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Dapeng Li



Assistant Professor of GIS

Office Building

Wecota Hall



Mailing Address

Wecota Hall 115D
Geography-Box 0506
University Station
Brookings, SD 57007


I am an Assistant Professor of GIS in the Department of Geography & Geospatial Sciences at South Dakota State University. As a well-trained GIScientist and a certified GISP, I am teaching introductory and upper-level GIS courses at SDSU. I am currently working on three projects: 1) Using computer models, big data, and GIS to improve wildfire evacuation modeling/planning; 2) Using open source tools to develop Web GIS for wildfire evacuation and public health applications; 3) Using big data and GIS to map wildland-urban interface. Meanwhile, I also start to work on other topics in hazards, public health, transportation, and sustainability.


2016 Ph.D. in Geography (GIS), University of Utah
2011 M.S. in Cartography & GIS, Peking University
2008 B.S. in GIS, China University of Geosciences (Beijing)

Academic Responsibilities

I teach the following GIS courses at SDSU. Those who are interested in our GIS programs or hiring our GIS graduates could refer to the syllabi on my personal website for more details on these courses.

GEOG 372: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 473/573: GIS Data Creation and Integration
GEOG 474/574 GIS: Vector and Raster Modeling
GEOG 476/576: Web GIS
GEOG 477/577: Spatial Databases
GEOG 786: Geographic Information Systems (Topics: Advanced Web GIS or Open Source GIS)
GEOG 790 Seminar: GIS Programming (Python Programming)

Specialty Area

  • Methods: GIS, Systems Modeling & Integration, Spatial Analysis, Big Data, Open Science
  • Fields: Hazards, Public Health, Transportation, Sustainability

Extension Responsibilities

Potential Collaborators:
I have been doing research and development in GIS and its application for over ten years. I enjoy working with scholars, stakeholders, and businesses and using my expertise to help them succeed. Please feel free to contact me ( [at] if you need technical support in your research or project.

Potential Graduate Students:
I am interested in working with motivated students to study GIS and its applications in hazards, public health, transportation, sustainability, and agriculture. As funded Research Assistant positions become available, I will post the information here and on other job boards (e.g., AAG website). The Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences will have 5~6 Teaching Assistant positions available every year. The Master's and Ph.D. programs are both STEM programs. In addition, we have very advanced computing resources in the department. I strongly encourage those who want to pursue a career in GIS to reach out to me and send me a copy of your CV and a summary of your expertise and research interests.

Undergraduate Research:
I enjoy involving motivated undergraduate students in my research. I also have a close relationship with many local companies. I encourage those who want to develop strong GIS skills (especially those who want to be GIS developers) to contact me. I will figure out how to fit you into my research projects and help you develop a career plan.


2. Using computer models, big data, and GIS to improve community wildfire evacuation planning. (2020-2021)
1. Using traffic simulation, GIS, and big data for wildfire evacuation modeling in Truckee, California. (2019-2020)
2. Using GIS to process and manage spatial information for crop insurance purposes. (2019)
1. Open wildfire evacuation trigger modeling. (2017-2018)

Professional Memberships

2015- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) (SIGSPATIAL)
2015- International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems
2015- Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)
2014- Association for Fire Ecology (AFE)
2014- International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF)
2013- Association of American Geographers (AAG) (GIS, Hazards, Health, Transportation)
2013- Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS)

Creative Activities

14. Li, D., Cova, T.J., Dennison, P.E., Wan, N., Nguyen, Q.C., & Siebeneck, L.K. (2019). “Why do we need a national address point database to improve wildfire public safety in the U.S.?”. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 39, 101237.
13. Li, D., Cova, T.J., & Dennison, P.E. (2019). “Setting wildfire evacuation triggers by coupling fire and traffic simulation models: A spatiotemporal GIS approach”. Fire Technology, 55(2), 617–642.
12. Xu, Z., Chau, S., Ruzzenenti, F., Connor, T., Li, Y., Tang, Y., Li, D., Gong, M., & Liu, J. (2019). Evolution of multiple global virtual material flows. Science of the Total Environment, 658, 659-668.
11. Meng, H., Kath, S., Li, D., & Nguyen, Q. (2017). “National substance use patterns on Twitter”. PLOS ONE, 12(11), e0187691.
10. Nguyen, Q. C., McCullough, M., Meng, H. W., Paul, D., Li, D., Kath, S., ... & Li, F. (2017). Geotagged US Tweets as Predictors of County-Level Health Outcomes, 2015–2016. American Journal of Public Health, (0), e1-e7.
9. Li, D., Cova, T.J., & Dennison, P.E. (2017). “Using reverse geocoding to identify prominent wildfire evacuation trigger points”. Applied Geography, 87, 14-27.
8. Xu, Z., Tang, Y., Connor, T., Li., D., Li., Y., & Liu, J. (2017). “Climate variability and trends at a national scale”. Scientific Reports, 7, Article number: 3258.
7. Nguyen, Q., Meng, H., Li, D., Kath, S., et al. (2017). “Social media indicators of the food environment and state health outcomes”. Public Health, 148, 120-128.
6. Cova, T.J., Dennison, P.E., Li, D., Siebeneck, L.K., Drews, F.A., & Lindell, M.K. (2017). “Warning triggers in environmental hazards: who should be warned to do what and when?” Risk Analysis, 37(4), 601-611.
5. Nguyen, Q., Li, D., Meng, H., Kath, S., Nsoesie, E., Wen, M., & Li, F. (2016). “Building a national neighborhood dataset from geotagged Twitter data for indicators of happiness, diet, and physical activity”. JMIR Public Health & Surveillance, 2(2):e158.
4. Nguyen, Q., Kath, S., Meng, H., Li, D., Smith, K., VanDerslice, J.A., Wen, M., & Li, F. (2016). “Leveraging geotagged Twitter data to examine neighborhood happiness, diet, and physical activity”. Applied Geography, 73, 77-88.
3. Li, D., Cova, T.J., & Dennison, P.E. (2015). “A household-level approach to staging wildfire evacuation warnings using trigger modeling”. Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems, 54, 56–67.
2. Guo, X., Cheng, C., Tan, Y., & Li, D. (2013). “Study on unified encoding method for topographic map based on subdivision framework”. Periodical of Ocean University of China, 44(3). (in Chinese)
1. Geng, X., Cheng, C., Song, S., & Li, D. (2010). “Global subdivision systems based on map kilo-grids”. Geography and Geo-Information Science, 2(3). (in Chinese)

Please check my personal website ( for more information. If you would like my CV (this website does not allow users to upload CVs), please feel free to contact me at my sdstate email. Thank you!



Personal Website