Michelle Stuhlmacher

Ph.D. Geography
Graduate Assistant/Associate
TEMPE Campus

Student Information

Graduate Student
The College of Lib Arts & Sci


Michelle researches human-environment relationships, specifically the relationships that play out on the Earth's surface. Her research employes satellite imagery to evaluate and measure human-induced changes to Earth's landscapes. To process satellite imagery, Michelle applies methods from computer science such as machine learning. With this landscape data she is interested in understanding the mechanisms through which humans change landscapes, such as development and land policy.


2017 - M.A. (Geography) Arizona State University, Tempe AZ

2015 - B.A. (Geography) George Washington University, Washington DC


Google Scholar

Research Group

Research Assistant to Dr. Matei Georgescu, ASU SGSUP [2016 - present]

  • Test satellite image classification algorithms in Google Earth Engine
  • Develop image analysis techniques
  • Write and run batch analysis code in Java Script

Research Assistant to Big Pixel Initiative University of California, San Diego [Summer 2017]

  • Assisted on World Bank contracts in India and Macedonia
  • Processed nighttime light and Landsat satellite imagery in Google Earth Engine

Research Assistant to Dr. Sanjay Patnaik, George Washington School of Business [2013 - 2015]

  • Assist with an economic analysis of the European Union's greenhouse gas cap and trade system
  • Collect and format databases in preparation for analysis
  • Write scripts in Python to geocode all installations that receive allocations
  • Use GIS to calculate distance variables and spatial statistics

Hollings Research Intern, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Summer 2014]

  • Updated the Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) algorithm with corresponding decade's census data
  • Created and evaluated decadal population density grids in ArcGIS
  • Modified and tested Python code to calculate RSI with decadal population
  • Investigated the relationship between RSI and automobile crash statistics

Research Assistant to Dr. Achim H�ger, School for Field Studies, Atenas, Costa Rica [Summer 2013]

  • Researched plant species similarity between tropical forest fragments and conventional versus organic coffee farms as part of a five year field study
  • Participated in the scientific process from experiment design to presentation of results
  • Utilized GPS in the field as well as GIS and statistical programs for data analysis


Chhetri, N., Stuhlmacher, M., and Ishtiaque, A., “Nested Pathways to Adaptation”. Environmental Research Communications. (2019) DOI: 10.1088/2515-7620/aaf9f9

Wang, C., Myint, F., Fan, P., Stuhlmacher, M., Yang, J., “The impact of urban expansion on the regional environment in Myanmar: a case study of two capital cities” Landscape Ecology. (2018). pp. 1-18. DOI: 10.1007/s10980-018-0632-1

Clinton, N., Stuhlmacher, M., Miles, A., Uludere, N., Wagner, M., Georgescu, M., Herwig, C., and Gong, P., “Global Geospatial Ecosystem Services Estimate of Urban Agriculture” Earth‘s Future. (2018). DOI: 10.1002/2017EF000536

Goldblatt, R., Stuhlmacher, M., Tellman, B., Clinton, N., Hanson, G., Georgescu, M., Wang, C., Serrano-Candela, F., Khandelwal, A., Cheng, W., and Balling, R. “Mapping Urban Land Cover: A Novel Machine Learning Approach Using Landsat and Nighttime Lights”. Remote Sensing of Environment. (2018), pp. 253-275. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2017.11.026

Häger, A., Fernández Otárola, M., Stuhlmacher, M., Acuña Castillo, R., and Contreras Arias, A. Effects of landscape composition and management on the diversity and structure of tree species assemblages in coffee agroforests. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. (2015), pp. 43-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2014.08.022

Research Activity

[2019-2020] Emeritus Faculty Fellowship, ASU Emeritus College and ASU Graduate College

  • Funding to support the completion of dissertation research and writing
  • Total Award: $1,400

[2018] Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) Collaboratory Graduate Student Grant

  • Summer funding for urban agriculture research project in Phoenix, AZ. Collaborating with fellow graduate students in the School of Geographical Science and Urban Planning.
  • Total Award: $6,000

[2018] Central Arizona Project Long Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) Graduate Student Grant

  • Summer funding for landscape composition and configuration analysis of the Rio Salado in Tempe, AZ.
  • Total Award: $4,000

[2017-2018] Lattie and Elva Coor Building Great Communities Graduate Fellowship

  • Awarded to graduate students whose research actively engages with communities in Arizona and directed towards improving the lives of Arizonans.
  • Total Award: $3,000

[2017] Global Intensive Experience Scholarship

  • Scholarship from ASU’s School of Sustainability to offset the cost of traveling to Cuba in March of 2018.
  • Total Award: $600

[2016-2017] Gilbert F. White Fellowship

  • Support for two academic semesters and a summer to pursue human environmental research in the School of Geographic Sciences and Urban Planning.
  • Total Award: $24,000


Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
GIS 494 Special Topics
GIS 598 Special Topics
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
GPH 111 Intro to Physical Geography
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
GPH 111 Intro to Physical Geography


Stuhlmacher, M., Andrade, R., Turner, B.L. II. (2019). "The Ecological Outcomes of Land System Architecture Change: A Case Study of Riverfront Redevelopment in Tempe, Arizona." Central Arizona-Phoenix LTER Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ. January 11th.

Stuhlmacher, M., Georgescu, M., Goldblatt, R., Gupta, S., Gupta, V., and Clinton, N. (2018). "Urbanization Dynamics in the United States and India: Assessing Growth Patterns from Landsat Time-Series." American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Washington, DC. December 13th.

Stuhlmacher, M., Goldblatt, R., Georgescu, M., Gupta, S., Clinton, M. (2018) "Mapping Urban Landcover with Machine Learning Techniques". Heidelberg Laureate Forum, Heidelberg, Germany. September 27th.

Stuhlmacher, M., Goldblatt, R., Georgescu, M., Clinton, M., Tellman, B., Hanson, G., Khandelwal, A. (2018). 30-meter Resolution Urban Classification in Google Earth Engine. Central Arizona-Phoenix LTER Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ. January 5th.

Stuhlmacher, M., Goldblatt, R., Thai, G., Roy, S. (2017). Quantifying Urbanization and Deforestation Outcomes from Indias National Highways Development Project. Berkeley, CA. September 6th.

Stuhlmacher, M., Georgescu, M., Clinton, N. (2017). Google Earth Engines Utility for Urban Applications. Urban Water Innovation Network Annual Meeting. Fort Collins, CO. July 31st.

Stuhlmacher, M., Goldblatt, R., Tellman, B., Clinton, N., Hanson, G., Georgescu, M., Wang, C., Serrano-Candela, F., Khandelwal, A. (2017). Global Urban Initiative. Google Earth Engine Users Summit. Mountain View, CA. June 12th.

Stuhlmacher, M., Patnaik, S. (2017) The Economic Geography of International Cap and Trade Programs: Evidence from the European Union Trading Scheme. American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Boston, MA. April 9th.

Stuhlmacher, M., Wang, C., Georgescu, M., Tellman, E., Balling, B., Clinton, N., Collins, L., Goldblatt, R., and Hanson, G. (2016). Towards a 30m Resolution Times Series of Historical Global Urban Expansion: Exploring Variation in North American Cities. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA. December 15th.

Stuhlmacher, M. (2016). Governance and Adaptation: A Case Study of Urban Agriculture in Cubas Special Period. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA April 1st.

Stuhlmacher, M. and Squires, M. (2015). Regional Snowfall Impact, Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting: GIS Poster Session, Chicago, IL April 24th.

Stuhlmacher, M. and H�ger, A. (2013). Land-use factors influencing plant similarity between forest and agroforests. Association of American Geographers' Annual Meeting, Tampa, FL April 12th.


College of Liberal Arts and Science Graduate Excellence Award [2019]

Heidelberg Laureate Forum Participant [2018]

Honorable Mention at the Institute for Social Science Research Poster Competition, ASU [2018]

College of Liberal Arts and Science Student Leader Award, ASU [2017]

Udall Scholarship, Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation [2014-2015]

Hollings Scholarship, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [2013-2015]

Robert Campbell Prize, Department of Geography at George Washington University [2015]

Sigelman Undergraduate Research Enhancement Award, University Honors Program, George Washington University [2014]

George Washington Undergraduate Research Enhancement Fund Award [2014]

J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Public Service Award, George Washington University [2012]

Professional Associations

Association of American Geographers | Phi Beta Kappa | Gamma Theta Upsilon | ASU Graduate and Professional Student Association | Central Arizona Chapter of the Association for Women in Science | American Geophysical Union | US Regional Association for the International Association for Landscape Ecology


[2018-2019] Graduate Representative for SGSUP Diversity and Inclusion Committee

[2016-2019] Steering Committee Member of Graduates in Integrative Society and Environment Research (GISER)

[2018-2019] SGSUP PhD Student Liaison

[2015-2019] Research Grant Reviewer for ASU Graduate and Professional Student Association

[2016-2017] SGSUP Graduate Student President

[2015-2016] SGSUP Colloquium Graduate Student Coordinator