Dr. Yuyu Zhou

Yuyu Zhou

  • PhD
  • Assistant Professor
  • Dept. of Geological & Atmospheric Sciences
  • Iowa State University
  • 3019 Agronomy Hall
  • Ames, IA 50011
  • (515)294-2842
  • yuyuzhou at iastate.edu

Dr. Zhou's research interests lie in the applications of geospatial technologies including remote sensing, GIS, geovisualization, spatial analytic tools, and integrated assessment modeling to understanding the problems of global environmental change (e.g., urbanization, urban heat island, ecosystem phenology, energy supply and demand, and greenhouse gas emissions) and their potential solutions. His research focus has always been in quantifying spatiotemporal patterns of environmental change and developing modeling mechanisms to bridge the driving forces (both natural and socioeconomic factors) and consequences of environmental change so that the impacts of human activities on environment can be effectively measured, modeled, and evaluated.

I received my B.S. degree in geography and M.S. degree in remote sensing from Beijing Normal University and my Ph.D. degree in environmental sciences from University of Rhode Island. Before moving to Iowa State University, I worked as a geography scientist in the Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Research Interests

  1. Urban mapping and modeling
  2. Urban heat island and its enrionmental impacts
  3. High spatiotemporal energy use and emissions inventory
  4. Global energy demand and supply
  5. Water-Energy Nexus
  6. Climate change



Doctor of Philosophy

in Environmental Sciences
University of Rhode Island


Master of Science

in Cartography and GIS
Beijing Normal University


Bachelor of Science

in Geography
Beijing Normal University



Assistant Professor

in Physical Geography
Iowa State University



in Energy and Environmental Sciences


Postdoctoral Research Associate

in Environmental Sciences
Purdue University

Selected Publications

A cluster-based method to map urban area from DMSP/OLS nightlights

Remote Sensing of Environment 2015
Yuyu Zhou, Steven J Smith, Christopher D Elvidge, Kaiguang Zhao, Allison Thomson, Marc Imhoff

A global map of urban extent from nightlights

Environmental Research Letters 2015
Yuyu Zhou, S. J. Smith, K. Zhao, M. Imhoff, A. Thomson, B. Bond-Lamberty, G. R. Asrar, X. Zhang, C. He & C. D. Elvidge

A Comprehensive View of Global Potential for Hydro-generated Electricity

Energy & Environmental Science 2015
Yuyu Zhou, Mohamad Hejazi, Steven J. Smith, Jae A Edmonds, Hong-Yi Li, Leon Clarke, Katherine Calvin, Allison Thomson

Modeling the effect of climate change on U.S. state-level buildings energy demands in an integrated assessment framework

Applied Energy 2014
Yuyu Zhou, L. Clarke, J. Eom, P. Kyle, P. Patel, S. H. Kim, J. Dirks, E. Jensen, Y. Liu, J. Rice, L. Schmidt & T. Seiple

Selected Honors & Awards


Sigma Xi Dissertation Award