This page provides the team members and people associated with the GeoAIR Lab at UNM.


Liping Yang

Liping Yang

(Brief self-introduction video)

Dr. Liping Yang is an Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Science (GIScience) and Computer Science,  with a research focus on geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI), at University of New Mexico (UNM). Dr Yang directs the Geospatial Artificial Intelligence Research and Visualization Laboratory (GeoAIR Lab). She is also a faculty member in the Center for the Advancement of Spatial Informatics Research and Education (ASPIRE) at UNM. Dr. Yang is an expert in big data analytics research in GIScience and Data Science using data mining, computer vision, machine learning and deep learning, plus (geo) visual analytics.

Dr. Yang was a postdoctoral research associate in the Information Sciences group at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), focusing on computer vision and machine learning algorithm development for technical diagram image analysis. Before joining LANL, she was a postdoc researcher on geospatial big data mining and geovisualization in the GeoVISTA Center at Penn State University.  Dr. Yang has worked many years at the intersection of GIScience, Computer Science, and Mathematics. Her multidisciplinary background on GIScience, graph theory, computational geometry, and machine learning provides her with a solid foundation to develop creative and novel solutions to advance machine vision and GIScience.

Graduate Students

Sarigai Sarigai

Sarigai is a Ph.D. student at University of New Mexico. (People often call Sarigai Rose, as Sarigai means Rose in Mongolian). Sarigai joins Dr. Liping Yang’s GeoAIR Lab to start her Ph.D. journey in Fall 2020. She received her Master of Science in Geographic Information Science from Eastern Michigan University. During her graduate studies, she both worked as graduate assistant at the Geography and Geology Department and research assistant at the Institute of Geospatial Research and Education (IGRE) at the Eastern Michigan University. She was inspired to work in GIS research because of the severe grassland degradation happening in her homeland Inner Mongolia and her previous research mainly dealt with grassland degradation, urban black and odorous water. Prior to arriving at Easter Michigan University, she earned a bachelor’s degree at Heilongjiang University (in China) in Hydrology and Hydropower Engineering. Her professional interest in her doctoral program includes GIScience, big data analytics, and machine learning. She grew up in a Mongolian family, and speaks fluently in Mongolian, English and Chinese.

Roald Kern

Roald joined GeoAIR Lab in 2020 Fall for his Master journey to work with Dr. Liping Yang. His current research interest includes interactive web app development. Check HERE for his recent interactive web app about US national park visitor statistics.

Joshua Driscol

Joshua has a B.S. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Washington with a focus on climate science and glaciology. As an undergraduate, Joshua was a SIParCS intern at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and a Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium grantee. Before joining the GeoAIR Lab as a Masters student in Fall 2021, Joshua spent time as a Post Bachelors student at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Computational Physics and then as a Fulbright Student in Oslo, Norway. In general, Joshua is interested in (geospatial) data science, robust and interpretable machine learning, as well as software development especially as these technologies relate to earth and environmental science applications.

Undergraduate Students

Katie Slack

Katie Slack began working with the GeoAIR lab in Summer of 2022 using her artistic skills for icon design. Katie is currently an undergraduate student at UNM in her final year of a B.S. in Anthropology/Archaeology with a minor in GIScience. Katie is interested in human interaction across space in the past and present. She is  also interested in mixing her artistic proclivities and logical mind to explore GIScience. You can see an interactive web map co-developed by Katie HERE. Katie is a returning student who values the skills gained while working full time in a variety of positions. She believes open communication, adaptability, kindness, and hard work can create something fruitful from any situation. Aside from scholastic endeavors, Katie enjoys spending time in nature, making art, and reading fiction.

Affiliated Faculty And Researchers

Christopher D. Lippitt

Dr. Chris Lippitt is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Geography and Environmental Studies Department at University of New Mexico (UNM). Dr. Lippitt directs the Center for the Advancement of Spatial Informatics Research and Education (ASPIRE) at UNM, and is the Faculty Coordinator of UNM Interdisciplinary Science Cooperative (Co-op). His interests include Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Science, Time-Sensitive Geographic Information, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Spatial Modeling,  and User-Oriented Design. He is particularly interested in the use of remote sensing and spatial modeling technology to address time-sensitive information requirements and enterprise decision support systems.


Maria Lane

Dr. Maria Lane is a Professor in the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies at the University of New Mexico. Her research focuses on the historical geographies of science and environmental knowledge, with a particular interest in maps, arid landscapes, and colonialism. Dr. Lane directs UNM’s R.H. Mallory Center for Community Geography, and she serves as an editor for the Journal of Historical Geography. She teaches the GES course, “Critical Cartography,” which is open to upper-level undergraduates and graduate students. She is also the author of Geographies of Mars, which was highlighted in a recent National Geographic story and video feature about Mars mapping, and on KUNM’s “University Showcase” radio program.


Susan Bogus Halter

Dr. Susan Bogus Halter is the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Endowed Chair Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering at the University of New Mexico. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Bogus is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Wisconsin. She teaches and researches in the area of construction engineering, sustainability, and asset management.


Su Zhang

Dr. Su Zhang is a Senior Research Engineer at the Earth Data Analysis Center (EDAC) at the University of New Mexico. He joined EDAC as a graduate student and became a part of the EDAC Staff in 2017. Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 2017. He also has Master’s Degrees in GIScience and Construction Management. His research focuses on leveraging GIS, remote sensing, and drone technologies for infrastructure management and he has many peer-reviewed publications in this field. His project experience includes GIS/Remote Sensing applications for Geomasking, Transportation Infrastructure Condition Assessment, Emergency Management, and Web Mapping. He is experienced with many software packages include ArcGIS, QGIS, ERDAS Imaging, ENVI, IDRISI, GXP SOCET, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Stata, SPSS, QT Modeler, Agisoft Photoscan, Pix4D Mapper, and Menci APS. Dr. Zhang is a member of New Mexico Geographic Information Council (NMGIC). He is also a committee member of the U.S. Transportation Research Board (TRB).

Collaborating Faculty And Researchers

CURRENT Collaborators

Vijayan K. Asari

Dr. Vijayan Asari is the University of Dayton Ohio Research Scholars Endowed Chair in Wide Area Surveillance and a professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is also the director of the Center of Excellence for Computational Intelligence and Machine Vision (Vision Lab).

Qiusheng Wu

Dr. Qiusheng Wu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). His research interests include Geographic Information Science (GIS), remote sensing, and environmental modeling. More specifically, he is interested in applying geospatial big data, machine learning, and cloud computing (e.g., Google Earth Engine) to study environmental change, especially surface water and wetland inundation dynamics. Dr. Wu has developed and published various open-source packages for advanced geospatial analysis, which are available on GitHub. More information about his research can be found on his website.

Shujie Wang

Dr. Shujie Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, an associate of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Institute (EESI), and an associate of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS), at Penn State University. She teaches remote sensing and machine learning classes. Dr. Wang is broadly interested in using remote sensing, machine learning, and numerical modeling methods to study the cryosphere and climate system, with a particular focus on ice sheet flow dynamics and surface mass balance and the interactions between supraglacial microbes and ice/snow melting processes.

Subarna Tripathi

Dr. Subarna Tripathi is a researcher at Intel AI Lab, working in computer vision and machine learning with focus in scene graphs, graph embeddings, scene parsing. Dr. Tripathi received her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of California San Diego. Her PhD advisors were Professor Truong Nguyen and Professor Serge Belongie. She is an alumna of both Video processing group at UC San Diego and SE(3) computer vision group at Cornell Tech. Her research interests include computer vision and video processing. Dr.  Tripathi worked in STMicroelectronics in its Advanced System Technology (AST) group for over 6 years on computer vision and video processing domains. Prior to that She worked in Interra Systems on video analyzer.


Lingfei Wu

Dr. Lingfei Wu is a Research Staff Member in the IBM AI Foundations Labs, Ressoning group at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. He earned his Ph.D. degree in computer science from the College of William and Mary in 2016. Lingfei Wu is a passionate researcher and responsible team leader, developing novel deep learning/machine learning models for solving real-world challenging problems. He has served as the PI in IBM for several federal agencies such as DARPA and NSF (more than $1.8M), as well as MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. He has published more than 50 top-ranked conference and journal papers in ML/DL/NLP domains and is a co-inventor of more than 20 filed US patents. He was the recipient of the Best Paper Award and Best Student Paper Award of several conferences such as IEEE ICC’19 and KDD workshop on DLG’19. His research has been featured in numerous media outlets, including NatureNews, YahooNews, Venturebeat, TechTalks, SyncedReview, Leiphone, QbitAI, MIT News, IBM Research News, and SIAM News. Lingfei serves as an Associate Editor for ACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data. He has organized or served as Poster co-chairs of IEEE BigData’19, Tutorial co-chairs of IEEE BigData’18, Workshop co-chairs of Deep Learning on Graphs (with KDD’19, IEEE BigData’19, and AAAI’20), and regularly served as a SPC/TPC member of the following major AI/ML/DL/DM/NLP conferences including NIPS, ICML, ICLR, ACL, IJCAI, AAAI, and KDD.


PAST Major Collaborators

Brendt Wohlberg

Dr. Brendt Wohlberg is a research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His interests and expertise include sparse representations, exemplar-based methods for image restoration, signal and image processing inverse problems. Dr. Wohlberg is the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Computational Imaging (2018‒) and also Associate Editor of SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences (2019‒). He has also developed some software packages.

Guido Cervone

Dr. Guido Cervone is Professor of Geography, Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, Faculty Associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI) and Associate Director of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Cervone am also Affiliate Scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Adjunct Professor at the Lamonth-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University. His research sits at the intersection of geospatial science, atmospheric science and computer science. His research focuses on the development and application of computational algorithms for the analysis of spatio-temporal remote sensing, numerical modeling and social media Big Data related to environmental hazards and renewable energy. Dr. Cervone received research funding from DARPA, NSF, ONR, DOT, NCAR, NASA, Italian Ministry of Research and Education, Draper Labs, Stormcenter Communication. In 2013, Dr. Cervone received the “Medaglia di Rappresentanza” from the President of the Italian Republic for my work related to the Fukushima crisis. He authored two edited books, over forty fully refereed articles relative to data mining, remote sensing and environmental hazards. Dr. Cervone co-chaired several workshops on remote sensing, data mining and GeoInformatics. In 2010, Dr. Cervone was awarded a US patent for an anomaly detection algorithm. Dr. Cervone’s research was featured on TV news, newspapers, and general interest magazines. He sailed over 4000 offshore miles.

Alan M. MachEachren

Dr. Alan MacEachren is  an emeritus professor of Penn State University. Before his retirement, he directed the GeoVISTA Center at Penn State University,  an interdisciplinary geographical information science center. GeoVISTA conducts and coordinates integrated and innovative research in GIScience, covering a broad range of domains from spatial cognition, through formal geo-information representation, to spatial analysis, cartography and visual analytics. Dr. MacEachren’s own research roots are in cartography and spatial cognition. His current research interests cover a wide spectrum of GIScience topics. These include: geovisual analytics, geovisualization and exploratory spatial data analysis, geosemantics and geographical information retrieval. Applications domains to which his research connects include public health, crisis management, and environmental science.

Mike Worboys

Dr. Mike Worboys has a PhD in mathematics and is professor of spatial informatics in the Department of Computing and Information Sciences, University of Greenwich, London, England, where he is leader of the Greenwich GIScience Research Group. Until the end of 2012 he was director of the School of Computing and Information Science, and a professor in the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) at the University of Maine, USA. Dr. Worboys is a Distinguished Scientist of the ACM, a Life Member of the London Mathematical Society, and received the 2008 UCGIS Research Award (PDF). He was a member of the Mapping Science Committee of the National Research Council, under the auspices of the US National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. Dr. Mike Worboys has worked for many years at the boundary between computer science, mathematics, and geographic information science; He is the founding editor of the Journal of Spatial Information Science (JOSIS). JOSIS is an international, on-line, open access journal, that publishes top-quality research and review papers in geographic information science.