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Remote Sensing & Social Sensing of Natural Resources

I ask questions related to: 

Global dynamics of natural resources such as water and agricultural lands.

I am great with:

Landscape limnology, remote sensing, and environmental science & policy.

I am also excited in fields that are challenging to me: 

Environmental justice, and environmental journalism (scientific communication).

Remote Sensing of Algal Blooms

Dissertation research, supported by US EPA

My dissertation research, entitled "Climate Change and Algal Blooms", quantified the unclear effects of climate change on harmful algal blooms. I developed an automatic tool to generate long-term whole-lake algal biomass using Landsat TM/ETM+ and machine-learning algorithm in Google Earth Engine. The algorithm improved the accuracy of algal biomass measurement by 15-30% over traditional linear regressions. This was the first assessment of climate change impacts on harmful algal blooms across the continental USA. 

Machine-learning algorithms for algal blooms

Social Sensing of Algal Blooms

On-going project

In this project, I use mass media (big data) to measure public perceptions, and social responses to harmful algal blooms. Text analysis in news showed that the public blamed agriculture more than climate change regarding the causes of algal blooms. Preliminary results indicated that media coverage was less associated with the size of algal blooms (measured by remote sensing), but the social disruptions, involving impacts on drinking water and/or regulatory responses.  The findings indicate that in the case of algal blooms, social amplification is related not only to the existence but to the magnitude of events with social and political impacts.

Mismatch between algal-bloom physical characteristics and media responses (Western Lake Erie)

Other Projects

Remote Sensing of Tsetse Fly Distribution

My first PhD dessertation research, supported by US NIH. I used MODIS data and agent-based model to estimate tsetse fly distribution in eastern Africa. Tsetse flies are vectors of Trypanosoma sleeping sickness. (Lin et al., 2015)

Modelling Non-point Source Pollution 

China National-Priority Project. I developed the most detailed soil database in China, and developed process-based watershed models to simulate pollution processes and identify pollution sources and locations. (Lin et al., 2013)

Developing GIS

Master thesis, supported by China Science Platform Project. I developed a GIS system of fisheries resources in China using MapX + VB + SQL. The system was featured by fish distribution maps that was automatically generated by text analysis and ecological niche definition. (Lin et al., 2007)