Prof. Chansheng He

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Director of Center for Dryland Water Resources Research and Watershed Science

MOE Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems

Research School of Arid Environment and Climate Change

Lanzhou University

222 South Tianshui Road, Lanzhou

730000, Gansu Province,CHINA

Phone:  +86 931 891 2805

Fax:       +86 931 891 2856

Email:     cshe@lzu.edu.cn



Ph.D., 1992, Resource Development, Minor: Systems Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.

M.S., 1985, Agricultural Zoning and Natural Resources Management, Northwestern Agricultural University.

B.S., 1982, Agronomy, Northwestern Agricultural University, Yangling, Shaanxi, P.R. China.



1/2011-. Professor, Research School of Arid Environment and Climate Change, Lanzhou University.

8/ 2005-present, Professor, Department of Geography, Western Michigan University.

8/1995-7/2005. Assistant to Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Western Michigan University.

9/2001-8/2002, National Research Council/NOAA Senior Research Associate at NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Ann Arbor, MI 48105 (sabbatical leave).

9/1994-8/1995, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN 56301.

9/1990-8/1994, Research Specialist to Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Resource Development and Institute of Water Research, Michigan State University,  East Lansing, MI 48824.

9/1986-8/1990, Research Assistant, Center for Remote Sensing and Institute of Water Research, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.



Water resources management, assessment of the effect of land use/cover change on watershed hydrology and  water quality at the watershed scale, nonpoint source pollution modeling, ecosystem indicators, hydrology of the Great Lakes watersheds, water resources of China, and comparative analysis of Sino-U.S. water resource policies. The main research questions I am trying to address are:

How much freshwater is available to support the multiple demands for water for domestic supplies, industrial development, agricultural irrigation, and hydropower generation while satisfying the needs for ecosystem maintenance?

How does land use/cover change resulting from human- environmental interactions affect the watershed hydrologic processes over space and time?

How can hydrologic models and spatial technologies be incorporated in planning processes to support watershed management and ecosystem protection?

How can we utilize new remote sensing, computing, modeling, tracing, and mapping technologies to better observe, analyze, and visualize the dynamics of water resources over space and time?




1. Implemented procedures for integrating satellite data and GIS to monitor and quantify the effects of landscape change on surface conditions. Among the early researchers in the 1980s to monitor the effects of vegetation change, my colleagues and I have proposed and developed approaches to integrate satellite imagery and GIS to evaluate the impacts of land cover change on surface temperature, solar radiation, net radiation, and evapotranspiration at both the landscape and regional scales.

2. Proposed a systems approach to addressing nonpoint source pollution at the watershed scale. Since the early 1990s, we have proposed and implemented approaches using GIS and simulation models to identify and track the distribution of surface runoff, soil erosion, and nutrient loadings over both space and time at the watershed scale. Subsequently, we also developed procedures to generate and evaluate best management practices for minimizing the sources, transportation, and  impacts of nonpoint source pollution. The related publications were widely cited by other researchers in the international community. One of our publications (1998 publication, “Nonpoint Source Pollution Control and Management in the United States” in Environmental Sciences in Chinese) has been cited over 370 times. 

3. Developed GIS-nonpoint source pollution software. Since the 1990s, we have developed an ArcView Nonpoint Source Pollution Modeling (AVNPSM) interface for hydrologic and pinpoint source pollution modeling at the watershed scale. The interface has been distributed to 46 entities in 12 countries.

4. Proposed an analytical framework for analysis of agricultural irrigation and food production and ecosystem protection. A) In the 1990s proposed the concept of available water for irrigation – the amount of water above the amount of water needed for the maintenance of ecosystem; B) Implemented system analysis including optimization techniques to develop best management scenarios that satisfy the needs of crop production, economic profits, and ecosystem at both field and watershed scales; C) Applied the system analysis approaches to both the U.S. Great Lakes basin ad China’s Yellow River Basin and arid Heihe River Watershed.

5. Developed a watershed hydrologic model. With the support of  National Research Council and NOAA and in collaboration with Thomas E. Croley II of the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, we have jointly developed a physically-based, distributed hydrologic simulation model, Distributed Large Basin Runoff Model (DLBRM) for the improved understanding of hydrologic processes and informed water resources decision making in the Great Lakes Basin. The unique features of the DLRBM include: 1) it uses readily available climatological, topographical, hydrological, soil and land use databases; 2) it is applicable to watersheds at difference scales; 3) mass continuity equations are used to govern the hydrological processes and solved analytically, thus, making model solution analytically tractable ; and 4) it tracks the distribution of flow and materials (sediments, nutrients, and pollutants) over both space and time. The DLBRM has been successfully applied to over 40 North America's Great Lakes watersheds, and watersheds in Northwest China and other countries. 

6. Proposed “Hydrological Resource Shed” concept. Based on our modeling work, we have proposed a new concept, “Hydrological Resource Shed” in the hydrological community to simulate, understand, and visualize the dynamics of flow and materials over both space and time at different scales. This concept – the geographic area contributing flow and materials over one time interval, passing through the location of interest, over another time interval, provides a new way of tracking and quantifying the interactions of flow and materials over both space and time at different scales. This concept and related computation techniques could be a very useful tool for landscape research at different scales.

7. Developed a prototype of arid region watershed hydrologic simulation model in Northwest China. Since 2004, I have been collaborating with researchers from  the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other institutions to study water shortage problems in the Yellow River Basin and Northwest China. Trying to determine the quantifiable linkages of mountain, oasis, and desert hydrologic systems, we have successfully adapted our 2-dimmenssional, distributed hydrologic simulation model (DLBRM) to the arid Heihe Watershed for understanding the water transfer mechanism between the glacier, oasis, and desert and for assessing the hydrologic impacts of agricultural irrigation in the middle reach on the ecosystem in the lower reach. We have developed a prototype model and based on our preliminary research findings, suggested crop pattern adjustment and water transfers through market mechanism to release more water from the middle reach irrigation oasis downstream for rehabilitation of the ecosystem in the lower reach.




American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

American Geophysical Union

American Water Resources Association (AWRA)

American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

Association of American Geographers (AAG)

International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission for Water Sustainability


Editorial Board Member, Journal of Resources and Ecology

Editorial Board Member, Chinese Geographical Science (English edition, Springer).

Editorial Board Member, Resources Science Journal

Editorial Board Member, Sciences in Cold and Arid Region.

Board of Director, The U.S. – China Institute, 2006-2008

Chair, AAG Water Resources Specialty Group, 2008-2010.

Secretary-Treasurer, AAG (Association of American Geographers) Water Resources Specialty Group, 2006-2008.

Executive Board, AAG Water Resources Specialty Group, 2004-2006.

Member, AAG Water Resources Specialty Group Award Committee, 2003-2004.

Member, International Committee, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 2009-.

Board of Director, The Association of Chinese Professionals in GIS (Overseas), 2000-2001.




2011.   Member, Fulbright Specialist Program 2010-2011 Environmental Science Peer Review Committee.

2009.   Fulbright Senior Specialist Award .

          Outstanding Achievement Award in  collaborative research by The Chinese Academy of Sciences Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI) ( Lanzhou).

2008.   Guest Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

2007.   Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Achievement Award in Research and Creative Activity. 

2006.   Listed in Who’s Who in the World (Marquis Who’s Who 55th-58th edition) .

Peer review panelist, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development 2002-2006 Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship Program, Washington D.C.

2005.  Outstanding Overseas Scholar (one of the 113 awardees worldwide), The Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Outstanding Adjunct Lecture Professor, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, P.R. China.

Adjunct Professor, The Key Lab of Poyang Lake Ecological Environment and Resource Development, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang, P.R. China.

Listed in Who’s Who in American Education (Marquis Who’s Who 7th edition)

2004.  The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

2003.   Peer review panelist, the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development Competitive Research Grants proposals (2002-2003) on Watershed Classification Systems, Washington, D.C.

2002.   Listed in Who’s Who in America (Marquis Who’s Who 55th-58th edition).

      Listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (5th-7th)

2001.   National Research Council /NOAA Senior Research Associateship Award.

Adjunct Professor of The Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research.

1997.   The National Natural Science Foundation of China Returning Overseas Chinese Scholar Academic Fellowship.

1996.   Western Michigan University Research Development Award  

Peer review panelist, the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development Competitive Research Grants proposals on Modeling Application, July 9-10, Washington, D.C.

1995.  Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Appreciation Award. Adjunct Professor of Northwestern Agricultural University, Shaanxi, P.R. China.

1991-1992, International Leadership Program award recipient, Michigan State University.

1991.   Hydrolab/American Water Resources Association Best Student Paper Competition Award

1990.  Phi Beta Delta International Scholars Honor Society.

1988.  Thoman Fellowship recipient, Michigan State University.




Research proposal reviewer for NASA, NSF, US. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, and Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Chinese agencies including National Office for Science and Technology Awards, Changjiang Scholars Program, and NSF of China.

Manuscript reviewer the following 24 journals: for Environmental Modeling and Software,  Environmental Management, CATENA ,Hydrological processes, Water International, Water Resources Management, Journal of  American Water Resources Association, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation,  Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, The Professional Geographer, The Canadian Geographer, Geographical Analysis, Journal of Geographical Information Science, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Journal of Hydrologic Engineering,  River Research and Applications, Land Degradation and Development, Landscape and Urban Planning, Ecological Research,  Irrigation and Drainage, Ecological Engineering,  Natural Hazards, Scientia,  and  Sciences In Cold And Arid Regions, etc.



1. Co-PI, Topic 3: “Impacts of Climate Change on the Hydrological Process of Water Cycle in Arid Northwest China”, of “Impacts of Climate Change on Hydrological Cycle and Water Security in Arid Northwest China” (2010CB951002), The Ministry of Science and Technology, 06//1/2010-05/31/2015.

2. PI, Modeling Hydrological Impacts of Intensive Land Management in the Weihe River, the Yellow River Basin: A Collaborative Research with The Chinese Academy of Sciences.  The Milton E. and Ruth M. Scherer Endowment Fund of Department of Geography, Western Michigan University, 06/01/2010-12/31/2011.

3. Collaborator, Sino-U.S. Collaborative Research on Functional Aggregation of Regional Ecosystem. Services, with The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, The CAS, 1/1/2009-12/31/2011. 

4. PI, Managing Water Shortage Problem by Intra-Basin Water Allocation and Conservation  in Northwest China. The Milton E. and Ruth M. Scherer Endowment Fund of Department of Geography, Western Michigan University, 9/1/2008-12/31/2009.

5. PI, Analysis of Point and Nonpoint Source Data for Spatially Distributed Water Quality Modeling in the Great Lakes Basin. NOAA’S GREAT LAKES ECOSYSTEM RESEARCH, 9/1/2007-8/31/2008.

6. Co-PI. Adaptive Integrated Framework (AIF): Understanding multiple stressors in coastal ecosystems: Advancing adaptive management in Saginaw Bay. NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, 09/01/2007-8/31/2012.

7. PI, Development of a spatial distributed watershed water quality model in the Greta Lakes Basin. NOAA Great Lakes Ecosystem Forecasting, 9/01/2006-8/31/2007.    

8. Co-PI, Forecasting the Causes, Consequences, and Potential Solutions for Hypoxia in Lake Erie. NOAA Coastal Ocean Program, 8/01/ 2006-7/31/2011.  

9. Member, International Partnership Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,  "The Basic Research for Water Issues of Inland River Basin in Arid Region" (CXTD-Z2005-2).The Chinese Academy of Sciences Cold and Arid Region Environmental Engineering Research Institute, 7/1/2005-5/31/2009 .




1.      He, C. and T.E. Croley. 2010.  Hydrological Resource Sheds and the U.S. Great Lakes Applications. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 1(1):25-30.

2.      DeMarchi, Carlo, Fei Xing, Thomas E. Croley II, Chansheng He, Yaping Wang. 2011.  Application of a Distributed Large Basin Runoff Model to Lake Erie: Model Calibration and Analysis of Parameter Spatial Variation. J. of Hydrologic Engineering (SCI), 16((3)193-202  (DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE) HE.1943-5584.0000304). 

3.      Liu, Lei, Y. Luo, C. He, J. Lai, and X. Li. 2010. Role of the Dual Functional Canals in Improving Water Use Efficiency in the Irrigation Districts along the Lower Yellow River, China. Journal of Hydrology (SCI) Vol. 391( 1-2):157-174) .

4.      He, C., X. He, and L. Fu. 2010.  China’s South-to-North Water Transfer Project: Is It Needed? Geography Compass 4/9: 1312-1323, 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00375.x.

5.      Wang, Xili, L. Fu, and C. He. 2010. Applying Support Vector Regression to Water Quality Modeling by Remote Sensing Data. International Journal of Remote Sensing (SCI) (in press).

6.      He, C. and C. DeMarchi. 2010. Modeling Spatial Distributions of Point and Nonpoint Source Pollution Loadings in the Great Lakes Watersheds. International Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering 2(1):24-30.

7.      Fu, B., Yafeng Wang, Yihe Lu, C. He, Liding Chen, and Chenjun Song. 2009. The effects of land-use combinations on soil erosion: a case study in the Loess. Plateau of China . Progress in Physical Geography (SCI) 33 (6): 793-804. 

8.      He, C., C. DeMarchi, T. E. Croley, Q. Feng, and T. Hunter. 2009. Modeling the Hydrology of the Heihe Watershed in Northwestern China. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, Vol.31 (3):410-421.

9.      He, X. and C. He. 2008. Protection and Development of the North America’ Great Lakes: Implications to the Management of the Poyang Lake. Acta Ecologica Sinica Vol. 28(12):6235-6242 (in Chinese).

10.   Luo,Y., C. He,   M. Sophocleous, Z. Yin, and H. Ren. 2008. Assessment of Crop Growth and Soil Water Modules in SWAT2000 Using Extensive Field Experiment Data in the Irrigation District of the Yellow River Basin. Journal of Hydrology (SCI) (352):139-156.

11.   Croley, T. E., II, D. F. Raikow, C. He, and J. F. Atkinson, 2008.  Hydrological Resource Sheds.  Journal of Hydrologic Engineering (SCI) Vol.13 (9):873-885.

12.   He, C. and T.E. Croley II. 2007. Application of a Distributed Large Basin Runoff Model in the Great Lakes Basin.  Control Engineering Practice (SCI)Vol. 15 (8): 1001-1011.

13.   Croley, T.E. II. and C. He, 2006. Watershed Surface and Subsurface Spatial Intraflows. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering (SCI) Vol.11 (1):12-20.

14.   He, C., S. Niu, and S. Cheng. 2005. Lessons from Development of the U.S. West to China’s “Go-West” Campaign. Resources Science Vol. 27 (6): 188-193 (in Chinese).

15.   He, C. S. Cheng, and Y. Luo. 2005. Desiccation of the Yellow River and the South Water Northward Diversion Project. Water International (SCI) Vol. 30 (2):261-268.

16.   Croley, T.E.II.and C.He. 2005. Distributed-Parameter Large Basin Runoff Model I: Model Development. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering (SCI) Vol. 10 (3):173-181.

17.   Croley, T.E. II., C. He, and D.H. Lee. 2005. Distributed-Parameter Large Basin Runoff Model II: Application. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering (SCI) Vol. 10 (3):182-191.


1.      Bao, S., H. Lin, Q. Zhang, P. Gong, W. Ji, J. Qi, C. He, B. Xu, R. Yi, C. Chen, F. Kung, H. Qi, and Y. Liu. 2008. Comparative Analysis of The Development and Management of Domestic and International Lakes. Final Report of the Greater Poyang Lake Eco-Economic District Key Project to Jiangxi Provincial Government (in Chinese), 216 p.

2.      Croley, T. E., II, C. He, J. F. Atkinson, and D. F. Raikow, 2007.  Resource Shed Definitions and Computations. NOAA Technical Memorandum GLERL-141, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 43pp.

Book Chapters

1.      He, C., C. DeMarchi, W. Tao, and T.H. Johengen. 2011. Modeling Distribution of Point   and Nonpoint Sources Pollution Loadings in the Saginaw Bay Watersheds, Michigan. In: Lawrence, P. edited book: Urban GIS and Water Resources. Wiley and Son Co.

2.      Croley II, T.E. and C. He. 2008. Ch.9. Spatially Distributed Watershed Model of Water and    Materials Runoff. In: Ji, W. (ed). Wetland and Water Resource Modeling and Assessment: A Watershed Perspective. CRC Press, New York, p.99-112.

3.      He, C. and T.E. Croley II. 2008. Ch.10. Estimating Nonpoint Source Pollution Loadings in the Great Lakes Watersheds. In: Ji, W. (ed). Wetland and Water Resource Modeling and Assessment: A Watershed Perspective. CRC Press, New York, p.115-127.

4.      He, C., S. Cheng, and Y. Luo. 2007. Water Diversions and Chinas Water Shortage Crisis. In Robinson, P.J., T. Jones and M-K Woo (eds). Managing Water Resources in a Changing Physical and Social Environment. IGU Home of Geography Publication Series, Società Geografica Italiana, Rome. Pp. 89-102.

5.      He, C. and T.E. Croley II. 2007. Integration of GIS and Visualization for Distributed Large Basin Runoff Modeling of the Great Lakes Watersheds. In: Scarpati and Jones (eds). Environmental Change and Rational Water Use. Orientación Gráfica Editora S.R.L., Buenos Aires, Argentina, pp. 247-260.