People / Profile

Jan van Aardt

Contact Information

Title: Associate Professor/Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Phone: (585) 475-4229
Office: CAR-3124


B.Sc. Forestry (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa) - 1996
Hons. Forestry (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa) - 1998
MS Forestry (Virginia Tech, Virginia, USA) - 2000
PhD Forestry (Virginia Tech, Virginia, USA) - 2004

Current Projects

Structural characterization of woody and herbaceous vegetation using small-footprint waveform lidar and imaging spectroscopy data

  • Data fusion
  • Pixel unmixing approaches
  • Woody and herbaceous biomass assessment
  • Land degradation assessment
  • Collaborators: Carnegie Institution for Science, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Wits University, Kruger National Park (South Africa)

Plantation structural assessment using active and passive remote sensing

  • Includes high spectral-, high spatial resolution, and lidar-based approaches
  • Collaborators: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa)

Forest volume and biomass assessment using lidar remote sensing

  • Sampling approaches
  • Fire fuel load assessment
  • Collaborators: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University & Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa)

Current graduate & undergraduate students

  • David Kelbe* (PhD-RIT): Waveform lidar algorithms for natural resource applications
  • Paul Romanczyk* (PhD-RIT): Waveform lidar simulation for structural metric extraction
  • Madhurima Bandyopadhyay* (PhD-RIT): Urban forest mapping from dense discrete lidar point clouds
  • Wei Yao* (PhD-RIT): Investigating the impact of spatially-explicit sub-pixel structural variation on the assessment of vegetation structure from HyspIRI data
  • Jolene Fisher (PhD-Wits University, South Africa): Characterization of savanna woody structure using discrete return lidar
  • Nicole Dutcher (MS-RIT): Characterizing Wetland Vegetation Using Hyperspectral Imagery for Monitoring Purposes
  • Colin Axel** (RIT): Registration of RGB imagery and ground-based lidar point clouds

*Primary adviser
**Undergraduate students

Past graduate & undergraduate students

  • Shagan Sah* (MS-RIT; 2013): Rapid land cover classification approaches for mapping post-disaster nuclear ingestion pathways
  • William Wu* (PhD-RIT; 2012): Waveform lidar preprocessing & 3D modeling
  • Nahid Carter (MS-RIT; 2012): Classification of tree species in upstate New York towards assessing the impact of emerald ash borer infestation
  • Thamsanqa Mzinyane (PhD-UKZN, South Africa; 2012): Hyperspectral assessment of biophysical parameters in Eucalyptus plantations
  • Rick Labiak* (MS-RIT; 2011): Remote sensing disaster response algorithms: Building damage and debris assessment using a stand-alone discrete return lidar approach
  • Joe McGlinchy* (MS-RIT; 2011): Unmixing lidar waveforms into structural target components
  • Katherine Premo (MS-RIT; 2011): Invertebrate effects on sediment biogeochemistry and microphytobenthos during and after macroalgal blooms
  • Diane Sarrazin* (MS-RIT; 2010): Fusion of waveform and hyperspectral data for improved species classification and biomass estimation
  • Wesley Roberts (PhD-UKZN, South Africa; 2010): Image fusion for enhanced forest structure assessment
  • Solomon Tesfamichael (PhD-UKZN, South Africa; 2009): Assessment of structural attributes of even-aged Eucalyptus grandis forest plantations using small-footprint discrete return lidar data
  • Michael Gebreslasie (PhD-UKZN, South Africa; 2009): The estimation of Eucalyptus plantation forest structural attributes using medium and high spatial resolution satellite imagery
  • Kevin Bloechl** (RIT; 2012): Ground-based lidar: Point cloud registration
  • Linnea Tullson** (RIT; 2012): Ground-based lidar: 3D object extraction and identification (natural targets)
  • Thomas Yang** (RIT; 2012): Ground-based lidar: 3D object extraction and identification (man-made targets)
  • Jonathan Lueders** (RIT; 2012): Leaf- and canopy-level assessment of vineyard moisture status

*Primary adviser
**Undergraduate students

Scholarships and Awards

  • RIT - RIT Principal Investigators Millionaires Club (2012)
  • RIT COS - COS Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award (2012)
  • American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) - 2009 ERDAS Award for Best Scientific Paper in Remote Sensing (2009)