Major Advisor: Jiaguo Qi
Thesis Topic: “Using remote sensing products to improve regional climate modeling in East Africa”
I graduated in May 2007. My dissertation advisor was Professor Jiaguo Qi. At MSU I was involved in a NSF funded “Land-Climate Interaction Project” in East Africa led by Professor David Campbell. One of the major tasks was to study how future climate change may affect land use and land cover in this region and also how future climate may be influenced by land surface changes. We used regional climate models to simulated future climate scenarios and how they are affected by land use/cover changes. One of the challenges we faced in this research was lack of surface data needed to drive climate models. My role was to use remote sensing data to improve the representation of land surface conditions and to help model validation. Through this research I gained tremendous knowledge on human impacts on climate and how geographical tools may be used to improve our knowledge. My dissertation “Using remote sensing products to improve regional climate modeling in East Africa” was primarily based on this project. I have been an assistant professor of geography at Oklahoma State University since I graduated from MSU. I am teaching remote sensing, GIS, and physical geography. My research is still on land-climate interactions, but I have changed my study areas to China and the Southern Great Plains and become more interested in urbanization and agriculture. My wife and I are living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She also graduated from MSU with a degree in statistics. She is working as a statistician in a marketing company. We have two boys. One is five years old and is now in kindergarten. The other is almost two. They keep us very busy but happy. I love to spend time with my family. When I am not working or with my family, I enjoy running.