The Tellman lab

We do science, celebrate acheivements, AND have fun together

pizza on the quad at sunset with Hannah and Rohit Aug 21

beautiful Arizona fall welcoming Jonathan to AZ Oct 21!

Lab grows to include Elise, Alex, Prashanti, Ruixue, Arif (and not shown Zhijie and Lucas)! (Nov 22)

Vision for an empowering and inclusive lab

[Co-authored and reviewed by lab last on 3/22/23]. We recognize the ongoing negative impact of racism, anti-Black racism, colonialism, homophobism, and sexism, on the environment, society, academia, science, and the production of knowledge. We believe racial justice, climate justice, environmental justice, and social justice are intertwined and none can be achieved in isolation- we must strive for all four together. We will continuously build an inclusive lab to counteract these impacts. We will ensure our members, employees, and collaborators feel empowered to be themselves. We will provide a place where all our identities and differences are celebrated. We commit to navigating conflict and to strive for growth in the ongoing goal of liberation. Read about how we operationalize our vision here

Beth Tellman

Assistant Professor, Geography, Development & Environment

Beth is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, in the School of Geography, Development, and Environment, and is the co-founder and Chief Science Officer at Cloud to Street. At Columbia, she was mentored by Dr. Upmanu Lall at The Columbia Water Center and Dr. Dan Osgood from the Financial Instrument Sector Team at International Research Institute for Climate and Society. She completed her PhD, advised by Dr. B.L. Turner II and Dr. Dr. Hallie Eakin, in 2019 in the School of Geographical Sciences at Arizona State Unviersity. Her research seeks to address the causes and consequences of global environmental change for vulnerable populations, with a focus on illicit activities, flood risk, water scarcity, and land use change. Hear about her journey and research philosphy in this University of Arizona podcast from January 2021 .

Email: btellman at arizona dot edu
CV
Google Scholar

Current lab members

Hannah Friedrich

Hannah Friedrich

PhD Student

Hannah started as a PhD Student in Geography at the University of Arizona in Fall 2021. Hannah completed a Bachelor’s in Geography and GIS/Cartography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s in Geography at Oregon State University within the Conflict Ecology Lab. During and following her Master’s, she worked on the NASA Applied Sciences-funded Mapping the Missing Millions project, where she studied land cover change dynamics of refugee settlement establishment and growth in Northern Uganda. Hannah’s research interests are in applying remote sensing insights to human displacement and resettlement response efforts. During her PhD, Hannah aims to her expand her use of spatial data to study the effects of flooding on urban informal settlements to develop climate risk-sensitive approaches for informal settlement planning and displacement prevention.

Email: hfriedrich at email dot arizona dot edu
ResearchGate
Twitter

Alex Saunders

Alex Saunders

PhD Student

Alex joined the Lab in Fall 2022 as a Geography PhD student at the University of Arizona. His research aims to leverage the potential of satellite data to improve financial resilience against floods, focusing on insurance and humanitarian applications. Previously, Alex worked as a technical advisor for Start Network, supporting NGOs to develop disaster risk financing systems to support the most vulnerable during crises. Prior, Alex worked for a global reinsurance broker as a risk analyst, modelling the possible impacts of catastrophes on insured assets. Alex completed his Geophysical Sciences undergraduate and masters degrees at the University of Leeds in the UK.

Email: alexsaunders at arizona dot edu
LinkedIn
Twitter

Prashanti Sharma

Prashanti Sharma

PhD Student

Prashanti is a PhD student at University of Arizona, Department of Geography. As part of her research, she is interested in studying landscape change dynamics and its effect in particularly vulnerable regions like mountains. She completed her Bachelors in Geography and Master’s in Geoinformatics from India following which she worked at ICIMOD to study drivers of land changes in the Himalayas. Prashanti aims to understand processes guiding human-environment interaction and its impact on ecosystem and communities by deploying skills of remote sensing and GIS. She endeavours to study changes in land use and climate and developing possible solutions for improved natural resource governance.

Email: psharma29 arizona dot edu
Google Scholar

Lucas Belury

Lucas Belury

PhD Student

Lucas Belury (he/him/el) is a geographer, researcher, and facilitator working toward a sustainable and equitable world. He teaches at national conferences and has published articles on water injustice in the Rio Grande Valley, housing, and race equity. His research focuses on environmental racism, the informal economy, and data use in the non-profit space. His current work brings data analytics and Geographic Information Systems to diverse stakeholders, from grassroots non-profits to local and federal governments.

Email: lbelury at arizona dot edu

Lucas Belury

Elise Arellano-Thompson

PhD Student

Elise joined the lab as a PhD student in fall 2022. She is interested in studying human-environment relationships through focusing on the links between floods and human migration in Honduras. She recieved her master's degree from Texas State University where she studied the relationships between climate change, hydrometerologocial hazards, and human migration from Central America and Mexico to the US. Elise aims to further focus on the subsequent flood exposure that migrants experience during migrating from rural areas into urban informal settlements.

Email: arellanothompson at arizona dot edu

Ariful Islam

Ariful Islam

PhD Student

Ariful joined the lab as a PhD student at the Department of Geography, UofA in the fall of 2022. He completed his Bachelors in Disaster Science and Management and Master’s in Water Resources Development from Bangladesh. He also worked at UNDP to study climate risk of the coastal zone in BD. He is interested in studying the local adaptation strategies of the most climate vulnerable communities. He is also focused on using Remote Sensing and Machine Learning in flood mapping and identifying its relation with flood mitigation, recovery, and adaptation.

Email: ariful at arizona dot edu
LinkedIn
Twitter

Former lab members

Max, Mitchell, Beth, and Giannis rocking out together!

Celebrating Johanna and Tejit's graduation from Columbia Computer Science with our Flood lab in NYC (June 2021)

Zhijie(JJ) Zhang

Zhijie(JJ) Zhang

PostDoc

Zhijie(JJ) was postdoc from June 2022-June 2023 at the Tellman Lab. He is now an Assistant Professor of Practice at Utah State University in the Environment and Society Department. He completed his Bachelor's (Electrical Engineering) in China and Master's (Computer Engineering) at Rutgers University. Zhijie pursued his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut (Advisor - Dr. Chuanrong Zhang). In his doctoral research, he conducted efficient recognition of potential landslides using open-access multi-source remotely sensed images with deep learning approaches. He is interested in studying environmental change related to natural disasters and pollution by incorporating advanced deep learning models appropriate for each scenario. Zhijie's post-doctoral research will involve assessing the value of commercial satellite data on inundation detection and mapping floods in urban areas. Besides research, he loves photography, powerlifting, basketball, and boxing.

Email: zhijiezhang at arizona dot edu
Google Scholar

Jonathan Giezendanner

Jonathan Giezendanner

PostDoc

Jonathan was a postdoc November 2021-April 2024 at the Tellman Lab and is now at MIT with Sherrie Wang's lab. He completed his Bachelor's (Environmental Sciences and Engineering) and Master's (Environmental and Computational Sciences and Engineering), as well as his Ph.D. (thesis directors Prof. A. Rinaldo and Prof. D. Pasetto) in theoretical ecology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. Jonathan is an expert in mathematical modeling, ranging from machine learning models to spatially explicit process based models. His Ph.D. focused on population ecology, where he developed modeling solutions to describe the dynamics of mountain species in space and time - where Earth Observation data was used to describe the properties of the landscape, and in-situ data to train the models. With his background in machine learning, modeling and hydrology, Jonathan is currently interested in advancing machine learning techniques for flood mapping (extents, intensities and risks) based on remote sensing data. Besides research, Jonathan is a hobby game developer, beer and coffee enthusiast and avid cyclist and ski tourer.

Email: jgiezend at mit dot edu
Website
Google Scholar
Twitter
LinkedIn

Rohit Mukherjee

Rohit Mukherjee

PostDoc

Rohit was a postdoc from June 2021- April 2024 at the Tellman Lab. He is now at Pacific Northwest National Labs with T.C Chakraborty He completed his Bachelor's (Computer Science) and Master's (Remote Sensing and GIS) in India. Rohit worked in the software industry for a brief period before pursuing his Ph.D. at the Ohio State University (Advisor - Dr. Desheng Liu). In his doctoral research, he applied deep learning to improve the spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions of publicly available satellite datasets. He is interested in leveraging the different perspectives offered by various satellite data sources to improve our understanding of our impact on the environment. Rohit's post-doctoral research will involve mapping floods in urban areas and detecting illicit land changes in protected areas. Besides research, he loves to read and play/follow soccer.

Email: rohitmukherjee at live dot com
Google Scholar
Twitter

Ruixue Wang

Ruixue Wang

Graduate Student

Ruixue graduated from the GIST program at University of Arizona, Department of Geography in May 2023. She studied remote sensing, natural hazards, and geomorphology. She received her Bachelors in Physical Geography in the University of Arizona with Geosciences minor. Besides research, Ruixue loves video games, Japanese anime and manga, hiking, and rock climbing.

Email: ruixuewang at arizona dot edu

Mitchell Thomas

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mitchell finished his undergraduate in Applied Math at the Columbia School of Engineering in May 2023. He developed a time series Sentinel-1 algorithm for index insurance in Bangladesh. He now works for Floodbase.

Tejit Pabari

Tejit Pabari

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Tejit finished his undergraduate in Computer Science at the Columbia School of Engineering in May 2021. He studied Machine Learning and AI and is interested in application of technologies in various fields. At the Tellman Lab, he worked on Natural Language Processing to analyse online newspaper data to aid flood index insurance in Bangladesh. He now works for Microsoft.
Linkedin
Github

Johanna Nelson

Johanna Nelson

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Johanna finished her undergraduate at Columbia College studying Computer Science and Sustainable Developement in May 2021. She assessed the feasibility of translating the Sentinel-1 algorithm developed for Bangladesh in Colombia.

Dorothee Grant

Dorothee Grant

Graduate Research Assistant

Dorothee will be starting her Masters of Engineering in Computer Science at Cornell Tech in Fall 2021. She has completed a Bachelor’s in Computer Science at Columbia University where she specialized in Intelligent Systems and AI, and is interesting in perusing the differing applications in this field. Dorothee is assisting in using Natural Language Processing to extract information from media sources.

Prospective graduate students

I admit graduate students through the School of Geography. I am not admitting students for Fall 2023- check back for Fall 2024.

Prospective post-docs

Please be in touch if you are interested in applying to a post-doctoral fellowship to work together. Some potential funding sources for post-docs include NSF post-docs fellowships. The University of Arizona has a Presidential Postdoctoral Program to recruit underrepresented minorities as future faculty here- apps due Nov 1- contact me if you are interested in me mentoring you! application to presidential fellowship. I have some funding to support a post-doctoral researcher, if our interests align. Please send an email with your expression of interests and goals, and a published first authored paper.