Research Overview

Our 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 environmental change and their potential solutions for a sustainable environment. We are working in research areas concerning Environmental Sustainability.


  1. NSF, PI, Water Sustainability at the Food-Energy-Water Nexus under Urbanization and Climate Change
  2. DOE-PNNL, PI, Urban heat island and its implications in building energy use and phenology
  3. NSF, co-PI, A Framework for Assessing the Impact of Extreme Heat and Drought on Urban Energy Production and Consumption
  4. Iowa Energy Center, PI, Developing a Landscape of Building Energy Use for the City of Des Moines, Iowa
  5. NASA, co-PI, Ecosystem and Human System Dynamics: Indicators of Phenology, Climate, and Urbanization
  6. NASA, co-PI, Atmospheric Composition: Modeling and Analysis, Improved Information on Recent Aerosol Emissions and Trends Within A Community Emissions Data System Using Satellite Data
  7. DOE, PI, Improving GCAM Building Energy Use Modeling by Adding a Satellite-seeded Spatially Explicit Urban Expansion Component, PI
  8. NASA, PI, Land-Cover/Land-Use Change for Early Career Scientists, Understanding and Simulating Global Urban Expansion in the Context of Climate Change

Research Areas

Urban Mapping
To improve the understanding of historical urban expansion, its socioeconomic drivers, and potential future urban expansion.
Urban Heat Island
To quantify UHI formation, its growth under urbanization, and UHI impacts on environment and human life
Urban Environment
To monitor the change of urban environment and investigate impacts of urban environmental changes on human-nature systems
Urban Energy Use
To improve understanding of climate change impact on buildings energy use for offering useful insights into climate policy and energy system planning
Urban Emissions
To quantify carbon budgets in urbanizing regions, in particular the impact of urbanization, as well as its future trajectories under scenarios.
Environmental Sustainability
To investigate renewable energy resources from regional to global scales including: Wind, Solar, Hydropower, Biomass, etc.