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Earth systems and climate science research in ASU’s School of Geographical Science and Urban Planning covers a variety of spatial and temporal scales, from investigations of current urban climate systems to the long-term climatic variability at the landscape scale. The School brings exceptional strengths in computational and spatial analysis, Geographical Information Science, and remote sensing to investigate land, climate, and vegetation dynamics. Research topics include: urban heat island mitigation, climate-land interactions, impacts of urbanization on climate and air quality, impacts of climate change on water resources, drought vulnerability, and long-term change in terrestrial ecosystems. Scientists who work in this space are highly interdisciplinary and seek to link complex earth, water, climate, and ecosystems through spatial analysis to produce new insights about the sustainability of environmental and human systems.
Ongoing faculty projects take place in Phoenix, Central Arizona, western North America, the United States, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.
The School's research and teaching related to earth systems science are enhanced by strong links to other ASU schools and centers, including the School of Earth and Space Exploration, College of Engineering, Environmental Fluid Dynamics Program, School of Life Sciences, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. The School hosts the Remote Sensing and Informatics Laboratory, and it provides NAIP 1m land classification, and two consistent Landsat classifications for use by cross-campus researchers on the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research and Decision Center for a Desert City projects.
Asner is an ecologist recognized for his exploratory and applied research on ecosystems and climate change at regional to global scales. He is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
Georgescu's interests are on human-environment interactions, with research aimed to improve understanding of phenomena related to urbanization-induced landscape change. He is a member of the Urban Climate Research Center.
Selover's research focuses on urban heat island, microclimate, and evaporation. She currently serves as the official climatologist for the state of Arizona.