Susan Meerdink, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences

University of Iowa


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Research Focus

I work at the intersection of machine learning, remote sensing, and ecology to understand our functioning natural environment. The ability to capture high temporal, spatial, and spectral resolution imagery has advanced much more rapidly than algorithms for processing, visualizing, and interpreting these images. In my work, I aim to develop algorithms and methodologies for image processing that transform the data into manageable and applicable information for future applications. Monitoring ecosystem function with high resolution over large spatial scale is extremely difficult due to the inherent cost and complexity managing ground-based operations and sensors. To overcome these challenges, I use computational spatial methods to characterize the vegetation function and the effect of physiology on the optical and thermal properties of plants.