Understanding carbon dynamics at scales from neighborhoods to continents. 

A national observatory is needed to measure carbon changes around the globe as they happen. Humanity relies on carbon uptake by natural ecosystems to offset human-generated emissions. As ecosystems warm and disturbance events increase, the processes responsible for maintaining this carbon balance will change.

CarbonFOX is designed to measure terrestrial carbon sources and sinks with high sensitivity, resolution, and coverage, enabling us to understand and predict ecosystem carbon processes and their response to human activities and climate change.



CarbonFOX was submitted to NASA's Earth System Explorers Program in 2023 but was not selected in May 2024. 

Science Focus

CarbonFOX Trees

Measure changes in carbon dynamics over natural terrestrial ecosystems (boreal and tropical forests, grasslands and vegetated wetlands).

CarbonFOX Fire

Determine how disturbances (hurricanes, fires, floods, etc.) impact carbon dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems, including those managed for agriculture and undergoing large-scale land-use change.

CarbonFOX City

Quantify natural and anthropogenic drivers of carbon dynamics in and around coastal and inland urban regions.

CarbonFOX Smoke Stacks

CarbonFOX’s Application Program is designed to engage Communities of Practice and Potential, to inform climate policy and management decisions worldwide on local, state, and national levels, and enable quick integration of CarbonFOX data into decision-making processes and operational tools.

Early Adopters:

EPA, NIST, NYSERDA, NIWA, Permafrost Pathways

Meet the Team 

Find the rest of the Science Team here

Roisin Commane
Dr. Róisín Commane

Principal Investigator
Columbia University

Sparkle Malone
Dr. Sparkle Malone

Deputy PI - Science
Yale University 

Sean Crowell
Dr. Sean Crowell

Deputy PI - Mission
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center



Colorado State University
Columbia Climate School, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Florida International University
Harvard University
The City College of New York
University of Arkansas
Woodwell Climate Research Center
Yale University