Faculty Spotlight: Meet Online Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences Instructor Assistant Professor, Dr. Zhiming Yang


  • B.S., Environmental Science, Jilin University, China
  • M.S., Environmental Science, Oklahoma State University
  • PH.D., Environmental Science, Ohio State University

Dr. Zhiming Yang was born in the Village of Xijiang in China. He was raised in Hunan, China and received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from Jilin University in Changchun, China. He has been teaching Environmental, Earth, Geospatial Sciences courses for on-campus and online students at North Carolina Central University since 2010.

Dr. Yang received both his Master and PhD degrees in environmental science at Ohio State University (2000) and Oklahoma State University (2005) respectively.

Before coming to the United States, Professor Yang worked in the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences for more than ten years. During his tenure there, Professor Yang contributed to a number of environmental projects that included environmental impact assessment, environmental modeling and planning and environmental management and pollution control.

When asked what he enjoys most about teaching, Yang says his favorite part of teaching is making sure his students gain the skills necessary to acquire a job.

“I’m not only concerned with my students getting a good grade. I also want to make sure my students gain some skill or knowledge that will help them get a job. I want the prospective employer to know that they really learned something while they were in school.  Employers want to know that students developed some skill set while they were in school, that they can apply what they learned,” Yang said.

When asked about his teaching philosophy, Dr. Yang says his teaching philosophy is simply, learning by doing.

“You have to practice, then you can actually learn. You may make mistakes, but you are going to adjust your strategy. Or, you may lack some knowledge, and then you go back and check to see what you need to learn. The more you practice, the more you learn,” said Yang.

Between 2005 and 2010, Professor Yang worked for the Environmental Cooperative Service Center (ECSC) at Delaware State University. At DSU, Dr. Yang conducted numerous coastal environmental projects that included land use/cover changes, forest fragmentation and carbon loss and hyper-spectral remote sensing of chlorophyll-a in coastal waters. His primary research interest is to examine and study the impact of human activities on earth environment using geospatial technologies.

Currently, he is conducting remote sensing studies on Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone (ETSZ) and New Madrid Seismic Zone (NWSZ) using SAR images. The goal of these studies is to develop methods used to detect land deformation in the two seismic zones using SAR Persistent Scatterer Interferormetry technique.  He is also working on the monitoring of greenhouse gases.