URI researcher receives prestigious Presidential Award
KINGSTON, R.I. -- November 10, 2000 -- University of Rhode Island researcher
Y.Q. (Yeqiao) Wang uses information from satellites to study urban sprawl
and the interrelationship between the natural world and human settlements.
His work recently earned him the highest honor the U.S. government bestows
upon young scientists, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists
Wang was one of 59 scientists in the country to receive the award and
one of just six whose research was recognized by the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration. The award includes a two-year, $250,000 grant
to continue research he began in 1999 with support from NASA's New Investigator
Program in Earth Science.
The award ceremonies were held at NASA headquarters and at the White
House on Oct. 24.
"These extraordinarily gifted young scientists and engineers represent
the best in our country," President Clinton said. "Through their
talent, ability and dedication, they will quicken the pace of discovery
and put science and technology to work advancing the human condition as
Wang uses remote sensing data high resolution images of the Earth
taken from NASA satellites to delineate changes in land use and land
"I use satellite remote sensing data to see how things on the ground
are changing over time, particularly how urban sprawl is impacting the natural
environment," said Wang, a resident of Kingston. "Once
we detect these changes, we can develop models of how socioeconomic and
natural factors cause changes in land cover, which will allow us to evaluate,
simulate, and predict human impacts on ecosystems."
His efforts primarily focus on the Chicago metropolitan area and southern
New England, where he seeks to understand and predict land use and land
cover changes and analyze human impacts on the environment. The techniques
and models he is developing can potentially be used in other urban areas
Wang's research is part of the NASA Earth Science Enterprise program,
which seeks to use the vantage point of space to understand the Earth, particularly
the impacts of human actions on the planet.
"Y.Q. is using high-tech tools to help understand and protect the
natural environment," said William Wright, interim dean of URI's College
of the Environment and Life Sciences. "We are very proud of his accomplishments
and extremely fortunate to have him here at URI."
For Information: Y.Q. Wang 874-4345, Todd McLeish 874-7892