• The SPECTRALMASS Team 2016:

    Crystal Barker Schaaf, PhD

    Professor of Remote Sensing/GIS
    School for the Environment,
    University of Massachusetts Boston

    Summary CV
    Faculty Webpage

    Work phone: 508.654.5554
    Fax: 617.287.7474

  • Professor Crystal Schaaf

Research Fellows

  • Zhan_Li
  • Zhan Li received a BS degree from Nanjing University in Nanjing, China, in 2008. He earned an M.S. degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, in 2011, and the PhD degree in geography from Boston University, Boston, U.S.A., in 2015. After his PhD work on a novel dual-wavelength terrestrial laser scanner, he continues his research interests by characterizing ecosystem structure with the terrestrial lidar in the SPECTRALMASS group.

    His current research topics also expand into various Earth observation satellite data, such as MODIS, VIIRS, Landsat and Sentinel-2, for the study of land surface process, especially the surface anisotropy, land surface albedo and their spatiotemporal patterns.

    Outside work, he likes to dance tango and swing, lift some weights, and tinker with a few crafts.

  • Qingsong Sun received his PhD degree in Geography (Remote Sensing) from Boston University in 2014. Currently he is a research fellow at UMass Boston, working on MODIS, VIIRS, and Landsat BRDF/albedo products. 

  • world map

Graduate Students

  • Peter Boucher works as a scientific communicator, a teacher, and a remote sensing scientist. Peter graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in English with honors awarded for his creative writing. He went on to complete post-baccalaureate study at Appalachian State University, conducting ecological research in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    Peter spent his first year at UMass Boston studying Environmental History, particularly looking into warfare and pesticides in the 20th century US.  As a graduate fellow, he also reported and produced radio stories for the PRI environmental news program, Living on Earth

    His current work in the SpectralMass Lab seeks to map out and understand the forces, both human and natural, that bring about widespread environmental change. He is exploring techniques for recording environmental disturbance with LiDAR in New England salt marshes and forests. In his spare time, Peter loves to hike, bike, read, write, and play music. 

  • Peter_Boucher

    Peter Boucher
    PhD Student

  • Angela Erb
    PhD Student


Yan Liu

Yan Liu 
PhD Candidate

  • Yan Liu is a PhD candidate working in Dr. Crystal Schaaf’s lab in University of Massachusetts Boston. Her current research mainly focuses on the production and evaluation of VIIRS BRDF, Albedo, NBAR product, and phenological monitoring over semi-arid and elevational zones cross different spatial scales.

    She received her master's degrees from University of Massachusetts Boston in 2015 and from Beijing Normal University, China in 2012. Her bachelor's degree is from Lanzhou University, China in 2009.

    She likes painting, jigsaw puzzles, and watching TV drama programs and movies in her spare time.

  • Edward Saenz is a PhD candidate in the School for the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he also received his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science with a specialization in geographic information systems (GIS). During his graduate studies at UMass Boston, he has been a recipient of NASA’s Harriet G. Jenkins Graduate Fellowship, which is geared to support the development of future underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) individuals. Given this opportunity he is collaborating with scientists on current NASA objectives and applying new remote sensing methodology to better characterize tropical and temperate forest ecosystems. He enjoys giving his fellow lab members a hard time, anything that has to do with Costa Rica, and driving an absurd amount.

  • Eddie_Saenz

    Eddie Saenz
    PhD Candidate

  • Shabnam Rouhani
    PhD Candidate

Professor Crystal Schaaf’s Lab

School for the Environment
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125