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


Liping Yang

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. 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.

Liping 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, Liping was a postdoc researcher on big geospatial data mining and geovisualization in the GeoVISTA Center at Penn State University.  Liping 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 a solid foundation to develop creative and novel solutions to advance machine vision.

Graduate Students

Rose (Fnu) Sarigai

Sarigai is an incoming Ph.D. student at University of New Mexico. She will join Dr. Liping Yang’s GeoAIR Lab to start her Ph.D. journey in Fall 2020. She just 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 will join GeoAIR Lab in 2020 Fall for his Master journey to work with Dr. Liping Yang.

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. His current projects include “Development of a Remote Sensing Network for Time-sensitive Detection of Fine Scale Damage to Transportation Infrastructure” and “Collaborative Proposal: Optimization of Remote Sensing Networks for Time-sensitive Detection of Fine Scale Damage to Critical Infrastructure”.


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).



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.


Ming Gong

PAST Collaborators

Catherine Potts


Brendt Wohlberg


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 CyberScience 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 directs 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.