Research & Evaluation

Kunwar Singh

Geospatial Scientist

ksingh@aiddata.org

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Dr. Kunwar Singh is a Geospatial Scientist at AidData and a Research Faculty at the Center for Geospatial Analysis at the College of William & Mary. His research focuses on land and vegetation dynamics and their impacts on natural resources. He utilizes a large data processing framework and geospatial technology to study environmental change issues and model future impacts to natural resources. Currently, he is working to combine remotely sensed data with change detection algorithms to produce spatiotemporal land-use changes and assess the effects of the development intervention on soil erosion and flood risks.

Dr. Singh’s educational background includes a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Master of Technology in Remote Sensing & GIS. He holds a doctorate in Forestry and Environmental Resources from North Carolina State University with a focus on quantifying landscape heterogeneity.

Dr. Singh’s research and teaching practices stem from the question: How can the Earth system support future land conversion and accelerating natural resource consumption under a changing climate? He develops methods for large data processing, the study of environmental change issues, and modeling future impacts to natural resources.

Previously, as a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Geospatial Analytics at North Carolina State University, Dr. Singh focused on remote sensing and the impacts of land conversion. He developed eco-hydrological models for water-stressed regions to understand how agricultural intensification and land conversion affects the availability of water resources. He used multi-sensor data integration methods for generating time-series land conversion data to quantify changes in agricultural and natural resources. At the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Singh worked on developing geospatial methods to characterize and quantify ecosystem types. He continues to serve as an academic advisor to the NASA DEVELOP program at the Center for Geospatial Research at the University of Georgia.

His work has been published in multiple high-profile journals with international recognition and readership, such as the Journal of Environmental Management, the IEEE's Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing’s Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, and Urban Ecosystems. Dr. Singh's works is transformative, as it provides empirical evidence that reduced LiDAR points are a viable solution for high accuracy regional-scale mapping and assessments of forest ecosystems.

Prior to his academic research pursuits, Dr. Singh worked in India at the Remote Sensing Application Center, as a GIS specialist for the International Resources Group, and as a project officer for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These posts involved applying geospatial data and technology to quantifying land resources, socio-environmental impact assessments, and the reduction of earthquake vulnerability through awareness activities. He actively pursues several national and international service activities. Currently, he serves as a Vice President on the Board of Directors for the ASPRS Potomac Region, as a Chair for the Landscape Specialty Group with the American Association of Geographers, and on the Award Committee for the International Association for Landscape Ecology.

Expertise

Dr. Singh has over 15 years of experience in remote sensing data acquisition, processing, and analysis. A distinguishing feature of his research is the application of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) and UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) to measure, map, and model landscape characteristics and resources.

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