Department of Geosciences, Murray State University

Murray, KY 42071-3311

Phone: (270)809-6760    Fax: (270)809-3276




Qiaofeng (Robin) Zhang, Ph. D., The University of Western Ontario



GSC 110 - World Geography

GSC 199 - Earth Science

GSC 301 Understanding Scientific Communication

GSC 330 - Economic Geography

GSC 507/607 - Land Use Planning

GSC 512/612 - Remote Sensing

GSC 680 - Advanced GIS


Research Interests


Remote sensing and GIS applications in urban environments; Information extraction from remotely sensed data; Digital change detection and environmental monitoring; Landscape ecology; Geoscience education.


Current Projects


Studying urban development dynamics and mechanisms in China and the United States using nightitme lights data; Fusion of multispectral and radar data for watershed mapping and modeling; GIS for habitat improvement modeling in Kentucky Lake.


Publications in Referred Journals


ZHANG, Q., He, C. and Liu, Z., 2014. Studying urban development and change in the contiguous United States using two scaled measures derived from nighttime lights data and population census. GIScience & Remote Sensing, 51(1): 63-82.  doi:10.1080/15481603.2014.88321

Ma, Q., He, C., Wu, J., Liu, Z., ZHANG, Q. and Sun, Z., 2014. Quantifying spatiotemporal patterns of urban impervious surfaces in China: An improved assessment using nighttime light data. Landscape and Urban Planning, 130: 26-39. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbanplan.2014.06.009.

He, C., Ma, Q., Liu, Z. and ZHANG, Q., 2013. Modeling the spatiotemporal dynamics of electric power consumption in Mainland China using saturation-corrected DMSP/OLS nighttime stable light data. International Journal of Digital Earth. doi:10.1080/17538947.2013.822026.

Yang, Y., He, C., ZHANG, Q., Han, L. and Du., S., 2013. Timely and accurate national-scale mapping of urban land in China using Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Linescan System nighttime stable light data. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, 7(1), 073535. doi:10.1117/1.JRS.7.073535

Liu, Z., He, C., ZHANG, Q., Huang, Q. and Yang, Y., 2012. Extracting the dynamics of urban expansion in China using DMSP-OLS nighttime light data from 1992 to 2008. Landscape and Urban Planning, 106(1), 62-72.

Zhao, Y., He, C. and ZHANG, Q., 2012. Monitoring vegetation dynamics by coupling linear trend analysis with change vector analysis: a case study in Xilingol steppe in northern China. International Journal of Remote Sensing 33(1), 287-308.

He, C, Wei, A., Shi, P., ZHANG, Q. and Zhao, Y., 2011. Detecting land-use/land-cover change in rural-urban fringe areas using extended change-vector analysis. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 13(1), 572-585.

He, K., Zhang, J. and ZHANG, Q., 2009. Linking variability in species composition and MODIS NDVI based on beta diversity measurements. Acta Oecologica, 35(1), 14-21.

He, C., Okada, N., ZHANG, Q., Shi, P. and Li, J., 2008. Modeling dynamic urban expansion processes incorporating a potential model with cellular automata. Landscape and Urban Planning, 86, 79-91.

He, C., Okada, N., ZHANG, Q., Shi, P. and Zhang, J., 2006. Modeling urban expansion scenarios by coupling cellular automata model and system dynamic model in Beijing, China. Applied Geography, 26, 323-345.

Zhang, Q., Wang, J., Gong, P. and Shi, P., 2005. Detection of recently constructed multi-storey buildings using SPOT panchromatic and Landsat TM/ETM+ data. GeoCarto International, 20, 3-13.

He, C., ZHANG, Q., Li, Y., Li, X. and Shi, P., 2005. Zoning grassland protection area using remote sensing and cellular automata modeling − a case study in Xilingol steppe grassland in northern China. Journal of Arid Environments, 63, 814-826.

Peng, X., Wang, J. and ZHANG, Q., 2005. Deriving terrain and textural information from stereo RADARSAT data for mountainous land cover mapping. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26, 5029-5049.

ZHANG, Q., Wang, J., Gong, P. and Shi, P., 2003. Urban spatial pattern analysis from SPOT panchromatic imagery using textural analysis. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 24: 4137-4160.

ZHANG, Q. and Wang, J., 2003. A rule-based urban land use inferring method for fine resolution multispectral imagery. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 29: 1-13.

ZHANG, Q., Wang, J., Peng, X., Gong, P. and Shi, P., 2002. Urban built-up land change detection with road density and spectral information from multi-temporal Landsat TM data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 23: 3057-3078.

Wang, J. and ZHANG, Q., 2000. Applicability of a gradient algorithm for road network extraction – sensor, resolution and background considerations. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 26: 428-439.

Conference Proceedings and Presentations


Land-cover mapping using fine-resolution RapidEye and RadarSat-2 imagery for a small mixed-use watershed. Presented at the ASPRS 2014 Annual Conference, March 23-27, 2014, Louisville, KY.

Integrating remote sensing and GIS for environmental monitoring and modeling in a small mix-use watershed in Murray, KY. Presented at the GeoEd’13 Conference, Louisville, KY, June 12, 2013.

Mapping urban areas using DMSP-OLS nighttime lights data. Presented at the 97th Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Academy of Science (KAS), Murray, KY, Nov 5, 2011.

Measuring and comparing urban development patterns in China and the US using remotely sensed data and population census. Presented at the 2011 Annual Conference of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Seattle, WA, USA, April 12-16, 2011.

Predicting the spatial distribution of Lonicera japonica, based on species occurrence data from two watershed in Western KY and TN. Proceedings of the 17th Central Hardwood Forest Conference, Lexington, KY, USA, April 5-7, 2010.

A comparison of classification schemes for detecting an invasive plant species using QuickBird image. Presented at the Second International Conference on Remote Sensing and Global Change, Chengdu, China, May 25-29, 2009.

Detecting and Modeling the Distribtuion of Japanese Honeysuckle, an Invasive Plant Species. Presented at the 2009 Kentucky Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference, Louisville, KY, April 7, 2009.

Detecting and analyzing the spatial distribution of an invasive plant, Lonicera japonica, using remote sensing and GIS. Presented at the Fourth Kentucky Innovation and Enterprise Conference, Lexington, KY, April 17, 2008.

Modeling dynamic urban expansion processes incorporating a potential model with cellular automata. Presented at the 6th MSU-UTM Sigma Xi Symposium, Murray, KY, February 23, 2008.

Modeling urban expansion in Beijing using cellular automata and system dynamic models. Presented at the 2006 Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Information Sciences, Bowling Green, KY, USA, August 1-3, 2006.

Land feature extraction using CHRIS-PROBA data - a comparison of flat urban and mountainous areas. Presented at the 4th CHRIS PROBA Workshop, 19-21 September, 2006, ESRIN, Frascati, Italy.

Zoning of grassland protection area using remote sensing and GIS. Presented at the Annual meeting of Kentucky Academy of Science, Murray, KY, USA, November 4-6, 2004.

Urban landscape characterization using multispectral satellite sensor data. Presented at the 100th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Philadelphia, PA, USA, March 14-19, 2004.

Detection of buildings from Landsat-7 ETM+ and SPOT panchromatic data in Beijing, China. Proceedings of the IEEE 2002 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS’2002) and the 24th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing, Toronto, Canada, June 24-28, 2002, V: 2977-2979

Inferring urban land use from 1 meter resolution IKONOS imagery. Proceedings of the 23rd Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada, August 21-25, 2001, 173-181.

Texture analysis for urban spatial pattern study using SPOT imagery. Proceeding of the IEEE 2001 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS’2001), Sydney, Australia, July 9-13, 2001, 2149-2151.

Use of a structural measure for urban expansion analysis from Landsat TM data. Proceedings of the 22nd Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing, Victoria, BC, Canada, August 21-25, 2000, 769-773.

Spectral and textural urban change detection using Landsat TM imagery. Presented at the 2000 Annual Meeting of Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG), St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, May 31-June 3, 2000.

Detecting urban expansion using Landsat TM images – a comparison of techniques. Presented at the 96th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, April 4-8, 2000.

Evaluation of remotely sensed data from different sensors for urban road network detection. Proceedings of the Fourth International Airborne Remote Sensing Conference and Exhibition / 21st Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing, Ottawa, Canada, June 21-24, 1999, Volume II, 663-670.


Professional Affiliations and Services


       Member, Association of American Geographers (AAG)

       Member, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS)

       Member, Kentucky Academy of Sciences

       Editorial Board member, Geography Journal

Reviewer, International Journal of Remote Sensing, PE&RS, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing, Landscape and Urban Planning




 Service Learning Mentor of the Year. Murray State University, 2011.

 Emerging Scholar Award. Murray State University, 2008.

 Best PhD Thesis Award. Canadian Remote Sensing Society, 2003.