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Geography Department Gets New Professor, Catalyst for Collaboration

Professor Hongxing Liu will help develop a network of faculty for collaborations in geospatial information science and technology.

Date: 12/28/2009
By: Kim Burdett
Phone: (513) 556-8577
Photos By: Kim Burdett
Professor Hongxing Liu is one of two new faculty members this year in the Department of Geography at University of Cincinnati. After nine years at Texas A&M University, Liu has made a home in McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

McMicken College launched a research initiative in the Geographical Information Networks (GINs) with a cluster of hires across four departments. A main draw of UC, Liu says, is his role in leading and coordinating the GINs initiative—an interdisciplinary effort in the Departments of Geography, Geology, Biological Sciences and Chemistry to promote research and applications of geospatial information technologies.

Hongxing Liu.
Hongxing Liu is a new professor this year in the Department of Geography.

"What we’re trying to do is organize current faculty in the field to establish joint research projects across departments,” Liu says. “UC has unique and excellent combination of research strengths and expertise in geospatial information technologies, particularly in environmental sensor networks, remote sensing and GIS."

Liu is the senior hire for this cluster, and the search for three junior hires is occurring now. Liu is excited about the initiative’s future with focal research areas including GIS, remote sensing, sensor networks and their applications in environmental and ecological applications, and natural hazard management. Faculty hope it will increase production on proposals and external funding, create high-quality publications, and produce technological innovations.

A research center, the Center for Geospatial Information & Environmental Sensor Network, is being formed as a platform to launch and organize the GINs research activities. An immediate research proposal to be submitted is an NSF project on the  Arctic lakes. The group is also preparing a research proposal on the watershed processes and water quality of the Great Lakes to seek  funding from  the Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Research Initiative program. Eventually, the group hopes to become a prominent local resource as well.

With general interest in remote sensing, geographic information sciences and natural hazards, Liu is happy to be at UC because of similar and complementary research interests with colleagues.

“My work with GINs and my future career at UC seems to be a very promising academic adventure,” Liu says.

He comes to UC with a number of accolades already. He’s earned funding by National Science Foundation, NASA, NOAA Sea Grant Program and more. He received a number of prestigious awards, including a NASA Group Achievement Award, the Best Paper Award from Computers & Geoscience, John Davidson President’s Award for Practical Papers from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, and a Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching from Texas A&M.

Liu received his PhD in geography from Ohio State University in 1999.

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