Yichun Xie

A photo of Yichun Xie


Geography & Geology; Environmental Science and Society (ENVI) Interdisciplinary Program

140G Strong


[email protected]


  • July, 1994: Doctor of Philosophy in Geography
    State University of New York at Buffalo
    Concentrations: GIS, Remote Sensing, Spatial Statistics
  • Jan., 1991: Master of Arts in Urban Studies / Urban Planning
    The University of Akron
    Concentrations: Urban and Regional Development, Urban Geography
  • July, 1978: Diploma in Geography
    Anhui Normal University (China)
    Concentrations: Physical Geography, Regional Geography

Interests and Expertise

  • Yichun Xie, PhD, Professor of Geographic Information Science and Environmental Geography; Founding Director, Institute of Geospatial Research and Education (IGRE, from 1998).

  • Professor Xie has long been engaged in geographic information science and remote sensing theory and method research, including spatiotemporal modeling of urban growth, grassland ecosystem, coupled impacts of human dynamics and environmental changes on resource management and ecosystem recovery, and land-use and land-cover changes. Professor Xie is a pioneer in the development of urban dynamic evolution theory based on cellular automata, which is widely regarded as a start of the second generation of dynamic modeling of urban complex systems. 

  • Professor Xie, in the past 20 years, has applied geo-spatial modeling and remote sensing in the Mongolian Plateau to study coupled impacts of human and natural systems on grassland ecosystems and multi-scale dynamics of the interactions between grazing, ecosystem service, global climate change and socioeconomic transformation. He has developed multi-scale cross-regional and time-series panel models, analyzing a comprehensive set of driving factors, such as, population growth, urbanization process, policy regime, rainfall and climate change, herdsman's family adaptation strategy, etc., and their interactions, assessing the resilience and vulnerability of grassland ecosystems in the context of global climate and policy changes, and recommending sustainable adaptation strategies. 

  • Professor Xie has substantial experience of research and scholarly publication. He has coauthored and edited 14 books and journal special issues and published hundreds of research papers. The details can be found on Google Scholar Citation Website (https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=TD5KZSIAAAAJ). 

  • Professor Xie is Founding Director, Institute for Geospatial Research and Education (please visit IGRE Webpage for details). He has served as principal or co-principal investigators over 45 large research projects sponsored by NSF, NASA, NOAA, USEPA, and USGS. A dozen of these grants have the funding amount over half a million dollars each. He is recipient of Distinguished Research Professor of Eastern Michigan University in 2000, Distinguished Scholarship Award from Association of American Geographers Regional Development & Planning Specialty Group in 2004, PI Emeritus Award from US National Science Foundation – ITEST Learning Center in 2010, and Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award at 2016 ESRI International User Conference.


GEOG 276 - Principles of Geographic Information Systems

GEOG 318 - Geography of Asia

GEOG 332 - Urban Geography

GEOG 579 - Geographic Information Systems

GEOG 585 - Geographic Information Systems Applications

GEOG 668 - GIS Project

GEOG 670 - Spatial Analysis and Modeling

GEOG 678 - Advanced Desktop Programming for GIS Customization

COT 711 - Advanced Research and Applied Statistics in Technology