Zihan (Linda) Lin

Zihan (Linda)  Lin
  • Ph.D.
  • Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences
  • Geography Building
  • 673 Auditorium Road, Room 116
  • East Lansing, MI 48824


Human-environment interactions, Remote Sensing methods, GIS, Cloud geo-computation, Deep learning


I started my journey to pursue a Ph.D. degree at MSU, two years after receiving a master's degree in GIS of Environment and Development from Clark University. After taking interdisciplinary courses and being involved in NASA and NSF-funded projects, I discover my research interests in the following areas: new remote sensing methods, cloud-based geo-computation, biogeochemical modeling, and human-environment interactions. I feel excited to apply my geospatial knowledge and modeling skills to address real-world issues. Specifically, I have been working hard to understand how the human response to climate change (e.g., hydro-dam constructions) has impacted the environment and ecosystem. I selected the Mekong River Basin as my study area as it is one of the hot spots of hydro-dam development worldwide. This area has gone through a significant intensification and proliferation of hydro-dams for the past several decades to meet the increasing need for food and energy and adaptation to climate change. However, more hydro-dams bring concerns and unexpected influence on the local community. Some of the dam impacts remain unclear or unanswered though many discussions were performed. Under the supervision of Dr. Jiaguo Qi and other committees, I carry out my dissertation to 1) develop a new remote sensing method to identify hydro-dam construction time points and dam impacts scale on land use land cover (LULC), 2) quantify the water surface area change of the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia, in the shadow of upstream hydro-dams, and 3) simulate and estimate changes of greenhouse gas emission at the Tonle Sap floodplain in the shadow of Mekong hydro-dam cascade. I hope my study can contribute to the sustainable maintenance of Mekong ecosystem services, and the methods I developed will be used in other regions of the world where hydro-dam constructions are in controversy.