Professor, Dept. of Environmental Resources Engineering, SUNY ESF

Join our Lab

Ph.D. Fellowship available on deep learning in remote sensing

Currently our lab is seeking for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students interested in high-impact large-scale interdisciplinary studies. If you have a research idea feel free to contact me.

Information on our lab and current students can be found here.

Our lab focuses on land change environmental issues using GISc and Remote Sensing. Graduate students may join us for M.P.S., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. The MPS offers a more practical study, while  students in M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs are expected to develop both a novel theoretical approach (based on quantitative modeling) and apply it successfully on an important environmental issue. Most  M.Sc. and Ph.D. students are supported by an assistantship that covers tuition and provides a monthly stipend enough to cover everyday expenses (room and board) in the Syracuse area. A high-end computer workstation is also provided and additional computation power if needed is available. M.P.S. students are expected to be self-funded.

Here is some additional information to help you decide:

Step 1: Is this the right place for you?

I accept students in the area of environmental monitoring and modeling with a focus on Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Science. My research crosses several disciplines such as computer science, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, biology, ecology and forestry. There are two relevant graduate programs I am participating in:

Environmental Resource Engineering – Option Area: Geospatial Information Science and Engineering

Graduate Program in Environmental Science – Study Area: Climate and Energy

Graduate Program in Environmental Science – Study Area: Ecosystems: Land, Water and Air

The first program is more related to engineering, the second towards science. Both programs require strong quantitative skills. Please do not email me asking which program would be a better fit for you, only you can answer that question by checking the two websites listed above.

Do not forget to select my name as your major professor, this is important so your application is reviewed by me.

Step 2: Do you have the necessary background?

Multi-disciplinary research is desired so students with different backgrounds are encouraged to apply. However, prior exposure to either basic image processing or GISc techniques is necessary. Furthermore, I only accept students with strong quantitative background since you will be joining an engineering department. If you do not like statistics for example this is not the right place for you. Minimum requirements include some basic programming experience (e.g. Matlab, VBasic). Familiarity with ESRI ArcGIS or other similar products is also a plus. Remember we do not produce software engineers so computer skills are only as good as the science behind them.

Step 3: How do I inquire whether I am a good fit?
Students are encouraged to send me a quick introduction so I can advise you if you satisfy the minimum requirements to apply. The best way to do that is by filling out the provided prospective student form here. Students who use that form will get an answer within 1-2 weeks. Probably you should wait before moving to step 4 until after you receive my email response based on the information you entered on the form.

Step 4: How do I formally apply?
You can start the formal application process with ESF’s graduate school here. All questions regarding this process should be directed to If you are interested in working with me do not forget to add my name as your major professor on your application with the graduate school.

IN ADDITION to your ESF application, if you are interested in a Teaching or Research Assistantship under my supervision, please send me directly the following:

  • A pdf copy of your CV (describing your education, experience, publications and skills).
  • Pdf copies of publications you may have.
  • A 5-10min video describing your research experience and interests. You can either be sitting down or give a presentation with projected images on the background. You should not be reading from a script or a powerpoint presentation, imagine you have just met an engineer who asked you to describe your work in your own words in 5 minutes.

Pdf files should be emailed directly to me, the video should be uploaded on YouTube (avoid using other websites). The title of the video should start with your first and last name exactly as they are provided in your formal ESF application. Keep in mind that in YouTube there is the option to keep your video private. Avoid sending me multiple emails, one email with your pdf files and the link to your video would be preferred.

Feel free to contact me for further information, please include at least your research ideas, your CV and your GRE scores so I can advise you better.

Good Luck!

Important frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • How good should my scores be? Typically we accept students with at least 700 Quantitative GRE score and a TOEFL better than 85. These are the minimum numbers, in most cases students have higher scores than that.
  • Is it mandatory to submit a video? Yes, unless you can visit our campus for an interview. I do not accept students without it, no exceptions.
  • Are the assistantships available to both American and International students? Yes, the assistantships can support highly qualified international students.
  • Can you offer me some advice so I can plan my application? For optimal consideration your material should be complete and received by early January for Fall admission. Considering all the tests involved (GRE, TOEFL) and the material outlined above students are highly encouraged to start their application process around September.
  • What if I missed the January deadline? We accept students on a rolling basis therefore if you have a good idea but have missed the deadline I would suggest you contact me with a short description of your idea, your CV and your GRE scores.
  • What should I do if my research ideas do not fit any of the above open positions? If your research belongs in the GISc/RS area and you have a strong quantitative background contact me for more guidance.
  • What is your advising style? My job as your advisor is to motivate you to reach your full potential. That translates into hard work for both of us. You will be the major force for the research while I will find the time to advise you (within 1-2 days from your request) and make sure you have everything you need to succeed (e.g. computer hardware/software, attending conferences, etc). The University’s and the professor’s success comes from the student’s success, therefore it is to everyone’s interest to see you excel in your studies.
  • What are the expectations from admitted students? There is a clear expectation from both M.Sc. and Ph.D. students to produce high quality work published in related journals. Our M.Sc. students typically produce 1-2 journal publications and our Ph.D. students target 3-4 journal publications. Students are encouraged to submit their thesis in a manuscript format composed by an introduction, the papers and a summary section. This way papers are easily converted into thesis without too much additional work.