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Dr. Chandi Witharana
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

University of Connecticut U-87,
1376 Storrs Road
Storrs, CT 06269-4087


Tel: (860) 486-2840
Fax: (860) 486-5408
Email: chandi.witharana@uconn.edu

Education

Ph.D. 2014 Remote Sensing University of Connecticut
M.S. 2009 GIScience University of Connecticut
B.S. 2005 Geology University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

 

Courses Taught

NRE 3535 Remote Sensing of the Environment
NRE 4535 Remote Sensing Image Processing

 

Work Experience

2016 - Present Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut
2014 - 2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Ecology and Evolution, SUNY Stony Brook 
2006 - 2013 Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Center for Integrative Geosciences, University of Connecticut
2005- 2006 GIS Analyst, United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

 

Research Interest

My research interests broadly center on the application of Remote Sensing in humanitarian and environmental applications where high resolution satellite imagery and Object-based image analysis approaches stand as the main data drivers and the methodological foci. My scope is global. On one hand, I use sub-meter scale satellite imagery to census refugees in hostile war-torn areas. On the other hand, I use same technologies to detect penguins in Antarctica. My teaching interests aim to harness Remote Sensing as a transformative technology to nurture students’ learning abilities to holistically understand complex interactions between human and environment, and eventually to position them as spatially-literate citizens.

 

Current or Recent Research Grants

  • 2018-2021: (Co-PI) NSF Arctic System Science Program. “Patterns, dynamics, and vulnerability of Arctic polygonal ecosystems: From ice-wedge polygon to pan-Arctic landscapes”. (Total budget $1.3M; UConn budget $332,586). PI Ana Leilijedahl (Alaska), Co-PI Epstein Howard (Virginia). Submitted.

 

Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed:

  • Witharana, C., LaRue, M.A. and Lynch, H.J., 2016. Benchmarking of data fusion algorithms in support of earth observation based Antarctic wildlife monitoring. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 113: 124-143.
  • Witharana, C. and H.J. Lynch., 2016. An object-based image analysis approach for detecting penguin guano from very high spatial resolution satellite images. Remote Sensing 8(5): 375.
  • Witharana, C., D. L. Civco., and T. Meyer., 2014, Evaluation of data fusion and image segmentation in earth observation based rapid mapping workflows, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 87(2014):1-18.
  • Witharana, C. and D. L. Civco,. 2014, Optimizing multi-resolution segmentation scale using empirical methods: Exploring the sensitivity of a supervised discrepancy measure, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 87(2014):108-121.
  • Witharana, C., D. L. Civco, and T. Meyer., 2013. Evaluation of Pansharpening Algorithms in Support of earth observation based rapid mapping workflows, Applied Geography, 37(2013):63-87.

Conference Proceeding:

  • Witharana, C., H.J. Lynch, 2016, Real-time streaming data on penguin abundance and distribution using very high spatial resolution satellite imagery, ASPRS Annual Conference, Fort Worth, TX.
  • Lynch, H.J., C. Hantz, and C. Witharana, 2016 Geospatial technologies meet K-12 STEM curricula: Use of Remote Sensing as a pedagogical tool in earth and environmental science education, ASPRS Annual Conference, Fort Worth, TX.
  • Witharana, C., 2012. Who Does What Where? Advanced Earth Observation for Humanitarian Crisis Management , Proceedings of  the 6th International Conference on Information and Automation. Beijing, China. IEEE paper no. ICIAfS'12 1569613211.
  • Witharana, C., and D.L. Civco, 2012. Evaluating remote sensing image fusion algorithms for use in humanitarian crisis management, Proc. SPIE Remote Sensing Europe, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. DOI:10.1117/12.973745.
  • Civco, D.L  and C. Witharana., 2012. Assessing the spatial fidelity of resolution-enhanced imagery  using Fourier analysis: a proof-of-concept study, Proc. SPIE Remote Sensing Europe, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. DOI: 10.1117/12.974703
  • Witharana, C. and T. Meyer., 2010 Developing customized ArcGIS tools for disaster management. In Proc. of the IEEE ICIAfS10, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • Witharana, C., T. Meyer, D. Civco, and J. Osleeb, 2010. Developing a new ArcGIS Tool to Quantify Building-Content Vulnerability from Storm-Surge Inundation. In Proc. of the ASPRS 2010 Annual Conference, San Diego, California, USA.
  • Witharana, C., T. Meyer, D. Civco, and J. Osleeb, 2010. Developing customized ArcGIS tools for disaster management, In Proc. of the ESRI International User Conference, San Diego, California, USA

Technical Reports

  • Auster, P.J., K.B. Heinonen, C. Witharana and M. McKee, 2009. A habitat classification scheme for the Long Island Sound region. Long Island Sound Study Technical Report. EPA Long Island Sound Office, Stamford, Connecticut.

 

Professional Service

  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing

Technical review committee member:

  • IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation for Sustainability, 2014

  • IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation for Sustainability, 2014

  • IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation for Sustainability. 2010

Reviewer:

  • ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing/ Remote Sensing/ Journal of Applied Geography/ International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation/ Remote Sensing Letters/Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment/ Journal of Geosciences/ Sensors.

 

Professional Affiliation

  • International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

  • American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS)

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)

  • New York Academy of Sciences (NYSA)

  • Ecological society of America (ESA)

  • American Association of Geographers (AAG)

Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Connecticut
1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4087
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-4087
Phone: 860-486-2840