Our staff

Faculty and Staff

Marguerite Madden, Ph.D.

Director / Professor

Dr. Marguerite Madden is the Director of the Center for Geospatial Research (CGR) and Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Georgia (UGA). She received her B.A. (1979) and M.A. (1984) degrees in Biology from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and her Ph.D. (1990) in Ecology from The University of Georgia. Her research over the past 27 years at UGA has focused on geographic information science (GIScience) and landscape analysis of vegetation, landscape-level human impacts on natural environments, and more recently, collaborative research in animal behavior, wildlife disease, human geography and environmental design. Dr. Madden is a Past President (2007) and Fellow (2010) of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), Editor of the 2009 ASPRS Manual of GIS, and former International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) Technical Commission President of Commission IV “Geodatabases and Digital Mapping” (2008-2012). Currently she is the current Second Vice President of ISPRS (2012-2016). She has generously served as the NASA DEVELOP Lead Science Advisor at the UGA node since its commencement in the summer of 2013. She has three grown children and lives in Athens, Georgia with four dogs, three cats and numerous bicycles. CV


Sergio-BernardesSergio Bernardes, Ph.D.

Associate Director / Adjunct Assistant Professor

Dr. Sergio Bernardes received a BS in Agricultural Engineering, an MSc in Remote Sensing from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Georgia. He is a former NASA Fellow, stationed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Bernardes’ expertise include software development and the design and implementation of large geospatial projects. His primary research involves analyses of large datasets, including time series of remotely sensed images, ground-based climate data and derived metrics to assess vegetation responses to natural and anthropogenic-related environmental changes. He is particularly interested in hyperspectral remote sensing and the use of spectral bio-indicators to investigate responses of vegetation to extreme climatic events, including changes in photosynthetic potential and primary productivity associated with reductions in water availability to plants. In addition to his focus on academics, he has dedicated time to outreach and has been active within the geospatial community. Dr. Bernardes’ work has been recognized multiple times by NASA, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

Tommy JordanThomas R. Jordan, Ph.D.

Associate Director (Emeritus)

Dr. Tommy Jordan has been working with photogrammetry, remote sensing, GIS and GPS for 30 years. He is an ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrist and Mapping Scientist-GIS/LIS and currently serves on the ASPRS Certification Review Board. He is also Secretary of ISPRS Commission IV. At UGA, he teaches intro and advanced remote sensing and photogrammetry and is responsible for systems administration and project management at CRMS. In his real life, Tommy plays banjo and guitar with the old-time band, String Theory. He also loves to go fly fishing but doesn’t get to do it as often as he would like to. http://www.tommyjordan.com

David CottenDavid L. Cotten, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

David graduated from UGA in 2011 with his doctorate in Physics. He spent roughly two years at UGA’s satellite campus in Griffin as a Research assistant/Post doc, where his work focused on surface-atmosphere exchange from pine forests, peanuts, turfgrass, and wetlands. He is interested in using his physics and biometeorology background in conjunction with remote sensing to improve knowledge of regional scale processes, specifically focusing on carbon storage and using unmanned aerial vehicles to further expand imaging capabilities. He is also leading UGA’s SmallSat Research Lab, which is an undergraduate-based mission developing a nano satellite focusing on photogrammetric Structure From Motion and coastal monitoring.

Brandon Adams, M.S.

Senior GIS Technician

I completed a dual Bachelor’s degree in History and Geography from the University of Georgia and a Master’s in GIS from Florida State University. I am working on the National Park vegetation mapping project as well as analyzing data received from the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. Outside of work, I enjoy landscaping, restoring antique American trucks, and drinking Co’Cola with Georgia peanuts.

Associated Faculty

Roy WelchRoy Welch, Ph.D.

Emeritus Director

Dr. Roy Welch is retired Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor from the UGA Department of Geography where he was a Professor for over 30 years. He founded the Laboratory for Remote Sensing and Mapping Science (LRMS) in 1984 as a research laboratory and served as its Director until his retirement in 2003. He is the author of more than 170 refereed publications on sensor performance, image quality, mapping from satellite image data, remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) applications. His externally-funded contracts and grants focused on research involving cartographic evaluation of remote sensing imagery, soil erosion processes, hydrologic modeling and assessment of invasive aquatic vegetation using photogrammetry, surveying, remote sensing and GIS.

Allison HowardAllison Howard, Ph.D.

Lecturer, Psychology
My research interests lie in the spatial cognition and navigation of nonhuman primates. I am implementing a combination of laboratory and field techniques in order to investigate the spatial orientation mechanisms of capuchin monkeys. My dissertation research used GIS modeling techniques and remote sensing to analyze the routes and habitat choices of bearded capuchin monkeys in Brazil.
Deepak MishraDeepak Mishra, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Mishra specializes in the application of geospatial science including remote sensing, GIS, and GPS to coastal environments. His broad research interests are: Remote Sensing of Wetlands, Estuaries, Coastal and Open Ocean Waters Remote Sensing in Monitoring Global Climate Change Ocean Optics and Satellite Oceanography.

Lan MuLan Mu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Dr. Mu’s interests involve GIScience, spatial analysis and modeling, GIS for health and the environment, computational geometry, cartography and geovisualization.

Roberta Salmi, Ph.D

Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Dr. Salmi is a biological anthropologist, specialized in primate behavioral ecology. Her previous work has focused on the vocal behavior of western gorillas. She is currently working on different topics, including: primate spatial cognition, ranging behavior, group coordination and human-primate interaction.

Jerry Shannon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Jerry Shannon’s research focuses on ways to make urban neighborhoods healthier and more equitable. More specifically, his research focuses on the role of maps in shaping our understanding of hunger, food access, housing needs, and neighborhood development. Dr. Shannon’s current focus is on the growing area of community geography, emphasizing collaborative, community engaged research. More information is available at his professional website. In off hours, he can be found playing trumpet in various Athens area ensembles or whipping up something good to eat in his kitchen. http://jerry.shannons.us/

Adrian Thomas, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor and Engineering/Agricultural Consultant

Geography BS, MS, Ph.D. Agricultural/Civil Engineering Clemson and Colorado State Universities, Conducted research for 33 years with the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA. Served as Laboratory Director for the Southeast Watershed Research Laboratory, Tifton, GA for the last 9 years of career. Personal research interest included: hydrologic and watershed modeling, soil and water conservation practices, soil erosion technologies. Active on family farm in Edgefield, SC.

Angela YaoXiaobai Angela Yao, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Dr. Yao’s interests include GIScience; Urban Growth and Transportation; Public Health; Data Analysis and Modeling; Qualitative GIS.

Associated Scientists

odmiraguiarOdmir Aguiar, Ph.D.


Dr. Odmir Aguiar is an Ocean Engineer, Physical Oceanographer, Hydrographer and systems modeler. He received a BS in Systems Engineering from the Brazilian Naval Academy, a Master’s in Hydrographic Sciences from the Brazilian Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation, a Specialist degree in Nautical Charting category A from the International Hydrographic Organization, as well as Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Ocean Engineering from the Rio de Janeiro Federal University. He works with physical, environmental and management models, using statistical and empirical approaches. His current research involves the development of empirical models and polynomial regressions to express relationships between variables (qualitative and quantitative) that have unknown mathematical relationships.

Chiao-Ying (Jill)Chiao-Ying Chou (Jill), Ph.D.


I’m working with CGR as a Research Associate on proposal preparation about developing photorealistic landscape visualizations of pine plantations and hemlock forests in the Southeastern United States to assess options in planting arrangement, thinning, and harvesting. I received my Ph.D. in August 2010 from the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) at Clemson University. My dissertation,” Simulating and Assessing the Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Spot Growth on Management Scenarios Using GIS‐Based and 3‐D Landscape Visualization”, focuses on simulating the SPB spot growth in spatial and temporal dimensions by 2‐D, and 3‐D GIS-based models. The GIS‐based model was developed by using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) within the ESRI ArcGIS software package. In addition, the related landscape visualization software, such as Visual Natural Studio (VNS, 3D Nature), and 3‐D plant image simulators, such as Greenwork’s Xfrog and OnyxGarden Professional, were used to simulate the photorealistic 3‐D landscape visualizations. During my Ph.D. study, not only emphasized on the GIS‐based modeling approach, but also used forest stand databases and remote sensing images as the basis for data sources to analyze and visualize the spatial patterns of disturbances, recovery, and treatments from alternative silvicultural operations (i.e., thinning, stand restoration, stand species mixture, and prescribed burning).

Susan CrowSusan Crow


Susan has applied GIS and other technologies to help communities better understand growth implications and envision alternative futures. Susan was the Principal Investigator for a three-year Coastal Incentive Grant Program project, Visualizing Land Cover and Land Use Changes on the Georgia Coast. As a Senior Program Specialist Susan participated on ESRI’s spatial modeling team from 1999 to 2001. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island and an invited speaker at various universities and professional meetings. Her research interests include assessing the influence of various technologies on community and regional planning and decision making processes; citizen participation in environmental planning and policy development, and; effectiveness of incentive-based programs in achieving public policy initiatives for land conservation. She has been peer reviewer for professional journals and conference submissions, and for three years served as an Associate Editor of Wetlands, the Journal of the Society of Wetland Scientists. Susan obtained a Master of Landscape Architecture with Distinction from The University of Georgia and an A.B. in Psychology with High Honors from Smith College. Currently she serves on the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for AgrowKnowledge: The National Center for Agriscience & Technology Education at Kirkwood Community College (Ohio).

Genevieve A HoldridgeGenevieve A Holdridge, Ph.D


Genevieve has a background in Near Eastern prehistory with a BA in Mediterranean Archaeology from University at Albany, NY, a MA in Art History and Archaeology from Bilkent University, Turkey and a MPhil in archaeology from University of Cambridge, UK. In the latter University, she became interested in the application of GIS to understand past movement and trade. She is currently doing a PhD in physical geography which concerns the late Quaternary geomorphology of the Mixteca Alta in southwestern Mexico. More specifically, she is exploring the climatic and human drivers of arroyo cycles in several watersheds in the semi-arid environment of the Mixteca. Much of her research involved mapping natural and cultural features in these watersheds. Recently, her lab class (GEOG1111L) used their cell phone’s GPS and the Backpacker GPS Trails Lite app to conduct a community service learning project that involved publishing a map of the trails in the University of Georgia’s Botanical Gardens and Lake Herrick park on Google Maps. She plans to continue work in Mexico as well as return to the Near East and revisit questions there.

Cheryl McCormick, Ph.D


Dr. Cheryl McCormick received a B.A. in Environmental Science from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, a M.A. in Geography from the Center for Remote Sensing and Mapping Sciences (CRMS) at UGA, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the Institute of Ecology at UGA. She completed a research fellowship at the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (CAIP) at the University of Florida (UF). Cheryl’s academic interests focused on integrating spatio-temporal dimensions of ecological phenomena to develop models that better predict dispersal rates and distribution of invasive flora and fauna. Anthropogenic alteration to landscapes at an accelerated rate requires continuous re-evaluation of their spatial heterogeneity. High-resolution models and predictive mapping methods of how, where, and the speed at which a newly established invasive population will spread across a heterogeneous landscape can enhance efforts to predict and evaluate species movement – not only in invasion dynamics, but also in conservation biology and climate change studies. Cheryl is currently the Executive Director of the Lindsay Wildlife Experience, located in Walnut Creek, CA.

Helen PengHelen Peng


Helen Peng has been working in geo-visualizations and GIS Analysis for over 10 years. Her research interests include 3D visualizations, geospatial modeling (viewsheds, terrain, suitability, and network analysis), land use environmental planning, and the concept of GeoDesign. She applied Arc CityEngine and Python scripts to create 3D visualizations for a California Transportation Planning model, as well published a conference proceeding at CUMPUS 2011. Her work was presented at GeoDesign Summit Lightning Talks 2012. In her Master thesis study, she employed GIS tools and technologies in research of green space and environmental planning. She received a master degree of Landscape Architecture at Washington State University and a bachelor degree of City Planning at University of Wuhan.

Andrea PresottoAndrea Presotto, Ph.D.


My research interests involve spatial and visual cognition in mammals. For the past eight years I have been using geospatial technologies to study and elucidate the spatial cognition mechanisms of orientation of Capuchin monkeys (Sapajus nigritus and Sapajus libidinosus) in diverse Brazilian landscape: rain forest and savanna. My current research involves comparative spatial and visual cognition, and the application of geovisualization models to virtual environments for primates and African elephants (Loxodonta africana), at Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Shadrock RobertsShadrock Roberts, Ph.D.


Shadrock is a humanitarian geographer: his research specialties focus on the intersection of “volunteered geographic information”; crowd sourcing; and participatory approaches and the creation of geographic information for the humanitarian sector. A long-time practitioner of applied research, he has worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; helped found the GeoCenter at the U.S. Agency for International Development; and worked with a variety of U.N. agencies. His projects transcend organizational boundaries, convene diverse groups of stakeholders, and influence policies to ensure long-term solutions.

Kunwar SinghKunwar Singh, Ph.D.


Dr. Kunwar K. Singh studies questions that are central to meeting society’s needs and ensuring society’s future: Where, why, and at what rates are conversions occurring? What are the implications of those conversions? What is nature of the feedback between land conversion and resources under a changing climate? Dr. Singh uses remote sensing, geospatial analyses and spatial statistics with data drawn from satellite and airborne sensors as well as field and weather stations to answer these questions. He is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Center for Geospatial Analytics at North Carolina State University. His educational background includes an M.S. in environmental science from the University of Lucknow, M.Tech. in remote sensing and GIS from Andhra University, and a doctorate in forestry and environmental resources from North Carolina State University.

Paula F. Smith, CMS-ASPRS


I have been involved in the geospatial sciences and industry for over 20 years now. I started out by developing geospatial applications in support of research projects in the natural sciences, and gradually I worked my way upstream, to designing and operating remote sensing data collection and processing systems (I blame my sense of curiosity, which has only gotten worse over time). I am currently a Principle Systems Engineer for Raytheon Company’s Intelligence and Information Systems (IIS) in Denver, Colorado, supporting the S-NPP and JPSS satellite missions. I received my MA in Geography from UGA-CRMS in 1994, and my BSc in Marine Biology from Eckerd College in 1989. I am an ASPRS Certified Mapping Scientist in Remote Sensing (CMS #RS143), and I served as the Director of the GIS Division of ASPRS from 2007-2009. I live in Castle Rock, CO, with my husband, Lee, who serves as the Sustainability Manager for our School District. We both like to get out into nature and enjoy Colorado to the max!

Ahmed WahidAhmed Wahid, Ph.D.


Ahmed Wahid received his PhD from Suez Canal University, Egypt, after conducting his PhD research at the Center for Geospatial Research as an exchange student (2005-2008). He has a BS and an MSc in Geology from ZagaZig University, Egypt. His research interests involve applying geospatial modelling in geo-environmental assessment and land use planning. Ahmed used geospatial modelling and GIS programming to estimate sand accumulation along sandy beaches, in support of environmental impact assessments. He also used remotely sensed data and GIS to evaluate the sensitivity of coastal zones to oil spills pollution. For land use planning, Ahmed used satellite Images and field data for land suitability site selection using GIS modelling. He is currently interested in using temporal NASA Night Lights imagery to digitally estimate electric power consumption associated with land use change.

Wenjing Xu

M.Sc. Geography

Wenjing Xu graduated from China University of Geosciences with a Bachelor’s degree in Resources, Environment, Regional Planning and Management. Her interests involve the way in which GIScience helps our understanding of landscape ecology and human-environment interaction.  She used high-resolution and hyperspectral data to improve Object-Based Image Analysis in her bachelor thesis. Now she is seeking to strengthen her knowledge of ecology and biology to better use her technical background. Traveling is another way for her to learn the real world. Hitch-hiking to Tibetan region in 2014 summer is one of her most unforgettable experiences.

Byungyun Yang, Ph.D.


Byungyun’s research interests include Tourism Geography and Sustainable Development and Preservation by means of geospatial science such as geo-visualization, geographic Information Science, and remote sensing, spatial analysis. Recently, he focuses on analyzing LULC by Geographic Object Based Image Analysis, applications of LiDAR point cloud, and developing Semantic Classes by ArcGIS Server. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in a field of Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing, and a certified Mapping Scientist, certified by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Phillip AshfordPhilip Ashford

M.Sc. Geography

Philip received a Bachelors degree in Environmental Economics and Management from the University of Georgia in 2014, and is currently completing his Master’s degree in Geography. His research interests include the use of unmanned aerial systems, structure from motion techniques and geovisualization to model aquatic vegetation growth as well as historic architectural and archaeological sites throughout Georgia.

Kevin Cameron

B.S. Computer Science

Kevin is an undergrad studying computer science, as well as geography/atmospheric sciences. He is mainly interested in using technology to help modernize the atmospheric science field, including working on the augmented reality sandbox in CGR to display atmospheric phenomena. Kevin will be interning at NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center in the summer of 2018 to help develop modern software to use onboard the Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

Joy Ganguly

Ph.D. Integrative Conservation

I come from a non-profit background in rural development and conservation related issues, and have worked at the grassroots village level in different parts of South Asia. My immersion in the academic world has been recent, with a degree in South Asian Area Studies from India and am currently in a PhD program at UGA called Integrative Conservation and Geography. Some of my earlier research focused on the effects of changing customs on traditional knowledge systems and how it was affecting agricultural practices in a trans-border region of Eastern Himalayas. Presently, I am studying the gendered impacts of property rights and social welfare programs on rural land use change in a portion of coastal South India.

Shuvankar Ghosh

Ph.D. Geography

Shuvo is currently a PhD student at the Department of Geography, University of Georgia. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology (advanced) from University of Calcutta and a Master’s degree in Environment Management from Forest Research Institute (Deemed University), Dehradun, India. He served as a research associate at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, a non-profit organization based in Bangalore, India, where he was involved in the development of the India Biodiversity Portal. His broader research interests include wetland ecology, remote sensing of vegetation, land-atmosphere interactions, carbon cycling, ecological niche modeling, and land-use land-cover dynamics. His current research focuses on the productivity mapping of salt marsh ecosystems with a biophysical approach using a combination proximal and remote sensing and in-situ flux estimation techniques.

Jiaying HeJiaying He

M.Sc. Geography

Interests: Remote Sensing, LiDAR, environmental and urban applications.

Shannon Healy

B.S. Agricultural and Natural Resources

Shannon graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.S. in Agricultural and Natural Resources and minor in Wildlife Conservation. Before attending classes through the Geography Department at UGA, she worked for the National Park Service, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire.

Andrew Knight

M.Sc. Geography

Drew completed his B.S. at James Madison University in Geographic Science with a concentration in applied geographic information sciences. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Geography at UGA with a focus on remote sensing. Drew’s research interest include applying remote sensing to humanitarian causes and communicating the benefits of remote sensing and Geoscience to new user groups.

R. Ryan Lash

Ph.D. Geography
Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education (ORISE) Fellow

I am interested in the ways in which geography can contribute to our understanding of human health. Most of my research thus far has focused on the utilization of geospatial tools and techniques for the study of zoonotic disease ecology. I have a strong interest in understanding the geographic information component inherent in our knowledge about public health and disease. I also have expertise in cartographic visualization and production for print and electronic reproduction. Please see my CV for a comprehensive list of my professional qualifications and accomplishments.

Caitlin Mertzlufft

Ph.D. Geography

Caitlin is a PhD student in UGA’s Integrative Conservation and Geography program. She holds a BS in Geography from UGA and a MPH in Global Epidemiology from Emory University. Combining her public health and geospatial interests, Caitlin studies the impact of anthropogenic landscape change on zoonotic disease transmission. Her doctoral research is focused on the relationship between deforestation and Chagas disease transmission in Central Panama.

Nicholas MoonNicholas Moon


Nicholas graduated from Cedar Shoals High School in 2017. He is currently attending the University of North Georgia in Watkinsville. Nicholas interned in the Young Scholars Program at UGA for two years.  Currently Nicholas is working on the Baldwin Hall Project as an Intern at CGR.  Nicholas hopes to become a mechanical and electrical engineer after school, because of his passion for electronics and creating.

Nick MorganNicholas “Nick” Morgan

M.Sc. Geography

Nick received his B.S. in Geoscience with a concentration in meteorology from the University of Tennessee at Martin and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Geography from the University of Georgia.  His research interests include creation of aviation turbulence detection methods and has recently become interested in land-use/land-cover atmospheric interactions.

Hollis NeelNicholas “Hollis” Neel

M.Sc. Geography

Nicholas received a Bachelors degree in Mathematics from the University of Georgia in 2017, and is currently pursuing his masters degree in Geography. His research interests include remote sensing utilizing small satellite platforms including 3D model generation and hyper spectral imagery analysis. In addition to this he is a co-founder of the University of Georgia Small Satellite Research Laboratory.

Doo-Ri Oh

Ph.D Geography

Doo-Ri received a M.S in Geography from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea in 2013. Her Master’s thesis was about population estimation methods in small areas using spatial statistical models. Her primary research interests are GIScience, spatial analysis, cartography, and geovisualization for urban and environmental research. Her other research interests involve the applicability of ontology models for Big Data in social media. She is currently involved in the Blue Ridge Parkway project. She enjoys traveling and water sports including scuba diving and windsurfing.

steve-padgett-vasquezSteve Padgett-Vasquez

Ph.D. Geography

In Fall of 2012 I started pursuing my PhD in Integrative Conservation and Geography at the University of Georgia. As I move to the next step of my academic and professional career, I continue to have a strong interest in how changes in landscape (in particular deforestation) affect different facets of the environment and how to quantify these changes through the use of satellite remote sensing and geographic information systems across multiple spatial and temporal scales. More importantly, as result of my previous graduate studies and my work with NASA DEVELOP, I want to further explore how these results and methodologies can be incorporated into natural resource management and environmental policy to ensure the long-term functioning of ecosystems. For my dissertation research I will be working in the Bellbird Biological Corridor in Costa Rica, which will help bridge diverse habitats between the cloud forests of Monteverde and the mangrove forests of Gulf of Nicoya.

Caren Remillard

Ph.D. Geography

Caren Remillard received a BA in Anthropology from Emory University in 2011. Currently, Caren serves as Center Lead of the NASA DEVELOP National Program for the UGA node. Her graduate research is focused on integrating geospatial techniques to assess endangered primate habitat in South America, with the goal of assisting communities in developing habitat conservation plans.

Chris W. Strother

Ph.D. Geography

I graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1992 with a BA in History. Afterwards, I became a Chef’s Apprentice and went on to work over 20 years in the Restaurant/Hospitality Industry in a variety of positions ranging from busboy to Director of Operations. I returned to school in 2009 in search of intellectual fulfillment and earned a BS in Applied Environmental Spatial Analysis from Gainesville State College. I received my MSc. in Geography in 2013 and am currently a Ph.D. student at UGA. My research interests involve the application of LiDAR and other remote sensing tools to examine spatial patterns in the natural world around us.

Mingshu WangMingshu Wang

Ph.D. Geography
Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education (ORISE) Fellow
ASPRS Student Advisory Council (SAC) Deputy Chair

Mingshu Wang graduated from Nanjing University in China with a BS in Resources, Environment, Regional Planning and Management in 2012. His research interests span a broad spectrum of geospatial technologies (remote sensing, spatial-temporal analysis, GIS, LiDAR) for environmental services. He is currently extending his intern work at the World Wildlife Fund this summer to characterize physical environments of the Sunda Banda Seascape, Indonesia with remote sensing for marine spatial planning and marine protective areas (MPAs) establishment. He is also taking a one-year appointment at the National Exposure Research Laboratory at the U.S. EPA as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education (ORISE) Fellow to create cloud-based environments to integrate and improve EPA models for estimating and geo-visualizing chemical exposures in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. As the deputy chair of the ASPRS Student Advisory Council (SAC), he will chair the 2014 Annual Geoleague Challenge during the 2014 Annual meeting of ASPRS.

Sam WeberSam Weber

M.Sc. Geography

Sam has a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.A. in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis from Virginia Tech (2013). After working with the NASA DEVELOP National Program and USDA GIS Development Team for a year each, Sam started his master’s degree at UGA during the fall of 2015. Sam’s research focuses on big data analytics and earth observing constellations to better monitor and predict cyanobacteria harmful algae blooms in the southeastern United States. More broadly, Sam is interested in big data remote sensing, ecological application of GIScience, geovisualization, unmanned aerial systems, and science education and outreach.

Recent Graduates

Nancy O'HareNancy O’Hare, Ph.D

Wormsloe Fellow

I am interested in the geographic distribution of species. Current distribution patterns result from the interaction of life history traits, chance events (fires, disease outbreaks, climatic extremes), past land-use legacies, and the larger geographic context (past and present). To understand the distribution of a particular species, you need to see the world from their vantage point and understand a particular spot on the map in terms of its relative location to other places (scaled from the species perspective). In my real life, I enjoy good eats which led to a cooking hobby, craft beers, Irish music, and the luxury of afternoon naps in the sunshine (learned from my dogs). Click here for my Department of Geography page.

Alessandro PasquaAlessandro Pasqua

Ph.D. Geography

My research interests involve the use of non-invasive techniques to locate archaeological evidence. More and more archaeological sites are in fact destroyed or seriously damaged due to the rapid urbanization that characterizes archaeologically sensitive landscapes. For my PhD research, I will use Lidar and other remote sensing techniques to investigate archaeological landscapes in Georgia, and provide methodologies and data required by cultural resource managers to preserve and protect vulnerable historic sites.

Recent International Visitors

Ricardo SantosRicardo Rodrigues dos Santos, Ph.D.


Ricardo is Associate Professor of Zoology at Federal University of Maranhão, Brazil, and he is a member of the Brazilian Science without Borders Program. He researches primate behavior in Mangrove swamp, Amazonia and Cerrado of Brazil and is using geospatial analysis techniques to diagnose changes in the landscape that may affect the species in their natural habitat.

LinLiqun Lin, Ph.D.


Lin is engaged in ecological application based on GIS and RS, involved in some research projects related to plants, such as plant surveys at several national and provincial nature reserves, and has accumulated a wealth of vegetation knowledge.

Currently, her research is focused on the application of remote sensing(RS) in Ecology, her ongoing research is the evaluation on the habitat of Rhinopithecus roxellana(a monkey) in Shennongjia mountain using RS and GIS methods, as well as tree species recognition using high-resolution RS imagery.

Night Shift Team Leader

Isabella BernardesIsabella Bernardes

B.A./B.S. (class of 2037)

Isabella Bernardes recently joined CGR and is now leading a team of PhDs on tasks ranging from intensive sample collection to testing human endurance and survival under stressful conditions, with implications to space travel and planet colonization. Currently, she concentrates on calibrating two sensors in the optical region of the electromagnetic spectrum and strengthening the sensor system mount for better image acquisition control. Isabella is working on her bachelor’s degree (class of 2037) and her research over the past six days has focused on pattern recognition and proximal sensing. She has collaborated with doctors at Athens Regional Medical Center and is currently the President of the C.R.I.B. Isabella will fix climate change, stop wars and end hunger.