Physical Environments

Terrestrial Landscape Dynamics

Faculty at Kent State have a strong interest in vegetation dynamics associated with human and natural disturbances. We apply field studies, computer modelling, and satellite sensors to address questions related to transformed ecosystem resilience, resistance, and vulnerability as a result of natural and anthropogenic disturbance. Research in the Biogeography & Landscape Dynamics Lab and the SensLand Lab (Remote Sensing and Land Science Lab) focuses on ecosystem monitoring at the local, landscape, and continental scales across the globe. Our science is delivered to a diverse group of stakeholders ranging from local natural resource managers to national-level agencies and NGOs. Recent funding sources for our research have included NASA, USGS, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center.


  • Tim Assal: Vegetation dynamics & disturbance; landscape ecology; biogeography; remote sensing; spatial statistics
  • Emariana Widner: Biogeography, urban ecology, environmental geography, computational modeling
  • He Yin: Remote Sensing, Land Use Change, Land System Science, Vegetation Dynamics, Spatial Analysis

Weather and Climate

Kent State Geography maintains a highly active research program in Climatology and Meteorology. We have specific interests in Climate Change and Variability, Synoptic Climatology, Severe Weather, Precipitation, Teleconnections, and Hazards. We emphasize Applied Climatological studies, examining the impacts of climate and extreme weather on human health, coastal environments, and other natural systems.  Our research ranges from local with a focus on the Great Lakes region to global, collaborating with researchers on five continents.  Recent funding sources for our research have included NASA, NIH, NSF, and EPA.


  • Cameron Lee: Applied climatology, synoptic climatology, climate change, climate-ocean interaction
  • Becky Parylak: Physical geography, climatology, precipitation trends
  • Scott Sheridan: Climate and health, climate change, synoptic climatology, extreme temperature events