University of Wisconsin–Madison

Annemarie Schneider

Associate Professor of Env. Studies, Center for Sustainability & the Global Environment


Ph.D., Boston University Department of Geography and Environment, 2006

Research Areas

Land use and land cover change; Urban geography; particularly urban environment and urban form; Global environmental monitoring and change; Quantitative methods in geography spatial analysis; Remote sensing and geographic information science (GIS)

Current Research

Annemarie Schneider (Ph.D., Boston University Geography and Environment) is an Associate Professor at the Nelson Institute’s Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Geography and the Center for Demography and Ecology (CDE).  Her research is focused at SAGE, while her teaching spans multiple schools and departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Prof. Schneider's current projects focus on transforming the study of urban areas from local investigation to one of comparative analysis in support of global environmental change research.  Despite growing recognition of their important and complex role in economic, political and ecological systems across the world, cities and urban areas have been understudied in the analysis of global environmental change.  The core of Prof. Schneider's research, therefore, examines the causes and consequences of land cover change in urban and peri-urban environments, specifically the demographic, economic and policy changes responsible for rapid urbanization and urban sprawl, as well as the local- to global-scale environmental impacts that result.

Prof. Schneider’s most recent research efforts have focused on monitoring urban change across large areas, including  comparative analysis of urban trajectories, land use patterns, and population growth.  Prior to her efforts, it has been impossible to compare cities due to differences in census timing, data availability/quality, and most critically, the considerable variability in how cities are defined by population threshold, functional area, or administrative boundaries.  Prof. Schneider’s research has focused on developing a consistent methodology for mapping urban expansion using multiple types of earth observation satellite imagery and census data, and developing a consistent approach for defining what constitutes an urban agglomeration (both within and across countries and city sizes).  This work is centered on East-Southeast Asia (her current efforts extend this project to a global scale), one of the fastest urbanizing regions in the world.  Her projects have been funded  by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, and the World Bank.

Courses Taught

Environmental Studies 371: Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing
Environmental Studies 372: Intermediate Environmental Remote Sensing
Environmental Studies 556: Digital Image Processing
Geography 930/Environmental Studies 900: Land Use-Land Cover Change Seminar
Geography 970: Remote Sensing for International Development
Environmental Studies 401: The Urban Environment

Recent Publications

Huang, X., A. Schneider, and M. Friedl (2016) Mapping sub-pixel urban expansion in China using MODIS and DMSP/OLS nighttime lights.  Remote Sensing of Environment, volume 175, pages 92-108.

Kontgis, C., A. Schneider, and M. Ozdogan (2015) Mapping rice paddy extent and intensification in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta with dense time stacks of Landsat data.  Remote Sensing of Environment, volume 169, pages 255-269.

Schneider, A., C. M. Mertes, A. J. Tatem, B. Tan, D. Sulla-Menashe, S. J. Graves, N. N. Patel, J. A. Horton, A. E. Gaughan, J. T. Rollo, I. H. Schelly, F. Stevens, and A. Dastur (2015) A new urban landscape in East Asia, 2000-2010.  Environmental Research Letters, volume 10, 034002.

Schneider, A., C. Chang, and K. Paulsen (2015) The changing spatial form of cities in Western China.  Landscape and Urban Planning, volume 135, pages 40-61.

Mertes, C. M., A. Schneider, B. Tan, D. Sulla-Menashe, and A. J. Tatem (2015) Detecting change in urban areas at continental scales with MODIS data.  Remote Sensing of Environment, volume 158, pages 331-347.

Kontgis, C., A. Schneider, J. Fox, S. Saksena, J. Spencer, and M. Castrence (2014) Monitoring peri-urbanization in the greater Ho Chi Minh City metropolitan area.  Applied Geography, volume 53, pages 377-388.

Schneider, A., and C. M. Mertes (2014)  Expansion and growth in Chinese cities, 1978-2010.  Environmental Research Letters, volume 9, 024008.

Graduate Students and Postdocs

Current: Evan Applegate, Leanne Abrams, Zhiwei Ye

Contact Information


Office Hours: Tuesdays 4:00 pm, and by appointment

Mailing Address:
Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment University of Wisconsin-Madison 1710 University Avenue, Room 264 Madison, Wisconsin 53726 USA