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GeoDI Lab

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Geospatial Digital Informatics Lab (GeoDI Lab)

Welcome to the GeoDI Lab at the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC)! 

I am Di Yang, an Assistant Professor in the Wyoming Geographic Information Center (WyGISC) at the University of Wyoming. I am a geographer and programmer focusing on the study of human-environment interactions by using remote sensing images. I am a bridge-builder for closing the gap between the operational uses of scientific remote sensing and GIS techniques and land management practices at the regional scale. The general theme of my work is to gain a quantitative understanding of the relationships between humans, landscape patterns, and ecological processes. Current projects include early NEON science, geospatial modeling, citizen science, and the applications of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) at the macrosystems scale. 

View my CV: cv

Recent News

October 2023 --- Co-Principal Investigator on "Quantifying Effects of Land Cover Change-Climate Interaction on Ecosystem Productivity Over Western North America", a NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) grant awarded to PI Yaqian He and Co-PI Di Yang.

October 2023 --- Di as Guest Lecture on “Making Environmental Monitoring Inclusive: Uniting Geospatial AI and Citizen Science for Conservation” in GEO525 Advanced GIS, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

September 2023 --- Lab graduate student Wei Liu and visiting scholar Mehmet Ozdes presented their research on ecological networks and coastal vulnerability at the 2023 GIS in the Rockies Conference. Wei Liu won 3rd place in the student poster competition and a conference travel grant for her poster on spatial network analysis.

September 2023 --- Di received the 2023 Presidential Faculty Fellowship from the University of Wyoming.

September 2023 --- Lead PI on "Harnessing HPC for Predictive Geospatial Analytics: Modeling Biogeophysical Impacts of Potential Forestation on Regional Climate over the Western US", a National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Large Allocation Grant.

September 2023 --- Co-Principal Investigator on "Establish Edge-Computing Sensory Data Collection Platforms at the UW-AMK Ranch Field Station", a UW Research Excellence Fund Seed Grant awarded to PI Jian Gong and Co-PIs Andrew Kirby, Shannon Albeke, Daniel McCoy, and Di Yang. The 2-year grant runs from 11/01/2023-05/31/2025. 

August 2023 --- New paper "Study on Forest and Grassland Ecological Space Structure in Eyu Mining Area and Potential Alternatives for Enhancing Carbon Sequestration" was published in Forests. We developed an ecological network optimization model to enhance carbon sequestration and connectivity in a mining region of China. Our proposed approach effectively improved ecological space structure and carbon storage through targeted restoration planning

August 2023 --- New paper "Land cover mapping via crowdsourced multi-directional views: The more directional views, the better" published in the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, we analyzed how crowdsourced multi-directional views improve land cover classification. Our experiments with deep learning architectures demonstrate the empirical benefits of incorporating multiple viewing angles in citizen science programs for enhanced mapping. This paper will be highlighted on the NASA GLOBE monthly blog in November 2023, more to come!

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July 2023 --- Di is the Remote Sensing Team Leader of the NSF Engine Develop Awards (Type 1) for "Advancing Precision Forestry and Rangeland Technologies". This NSF Engines Development Award: Advancing Precision Forestry and Rangeland Technologies (MT, ID, ND, SD, WY) will be a national model for the use of advanced technologies to maximize the economic benefit of federal, tribal, and private forests and rangelands while minimizing ecological impacts such as fire and flood.

July 2023 --- Di as the invited speaker in “Synergizing Geospatial AI and Citizen Science: A New Era for Landscape and Ecological Monitoring” in the Summer Bridge Program, Frank H Dotterweich College of Engineering, Texas A&M University – Kingsville, Texas.

July 2023 --- Di as the Co-Principal Investigator on "High Resolution Upload and Riverbank Erosion Monitoring to Inform Best Management Practices that Seek to Reduce Sediment Accumulation at the Willwood Dam", a Water Research Program grant awarded to PI Austin Madson. The 2-year project runs from 07/2023-06/2025 and utilizes remote sensing (lidar and AOP) to study sedimentation issues at Willwood Dam. 

July 2023 --- Paper "Linking forest management to surrounding lands: a citizen-based approach towards the regional understanding of land-use transitions" was published at Frontiers in Remote Sensing. Di led this research, utilizing crowdsourced OpenStreetMap data and Google Earth Engine to map land use and forest management interactions at a regional scale in the southeastern United States. The study reveals spatial relationships between different forest management practices and proximity to developed lands, croplands, and other cover types.

2023 --- New book chapter, "Crowdsourced geospatial data in human and Earth observations: opportunities and challenges" was published. This book chapter reviews crowdsourced geospatial data from human and Earth observations, discussing opportunities like new data sources and analytical frameworks as well as challenges like data quality, privacy, governance, and reproducibility. The chapter provides an overview of crowdsourced data characteristics, applications, tools, and limitations to illustrate the current state and future directions of this transforming paradigm.

2023 --- Lab Ph.D. student Shuai Li published a study unraveling wetland changes. The research combined remote sensing and modeling to reveal drivers from climate, topography, geograpy, and human activities, offering targeted wetland management strategies. "The Main Drivers of Wetland Evolution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Plain" in Land

June 2023 --- Di as the invited speaker in “Geospatial AI Meets Citizen Science: Revolutionizing Landscape and Ecological Monitoring” in NASA STEM Enhancement in Earth Science (SEES) Summer High School Intern Program, NASA.

May 2023 --- Paper "F3Net: Fast Fourier Filter Network for Hyperspectral Image Classification" was published at IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement. We developed a novel deep learning model called F3Net for efficient hyperspectral image classification. The proposed fast Fourier filter network architecture outperforms state-of-the-art methods by effectively learning feature interactions in the frequency domain.

May 2023 --- Paper "Spatio-Temporal Dynamic Characteristics of Carbon Use Efficiency in a Virgin Forest Area of Southeast Tibet" just got published in Remote Sensing. 

May 2023 -- Project "Analyzing NEON hyperspectral signatures using Amazon SageMaker" won the Amazon AWS Public Sector Cloud Credit for Research Award. 

April 2023 --- Our lab project, "Incorporating Geoinformatics with CLIMATE: Community Le Initiative to Monitor Alpine Temperature Extremes" won the School of Computing Faculty Awards. We will work with Jacki Klancher at Central Wyoming College.

March 2023 --- Paper "SSViT-HCD: A Spatial Spectral Convolutional Vision Transformer for Hyperspectral Change Detection" has been published in the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing! This study develops a hybrid spatial-spectral convolutional vision transformer model called SSViT for hyperspectral change detection in remote sensing images. Experiments demonstrate the model's effectiveness in detecting subtle changes compared to other methods by combining transformer and CNN architectures to leverage both global dependencies and local feature learning.

February 2023 -- Guest lecturer on "Uncovering the Interconnections between Citizen Science and Earth Observation for Biodiversity Conservation and Land-Use Monitoring” in Geospatial Modeling class, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

February 2023 -- GeoDi lab co-organized a 3-day workshop on Digital Storytelling through Storymaps with the Haub School and Wyoming Migration Initiative at the University of Wyoming. This hands-on workshop equipped attendees with vital geospatial communication skills to amplify their research and ideas.

2023 ========================================

November 2022 --- New article published! Dr. Di Yang and many co-authors just published "People, infrastructure, and data: A pathway to an inclusive and diverse ecological network of networks" in Ecosphere. 

October 2022 --- Paper "Unfolding Community Homophily in U.S. Metropolitans via Human Mobility" has been published in Cities!

October 2022 --- New Guest Edited Collection from Nature Humanities & Social Sciences Communications and Scientific Reports released! Collection topic: Community Science. Dr. Di Yang is one of the guest editors. Learn more here

October 2022 --- Paper "A Random Forest Algorithm for Landsat Image Chromatic Aberration Restoration Based on GEE Cloud Platform—A Case Study of Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico" has been published in Remote Sensing


May 2022 ---- Our international collaboration paper "Remote Sensing and GIS-Based Suitability Mapping of Termite Habitat in the African Savanna: A Case Study of the Lowveld in Kruger National Park" has been published in Land. 

April 2022 --- Dr. Di Yang received the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Faculty Research Grant this year! 

February 2022 --- Paper "Leveraging Machine Learning and Geo-Tagged Citizen Science Data to Disentangle the Factors of Avian Mortality Events at the Species Level" has been published at Remote Sensing

December 2021 ---- Paper "Harnessing the NEON data revolution to advance open environmental science with a diverse and data-capable community" has been published in Ecosphere

We are launching the WyoGLOBE Land Cover Classification Challenge! Link here: 

wyoglobe_flyer_05122022.pngOctober 2021 ---- Paper "Human Mobility to Parks under the COVID-19 Pandemic and Wildfire Seasons in Western and Central United States" has been accepted at GeoHealth

September 2021 ---- Paper "Expanding NEON biodiversity surveys with new instrumentation and machine learning approaches" has been accepted at Ecosphere

More details to come

September 2021 ---- Dr. Di Yang launched the Special Issue in Remote Sensing, welcome to check it out and submit your manuscript here

September 2021 ---- Dr. Di Yang was selected to be the Program Committee of 2021 ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop - SpatialEpi'21

August 2021 ---- Dr. Di Yang was interviewed by Jackson Hole News & Guide about the lab's publication about examining the climate drivers of massive bird die-offs under extreme weather events

Link: Changing climate and western wildfires cause bird die-offs