Raechel White


Raechel White received her doctoral degree from the Pennsylvania State University Geography program in 2014. Her doctoral research explored the cognitive processes and knowledge that facilitate remote sensing image interpretation and the use of geovisual analytic approaches to facilitate insight generation from imagery. Prior to that, she studied remote sensing at the University of Idaho for a variety of physical science applications including geological mapping on Mars and forests in Idaho.

Research Interests:

Raechel’s research encompasses a range of approaches to integrating human knowledge, computation, and visualization of remote sensing imagery. Specifically, she used Object-Based Image Analysis and Cognitive Science methods to explore the relationships between human expertise, visualization, and insight development. With the increasing availability of remotely sensed data for both scientific and public audiences, understanding the processes that facilitate understanding as well as the limitations of reasoning with imagery can inform the design of new systems to support image analysis. It’s at this interface between human and image that Raechel is most interested in. Through a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods from both image analysis and human computer interaction, she is able to bring unique perspectives to the use of remote sensing imagery for science and communication.


Raechel’s training in both remote sensing and visual analytics provides a strong base for educating students in both remote sensing and cartographic design and she teaches across both disciplines. Her cartography courses, GEO 326 (Cartographic Design and Production) and GEO 426 (Thematic Mapping) integrate problem-based learning, creative exploration, and cognitive theory to train students in cartographic design. Her remote sensing course, GEO 826 (GeoComputation) combines cognitive science theory with Object-Based Image Analysis to prepare students for applied research and theoretical development in GIScience.