Raechel Portelli


Raechel Portelli received her Ph.D. in Geography from Pennsylvania State University (2014), and a M.S. Geography degree from the University of Idaho (2010). She has two bachelor’s degrees, a B.S. in Physical Geography, University of Idaho (2009) and a B.S. in Environmental Science (2009). She joined the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Science in 2014.

Research Interests:

Dr. Portelli’s research addresses the cognitive processes that guide human interpretation of remote sensing data. She utilizes cognitive science methods, archival research, and Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis in her work. Her big picture questions include:

  • What cognitive differences exist between expert image analysts and non-experts?
  • How do differences in image, environment, user, and task characteristics affect remote sensing data use?
  • How do we translate cognitive models into remote sensing analysis workflows?


  • GEO 326 Map Design
  • GEO 426 Thematic Cartography
  • GEO 864 GIS Seminar: Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis
  • GEO 986 Theory and Philosophy of Geography