “Integration of L-band, C-band, and optical observations for agricultural monitoring
PI: N. Torbick (Applied GeoSolutions)

2021 – 2022 UMD PI for the IARPA/NGA project “WATCH: Wide Area Terrestrial Change Hypercube
PI: M. Leotta (Kitware)
  • Professional
    Associate Editor, journal Remote Sensing of Environment
  • Professional
    Editorial Board Member, section “Remote Sensing Image Processing”, journal Remote Sensing
  • International
    Task Coordinator of the Cloud Masking Inter-comparison eXercise (CMIX) within CEOS WGCV
  • Campus
    Remote Sensing Teaching Team Lead

Current Students

Former Students

  • Andres Eduardo Santamaria Artigas
    PostDoc at UMD
  • José Luis Villaescusa
    EUMETSAT
  • Gasmine Myers
  • Meredith Brown
    PostDoc at Sandia National Laboratories

Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)

  • Christian Abys
  • Katherine Melocik
  • Leonid Shumilo
  • Yiming Zhang
Sergii Skakun
4600 River Rd, Suite 300 (send mail to 2181 LeFrak)
Department of Geographical Sciences
Email
skakun [at] umd.edu