Dr. Yi Qi is an Associate Professor (Teaching) of Spatial Sciences with the Spatial Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California.

His research integrates remote sensing, geographic information systems and spatial data science in ecological monitoring, environmental studies and natural resource management.

He focuses on satellite and airborne remote sensing, computational models, field work, and AI to address how climate and human practices affect crop productivity and ecosystem functioning.

Prior to joining the Spatial Sciences Institute in August 2022, Dr. Qi was an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. From 2014-2018, he was a Senior Spatial Scientist with Brown University.

He has published over thirty papers and has led over ten grants in the total amount of two million dollars.

Dr. Qi serves as a reviewer for numerous journals, including Remote Sensing of EnvironmentGIScience and Remote SensingASPRS Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, and ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Ecological Society of America, and the American Association of Geographers.


Ph.D., Geography, University of Utah
M.S., Geography, Northern Illinois University
Bachelor of Engineering, China University of Geosciences

Recent peer-reviewed publications

Shrestha, N., Mittelstet, A.R., Qi, Y.. Assessing Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)
encroachment assessment in central Nebraska using Landsat and deep neural network.
Remote Sensing of Environment.

Wenqi Ou, Yi Qi, Tim Arkebauer, Brian Wardlow, Yawen Guan. Impact of vertical
heterogeneity on remote sensing for water content in maize.

Wenqi Ou, Yi Qi, Tim Arkebauer, Brian Wardlow, Yawen Guan. 2021. Response of crop
equivalent water thickness to the environmental variables.

Shrestha, N., Mittelstet, A.R., Young, A.R., Gilmore, T.E., Gosselin, D.C., Qi, Y., Zeyrek,
C., 2021. Groundwater level assessment and prediction in the Nebraska Sand Hills
using LIDAR-derived lake water level. J. Hydrol. 600, 126582.

Kerry Cawse-Nicholson, Philip A. Townsend., … Yi Qi, et al. A compilation of surface
imaging algorithms: NASA’s Surface Biology and Geology Designated Observable.
2020. Remote Sensing of Environment 257: 112349

Ran Wang, John A. Gamon, Ryan Moore, Arthur I. Zygielbaum, Timothy J. Arkebauer,
Rick Perk, Bryan Leavitt, Sergio Cogliati, Brian Wardlow, Yi Qi. 2020. Errors
associated with atmospheric correction methods for airborne imaging spectroscopy:
Implications for vegetation indices and plant traits. Remote Sensing of Environment 265:

Dennison, P. E., Qi, Y., S. K. Meerdink, R. F. Kokaly, D. R. Thompson, C. S. Daughtry, M.
Quemada, D. A. Roberts, P. D. Gader, and E. B. Wetherley. 2019. Comparison of
Methods for Modeling Fractional Cover Using Simulated Satellite Hyperspectral
Imager Spectra. Remote Sensing 11:2072.