- Ph.D. University of Maryland, 1998
Dr. Zhang's research interests are airborne LIDAR mapping, 3D visualization, GIS, hurricane vulnerability, and coastal erosion. He also conducts research on coastal changes in response to climate change, sea level rise, and human activity using GIS to formulate impact models so we can develop coastal zone sustainably.
Over the last four years, IHC researchers have acquired a large amount of LIDAR data along the Florida Atlantic, North Carolina, South Carolina, and New York coasts. Dr. Zhang has been involved with airborne LIDAR mapping since 1999. Specific research includes:
- Development of algorithms to automatically identify ground and non-ground points and to extract three-dimensional shapes of buildings and trees from airborne LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) measurements
- Development of high resolution storm surge model
- Development of georeferenced, three-dimensional, visualization and animation platforms for hurricane-induced flooding and wind damage
- Analysis of long-term and storm-induced beach erosion using shoreline position data from LIDAR measurements, field GPS surveys, aerial photographs, and historical maps
- Examination of long-term trend and interdecadal variations in the number and severity of coastal storms using hourly water level records from tide gauges.
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