Research Centers:

NOAA – Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies ( CESSRST)

NOAA Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CESSRST), a Cooperative Science Center (CSC), was established in 2016 through a national competition and is funded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“ NOAA-EPP/MSI Grant # NA16SEC4810008″). The participating institutions are geographically distributed across the nation and enjoy a high enrollment of under-represented minority students. It is a consortium of six institutions, led by The City College of The City University of New York (CCNY)in partnership with Hampton University (HU), San Diego State University (SDSU), University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (UPRM), and University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP). CESSRST builds on the successes of 15 years (2001-2016) of NOAA-EPP/MSI funding for the Center for Remote Sensing Science and Technologies (NOAA-CREST) as a national leader in STEM workforce development and supporting NOAA mission related to Earth Systems observations, monitoring through application of environmental satellites and ground-based remote sensing technologies. 


Center for Water Resources and Environmental research

The Center for Water Resources and Environmental Research (CWRER), commonly known as The City Water Center was established in 1993 in order to meet the needs for interdisciplinary study and education in the area of the natural resources, water and environment. The Center is tackling the diverse and interdisciplinary problems of water resources and environmental issues with broad approaches beginning with research on the sources of natural hazard, pollution movement, surface water and groundwater cleanup, wetland preservation, reservoir protection, watershed management, hydraulics and hydrology of natural flow systems, non point source pollution, preservation of ecology, and related topics. Included are both technical and social/political issues arising from these problems.


Bronx Community College Geospatial Center 

The center is a collaboration between Bronx Community College and CUNY Remote Sensing Earth System (CREST) Institute [CCNY]. The goals of BGCCCI are to educate, train and prepare BCC students to enter the workforce or pursue advanced studies in geospatial technology. Since its inception BGCCCI has been achieving these goals by engaging in the activities includes (1) Designing, developing and introducing new and multidisciplinary courses/programs in geospatial technology, (2) Conducting scholarly activities and cutting-edge research in areas of national priority, (3) Designing and developing training programs for middle and high school students and educators, (4) Training students in acquiring workforce skills by organizing summer institutes for school and college students, and (5) Sustain the growth of BGCCCI by grants from private and federal entities.


The Coastal Urban Environmental Research Group (CUERG)

The Coastal Urban Environmental Research Group (CUERG) is a part of the NOAA Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CESSRST) at the City College of New York. The group conducts climate research studies on complex coastal urban areas including but not limited to; the states of California, New York, the islands of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. The research includes observational and modeling studies of coastal physical phenomenon and their practical impacts on climate modification. The research group uses the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) developed by scientists from Colorado State University and the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) developed by NCAR as main modeling tools. The group has research collaborators from The City College of New York, Santa Clara University, San Jose State University, NASA Ames, NASA Marshall Space Center, and Laurence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). It also has a good number of Ph.Ds, masters, and undergraduate students from all academic institutions.


Research Laboratory

Bio-Optics Laboratory

Research in the Tzortziou Bio-Optics laboratory focuses on assessing impacts of anthropogenic pressures and environmental hazards on inland, coastal, and open ocean biogeochemical cycles, ecological processes, and ecosystem services across temporal and spatial scales. Specific environmental stressors addressed in ongoing projects include urban development, human population shifts, atmospheric pollution, eutrophication, global warming, sea level rise, permafrost thawing, and changing hydrological regimes. Research in the Tzortziou laboratory applies an interdisciplinary framework that integrates enhanced ground-based and satellite remote sensing bio-optical tools with new coupled atmospheric-hydrodynamic-photo-biogeochemical models. Partnering with relevant stakeholders, a key objective of our research is applying results to link science to practice and enhance decision support systems.

Ecosystem Science Laboratory

the Ecosystem Science Laboratory supports remote sensing studies and characterization of vegetation biometry and associated in situ surveys, including a field portable, backpack-mounted Terrestrial Scanning LiDAR (TSL) system, a LiCORR LAI-2200c plant canopy analyzer (tall canopy package), two drone systems supporting aerial photogrammetry, multi-spectral data collections, and thermal imaging, and an EMLID RTK supporting geodetic survey and geolocation of ground survey and drone datasets. The lab also has a complete set of ground survey equipment (e.g. reloscope, transits, clinometers, densiometers, Haglof LASER GEO precision laser rangefinder with built-in GPS and compass) to support terrestrial ecosystem research.

Environmental Remote Sensing and Data Analytics (ERSA) Laboratory

Environmental Remote Sensing and Data Analytics (ERSA) Lab is designed as the central research theme to understand how the world is changing based on quantitative remote sensing. The research uses a variety of remote sensing sensors such as infrared, thermal infrared and microwave radiometers, gamma sensors, drones, to estimate hydro-meteorological parameters, monitor environmental change at local level, and develop algorithms at regional to global scales. The lab is committed to providing research and growth opportunities in STEM. 

Optical Remote Sensing Laboratory (ORSL)

The Optical Remote Sensing Laboratory is part of the The CUNY CREST Institute at the City College of the City University of New York (CUNY). The purpose of the Ocean and Coastal ORS Lab is to monitor and investigate the optical properties of complex coastal areas as well as clear open ocean waters. This is accomplished with remotely-sensed data, received from operational and research satellites, observing platforms and in situ data. The ORS Lab involved in research projects includes (1) Tracking of Harmful Algal Blooms, (2) Multiangular Hyperspectral Polarimetry in Case I and Case II Waters, (3) Improvement of Algorithms for Remote Sensing for Oceanic and Coastal Areas, (4) Observing Platforms for Calibration and Validation of Satellite Oceanic Products, and (5) Retrieval of Chlorophyll Fluorescence. Website:


Advances in oceanic bio-optical processes are expected to be more heavily focused on improving satellite retrieval products of inherent optical properties (IOPs) of coastal waters, which, because of their complexity, offer more challenges than open ocean waters, where satellite observations and retrieval algorithms are already reasonably effective. Thus, the validation of the current and future Ocean Color satellite data is important for characterizing the optical environment connected with coastal waters, which are of importance because of population concentrations along them and their susceptibility to anthropogenic impacts. To address these concerns and support present and future multi- and hyper-spectral calibration/validation activities, as well as the development of new measurement and retrieval techniques and algorithms for coastal waters, the ORS Lab along with the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, has established a new, scientifically comprehensive, off-shore platform, the Long Island Sound Coastal Observatory (LISCO).