Water resources management, assessment of the effect of land use/cover change on watershed hydrology and water quality at the watershed scale, nonpoint source pollution modeling, ecosystem indicators, hydrology of the Great Lakes watersheds, water resources of China, and comparative analysis of Sino-U.S. water resource policies. The main research questions I am trying to address are: 1. How much freshwater is available to support the multiple demands for water for domestic supplies, industrial development, agricultural irrigation (the largest consumptive water use in both the U.S and the world), and hydropower generation while satisfying the needs for ecosystem maintenance? 2. How does land use/cover change resulting from human- environmental interactions affect the watershed hydrologic processes over space and time? 3. How can hydrologic models and spatial technologies be incorporated in planning processes to support watershed management and ecosystem protection? 4. How can we utilize new remote sensing, computing, modeling, tracing, and mapping technologies to better observe, analyze, and visualize the dynamics of water resources over space and time?

Rreceived external research grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) , Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources, Kalamazoo Foundation, NSF of China, and The Chinese Academy of Sciences. Currently, collaborate with other researchers to assess the causes, consequences, and potential remedies of multiple stressors in Lakes Erie and Huron in the U.S., and to understand the hydrological processes and related water resource shortages in arid Northwestern China.


1. Development and refinement of a distributed large basin runoff model (DLBRM) to support water resources research and decision making in the Great Lakes Basin, in collaboration with Thomas Croley of the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

2. Analysis of hydrological and ecological impacts of land use activities in the Yellow River basin, and understanding of water movement among glacial, oasis, and desert in arid Nortthwest China, in collaboration with Lanzhou University and The Chinese Academy of Sciences.


PI, “ Impacts of land use/cover change on land surface water-energy processes in the agricultural-pastoral transitional zone, Northwest China”, NSF of China, 1/1/2016 – 12/31/2020.

PI, Observations and experiments on heterogeneity of soil hydraulic properties and its effects on hydrological processes in the Upper Reaches of the Heihe Watershed, Northwest China, NSF of China, 1/1/2012 – 12/31/2015.

Principal expert, Key issues in ecological-hydrological-socio-economical system of Greaterr Dunhuang Ecosystem, 2013 Key Research Support Program of Central Government Higher Education Basic Research Founding, Lanzhou University,1/1/2013-12/31/2014 .

Collaborator, Impacts of Climate Change on the Hydrological Process of Water Cycle in Arid Northwest China (2010CB951002), The Ministry of Science and Technology, 06//1/2010-05/31/2015.

PI, Spatially distributed modeling of water and pollutant transport in the Great Lakes watersheds, USGS State Water Resources Research Institute Program ( 2012MI203B), 03/01/2012-02/28/2013.

PI, Modeling Hydrological Impacts of Intensive Land Management in the Weihe River, the Yellow River Basin: A Collaborative Research with The Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Milton E. and Ruth M. Scherer Endowment Fund of Department of Geography, Western Michigan University , 06/01/2010-12/31/2011.

Collaborator, Sino-U.S. Collaborative Research on Functional Aggregation of Regional Ecosystem Services, with The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, The CAS, 1/1/2009-12/31/2011.

PI, Managing Water Shortage Problem by Intra-Basin Water Allocation and Conservation in Northwest China. The Milton E. and Ruth M. Scherer Endowment Fund of Department of Geography, Western Michigan University, 9/1/2008-12/31/2009.

PI, Analysis of Point and Nonpoint Source Data for Spatially Distributed Water Quality Modeling in the Great Lakes Basin. NOAA’S Great Lakes Ecosystem Research, 9/1/2007-8/31/2008.

Co-PI. Adaptive Integrated Framework (AIF): A New Methodology for Managing Impacts of Multiple Stressors in Coastal Ecosystems. NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research , 07/01/2007-6/30/2012.

PI, Development of a Spatial Distributed Watershed Water Quality Model in the Greta Lakes Basin. NOAA Great Lakes Ecosystem Forecasting, 9/01/2006-8/31/2007.

Co-PI, Forecasting the Causes, Consequences, and Potential Solutions for Hypoxia in Lake Erie. NOAA Coastal Ocean Program, 08/01/2006-7/31/2011.

Collaborator, Understanding the Terrestrial Processes in the Black Rive Watershed, Northwest China. The Chinese Academy of Sciences Cold and Arid Region Environmental Engineering Research Institute, , 7/1/2005-12/31/2008 .