Our #RacerScholar this week is Qiaofeng Zhang, Ph. D.

Professor Qiafeng (Robin) Zhang

Professor Qiafeng (Robin) Zhang is our #RacerScholar this week.

Dr. Zhang collaborated on the article, “Alternative future analysis for assessing the potential impact of climate change on urban landscape dynamics,” which appeared in the November 2015 volume of Science of the Total Environment.


Assessing the impact of climate change on urban landscape dynamics (ULD) is the foundation for adapting to climate change and maintaining urban landscape sustainability. This paper demonstrates an alternative future analysis by coupling a system dynamics (SD) and a cellular automata (CA) model. The potential impact of different climate change scenarios on ULD from 2009 to 2030 was simulated and evaluated in the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan megalopolis cluster area (BTT-MCA). The results suggested that the integrated model, which combines the advantages of the SD and CA model, has the strengths of spatial quantification and flexibility. Meanwhile, the results showed that the influence of climate change would become more severe over time. In 2030, the potential urban area affected by climate change will be 343.60-1260.66 km(2) (5.55 -20.37 % of the total urban area, projected by the no-climate-change-effect scenario). Therefore, the effects of climate change should not be neglected when designing and managing urban landscape. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Alternative future analysis for assessing the potential impact of climate change on urban landscape dynamics
By: Chunyang He, Yuanyuan Zhao, Qinxu Huang, Qiaofeng Zhang, and Da Zhang
Science of the Total Environment,
Nov. 1 2015, vol. 532, pgs. 48-60
doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.05.103

Our #NewBookoftheWeek: ‘Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet’

Our #NewBookoftheWeek is Sarah Elton’s, Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet. You can find a copy of the book on the “New Book Shelf” in Waterfield Library.

In Consumed, Sarah Elton walks fields and farms on three continents, not only investigating the very real threats to our food, but also telling the little-known stories of the people who are working against time to create a new and hopeful future. From the mountains of southern France to the highlands of China, from the crowded streets of Nairobi to the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, we meet people from all walks of life who are putting together an alternative to the omnipresent industrial food system. In the arid fields of rural India we meet a farmer who has transformed her community by selling organic food directly to her neighbors. We visit a laboratory in Toronto where scientists are breeding a new kind of rice seed that they claim will feed the world. We learn about Italy’s underground food movement; how university grads are returning to the fields in China, Greece, and France; and how in Detroit, plots of vacant land planted with kale and carrots can help us see what’s possible.
Food might be the problem, but as Elton shows, it is also the solution. The food system as we know it was assembled in a few decades—and if it can be built that quickly, it can be reassembled and improved in the same amount of time. Elton here lays out the targets we need to meet by the year 2050. The stories she tells give us hope for avoiding a daunting fate and instead help us to believe in a not-too-distant future when we can all sit at the table.
Summary from The University Chicago Press website