Geospatial Data Science
The Science of Where

The science that investigates the 'where' and 'why' of various human and natural phenomena!
As geographers, we discover deeper insights, make better decisions, and take them to action.

Tell Me More

About Me

Qiusheng Wu, PhD

Assistant Professor
University of Tennessee

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (田纳西大学), starting Fall 2019. My research interests focus on Geographic Information Science (GIS), remote sensing, and environmental modeling. More specifically, I am interested in applying geospatial big data, machine learning, and cloud computing (e.g., Google Earth Engine, Microsoft Azure) to study global environmental change, especially wetland and surface water dynamics. I am a big fan of open-source software and reproducible research. I have developed and maintained various open-source packages for advanced geospatial analysis, such as lidar, Wetland Hydrology Analyst, whitebox, whiteboxR, and WhiteboxTools-ArcGIS. Check out my research and blog for more information about what I am currently working on.

Academic Profiles:
Google Scholar | ResearchGate | ORCID | Publons | GitHub | LidarBlog

• 2015   Ph.D. in Geography. University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
• 2011   M.A. in Geography. University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
• 2007   B.S. (with high honor) in GIS. Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

• 2019–now   Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Tennessee
• 2018–2019   Graduate Director, Department of Geography, Binghamton University (SUNY)
• 2015–2019   Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Binghamton University (SUNY)
• 2014–2015   Remote Sensing Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

• 2018–present   Associate Editor, Remote Sensing, MDPI
• 2016–present   Associate Editor, Wetlands, Springer

Open-source Packages/Apps for Geospatial Analysis:
• R Packages: whiteboxR
• Python Packages: lidar | whitebox | wetland | pygis | python-geospatial
• Google Earth Engine: Wetland Inundation Mapping | Earth Engine Apps
• ArcGIS Toolboxes: Depression Identification Analyst | Wetland Hydrology Analyst | Drumlin Extraction Toolbox | Level-Set Toolbox | WhiteboxTools-ArcGIS


Geospatial Data Science: the science that investigates the 'where' and 'why' of various human and natural phenomena!
As geographers, we discover deeper insights, make better decisions, and take them to action.


Spatial Analysis, Geostatistics, WebGIS, GIS Programming, Python, R

Remote Sensing

LiDAR, Microwave, Big Data, Deep Learning, Google Earth Engine, Azure

Environmental Modeling

Hydrological Modeling, Wetland Hydrology, Spatiotemporal Analytics

Software Tools

Open-source packages/apps for geospatial and hydrological analysis

Tutorials, Maps, and Data

Various tutorials, maps, and datasets for reproducible research

Google Slides Show

Demos of my research projects and refereed publications


Total: 34; First-author: 11; Citations: see Google Scholar

  1. Zhao, K., Wulder, M.A., Hu, T., Bright, R., Wu, Q., Qin, H., Toman, E., Mallick B., Zhang, X., & Brown, M. (2019). Detect change-point, trend, and seasonality in satellite time series data to track abrupt changes and nonlinear dynamics: A Bayesian ensemble algorithm. Remote Sensing of Environment. DOI: TBA
  2. Li, X., Zhou, Y., Meng, L., Asrar, G., Lu, C., & Wu, Q. (2019). A dataset of 30-meter annual vegetation phenology indicators (1985-2015) in urban areas of the conterminous United States. Earth System Science Data. DOI: 10.5194/essd-2019-9
  3. Golden, H.E., Rajib, A., Lane, C.R., Christensen, J.R., Wu, Q., & Mengistu, S. (2019). Non-Floodplain wetlands affect watershed nutrient dynamics: A critical review. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b07270
  4. Wu, Q., Lane, C.R., Li, X., Zhao, K., Zhou, Y., Clinton, N., DeVries, B., Golden, H.E., & Lang, M.W. (2019). Integrating LiDAR data and multi-temporal aerial imagery to map wetland inundation dynamics using Google Earth Engine. Remote Sensing of Environment. 228: 1-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2019.04.015
  5. Wu, B., Yu, B., Yao, S., Wu, Q., Chen, Z., & Wu, J. (2019). A surface network-based method for studying urban hierarchies by nighttime light remote sensing data. International Journal of Geographical Information Science. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2019.1585540
  6. Wu, Q., Lane, C.R., Wang, L., Vanderhoof, M.K., Christensen, J.R., & Liu, H. (2019). Efficient delineation of nested depression hierarchy in digital elevation models for hydrological analyses using level-set method. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 55(2): 354–368. DOI: 10.1111/1752-1688.12689
  7. Beck, R., Xu, M., Zhan, S., Johansen, R., et al., & Wu, Q. (2018). Comparison of satellite reflectance algorithms for estimating turbidity and cyanobacterial concentrations in productive freshwaters using hyperspectral aircraft imagery and dense coincident surface observations. Journal of Great Lakes Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.jglr.2018.09.001
  8. Yu, B., Tang, M., Wu, Q., Yang, C., Deng, S., Shi, K., Peng, C., Wu, J., & Chen, Z. (2018). Urban Built-up Area Extraction from Logarithm Transformed NPP-VIIRS Nighttime Light Composite Data. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. 15(8): 1279-1283. DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2018.2830797
  9. Berhane, T.M., Lane, C.R., Wu, Q., Autrey, B.C., Anenkhonov, O., Chepinoga, V., & Liu, H. (2018). Decision-Tree, Rule-Based, and Random Forest Classification of High-Resolution Multispectral Imagery for Wetland Mapping and Inventory. Remote Sensing. 10(4): 580. DOI: 10.3390/rs10040580
  10. Wu, Q. (2018). GIS and Remote Sensing Applications in Wetland Mapping and Monitoring. In: Huang, B. (Ed.), Comprehensive Geographic Information Systems, Vol. 2, pp. 140–157. Oxford: Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.10460-9
  11. Berhane, T.M., Lane, C.R., Wu, Q., Anenkhonov, O., Chepinoga, V., Autrey, B.C., & Liu, H. (2018). Comparing pixel- and object-based approaches in effectively classifying wetland-dominated landscapes. Remote Sensing. 10(1): 46. DOI: 10.3390/rs10010046
  12. Wu, B., Yu, B., Wu, Q., Chen, Z., Yao, S., Huang, Y., & Wu, J. (2018). An extended minimum spanning tree method for characterizing local urban patterns. International Journal of Geographical Information Science. 32(3): 450-475. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2017.1384830
  13. Ye, Z., Liu, H., Chen, Y., Shu, S., Wu, Q., & Wang, S. (2017). Analysis of water level variation of lakes and reservoirs in Xinjiang, China using ICESat laser altimetry data (2003-2009). PLoS ONE. 12(9): e0183800. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183800
  14. Wu, Q., & Lane, C.R. (2017). Delineating wetland catchments and modeling hydrologic connectivity using LiDAR data and aerial imagery. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 21: 3579-3595. DOI: 10.5194/hess-21-3579-2017
  15. Jia, Y., Huang, Y., Yu, B., Wu, Q., Yu, S., Wu, J.H., & Wu, J.P. (2017). Downscaling Land Surface Temperature by Fusing Suomi NPP-VIIRS and Landsat-8 TIR Data. Remote Sensing Letters. 8(12): 1132-1141. DOI: 10.1080/2150704X.2017.1362125
  16. Chen, Z., Yu, B., Song, W., Liu, H., Wu, Q., Shi, K., & Wu, J. (2017). A New Approach for Detecting Urban Centers and Their Spatial Structure with Nighttime Light Remote Sensing. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 55(11): 6305-6319. DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2017.2725917
  17. Wang, S., Wu, Q.*, & Ward, D. (2017). Automated delineation and characterization of drumlins using a localized contour-tree approach. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 62: 144-156. DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2017.06.006
  18. Beck, R., Xu, M., Zhan, S., Liu, H., et al., & Wu, Q. (2017). Comparison of Satellite Reflectance Algorithms for Estimating Phycocyanin Concentrations and Cyanobacterial Total Biovolume in a Temperate Reservoir Using Coincident Hyperspectral Aircraft Imagery and Dense Coincident Surface Observations. Remote Sensing. 9(6): 538. DOI: 10.3390/rs9060538
  19. Wu, B., Yu, B., Wu, Q., Yao, S., Zhao, F., Mao, W., & Wu, J. (2017). A Graph-based Approach for 3D Building Model Reconstruction from Airborne LiDAR Point Clouds. Remote Sensing. 9(1): 92. DOI: 10.3390/rs9010092
  20. Wu, Q., Su, H., Sherman, D.J., Liu, H., Wozencraft, J.M., Yu, B., & Chen, Z. (2016). A graph-based approach for assessing storm-induced coastal changes. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 37:4854-4873. DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2016.1225180
  21. Wu, B., Yu, B., Wu, Q., Huang, Y., Chen, Z., & Wu, J. (2016). Individual tree crown delineation using localized contour tree method and airborne LiDAR data. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 52:82-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2016.06.003
  22. Wu, Q., Deng, C., & Chen, Z. (2016). Automated delineation of karst sinkholes from LiDAR-derived digital elevation models. Geomorphology. 266, 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.05.006
  23. Beck, R., Zhan, S., Liu, H., Tong, S., et al., & Wu, Q. (2016). Analysis of satellite reflectance algorithms for estimating chlorophyll-a in a temperate reservoir using coincident hyperspectral aircraft imagery and dense water truth. Remote Sensing of Environment. 178: 15-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2016.03.002
  24. Wu, Q., & Lane, C.R. (2016). Delineation and quantification of wetland depressions in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. Wetlands. 36(2): 215-227. DOI: 10.1007/s13157-015-0731-6
  25. Wu, B., Yu, B., Huang, C., Wu, Q., & Wu, J. (2016). Automated extraction of ground surface along urban roads from mobile laser scanning point clouds. Remote Sensing Letters. 7(2): 170-179. DOI: 10.1080/2150704X.2015.1117156
  26. Wu, Q., Liu, H., Wang, L., & Deng, C. (2016). Evaluation of AMSR2 L3 soil moisture products over the continental U.S. using in situ observations from International Soil Moisture Network. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and GeoInformation. 45, Part B: 187-199. DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2015.10.011 
  27. Su, H., Liu, H., & Wu, Q. (2015) Prediction of Water Depth from Multi-Spectral Satellite Imagery - The Regression Kriging Alternative. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. 12(12): 2511-2515. DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2015.2489678
  28. Wu, Q., Liu, H., Wang, S., Yu, B., Beck, R., & Hinkel, K. (2015). A localized contour tree method for deriving geometric and topologic properties of complex surface depressions based on high resolution topographical data. International Journal of Geographical Information Science. 29:12, 2041-2060. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2015.1038719
  29. Wu, Q., Lane, C.R., & Liu, H. (2014). An Effective Method for Detecting Potential Woodland Vernal Pools Using High-Resolution LiDAR Data and Aerial Imagery. Remote Sensing. 6(11):11444-11467. DOI: 10.3390/rs61111444
  30. Lane, C.R., Liu, H., Autrey, B., Anenkhonov, O., Chepinoga, V., & Wu, Q. (2014). Improved Wetland Classification Using Eight-Band High Resolution Satellite Imagery and a Hybrid Approach. Remote Sensing. 6(12):12187-12216. DOI: 10.3390/rs61212187
  31. Townsend-Small, A., Pataki, D.E., Liu, H., Li, Z., Wu, Q., & Thomas, B. (2013). Increasing summer river discharge in southern California, USA, linked to urbanization. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 4643-4647. DOI: 10.1002/grl.50921
  32. Beck, R.A., Hinkel, K.M., Eisner, et al., & Wu, Q. (2013). Contrasting Historical and Recent Breakup Styles on the Meade River of Arctic Alaska in the Context of a Warming Climate. American Journal of Climate Change, 2, 165-172. DOI: 10.4236/ajcc.2013.22016 
  33. Liu, H., Wang, L., Sherman, D.J., Wu, Q., & Su, H. (2011). Algorithmic Foundation and Software Tools for Extracting Shoreline Features from Remote Sensing Imagery and LiDAR Data. Journal of Geographic Information System, 3, 99-119. DOI: 10.4236/jgis.2011.32007 
  34. Liu, H., Wang, L., Sherman, D., Gao, Y., & Wu, Q. (2010). An object-based conceptual framework and computational method for representing and analyzing coastal morphological changes. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 24, 1015-1041. DOI: 10.1080/13658810903270569

Awards and Honors


I was the winner of Binghamton University's Harpur College of Arts and Sciences 2017 Teaching Award - Best Instructor of Graduate Classes, receiving the most nominations among 384 different Harpur instructors nominated by graduate students. Selected comments from students on teaching evaluation forms:

  • “Very articulate and creative teaching method. Never a dull moment in class. Always makes students feel appreciated and welcomed.”
  • “Professional and practical. Extremely versed in all fields of subject matter. Pushes students to achieve more than they ever thought was possible. Always approachable and supportive.”
  • “Dr. Wu is an awesome guy, and someone I honestly look to as a standard of professionalism and self-motivation. I highly recommend him as a professor to anyone in the Geography Department. He knows pretty much everything about ArcGIS, programming, stats … you name it. Thanks to him, I’ve learned much more about my field and topics I had tried to tackle on my own to no avail.”
  • “It’s honestly not hard to see why professor Wu would win such a prestigious award. He is fiercely intelligent, yet humble. He is genuinely devoted to his job and goes above and beyond to make sure his students are prepared to succeed.”
  • “Dr. Wu, I just wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn Python. It has come in handy so many times in my new position as a GIS Analyst. I am able to solve data integration and standardizing issues that otherwise would make processes impossible. So thank you very much!!”

Statistics for Geography

GEOG-533 @ Binghamton University

Programming in GIS

GEOG-503A @ Binghamton University

Global Climate Change

GEOG-221 @ Binghamton University

Physical Geography

GEOG-121 @ Binghamton University


GEOG-550 @ Binghamton University

Spatial Statistics

GEOG-566 @ Binghamton University

Professional Services

I have reviewed 130+ times for 35+ journals since 2015. I won the Sentinel of Science Award (2016) and Top 1% of Peer Reviewers in Multidisciplinary (2017). Check out my verified peer review record at Publons.


Associate Editor (2016–present)

Remote Sensing

Associate Editor (2018–present)

Cogent Geoscience

Editor (2016–2019)

Graduate Students

I am looking for self-motivated students interested in geospatial data science. Please contact me if you are interested in working in my research lab.
Find out more information about the application guideline from our Graduate School and the Geography Department.

Contact Me

Qiusheng Wu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Geography
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0925
Phone: 986-974-XXXX
Office: Burchfiel Geography Building
Location: Google Map

I look forward to hearing from you