College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

James T. Dietrich

  • Geography

    Faculty - Assistant Professor of Geography

    Director, Iowa Low Altitude Remote Sensing Lab (I-LARS)

    My research is focused broadly on environmental monitoring. A big component of my
    research is focused on high-resolution remote sensing using Unmanned Aerial Systems
    (UAS), which includes fostering a new 3D remote sensing technique, Structure-from-
    Motion (SfM) photogrammetry. I have been working on both the technical aspects of
    SfM and pioneering its use in helping measure temporal and spatial changes in earth
    surface processes. On the applied side, my research uses a combination of remote
    sensing, GIS, and field measurements to map and monitor changes in river systems. My
    specific area of interest is monitoring river restoration projects and understanding how
    restoration affects rivers and how to evaluate the effectiveness of restoration
    treatments to better inform future restoration designs. To support my larger research
    objectives, I also to spend a fair bit of time developing and building open source
    software and hardware, which include a growing number of Python and Arduino

    • Ph.D. Geography - University of Oregon - 2014
    • M.Sc. Geography- Texas State University-San Marcos - 2008
    • B.Sc. Physical Geography - University of Kansas - 2006
    Courses Taught
    • GEOG 1210 - Physical Geography
    • GEOG 1059/6286 - Drones for Mapping and Communication
    • GEOG 4310 - GIS Applications: Digital Terrain Modeling
    • GEOG 4385/5385 - Advanced Unmanned Aerial Systems
    • GEOG 6550 - Seminar in History of Geographic Thought
    • GEOG 6010 - Research Design
    Research Interests
    • Structure-from-motion and close-range photogrammetry
    • Fluvial geomorphology
      • Remote sensing of rivers
      • River restoration
    • Open source software and hardware for remote sensing and environmental monitoring
    Teaching Interests
    • Physical Geography/Geomorphology
    • Rivers
    • Unmanned Aerial Systems for environmental applications
    • Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry
    • Python computer programming
    Selected Publications

    Heindel, R., J.W. Chipman, J.T. Dietrich, R. Virgina. 3D photogrammetric modeling of aeolian soil erosion in West Greenland. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research. Accepted June 7, 2017.

    Dietrich, J.T. 2017.  Bathymetric Structure from Motion: Extracting stream bathymetry from multi-view stereo photogrammetry. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 42(2): 355–364. DOI: 10.1002/esp.4060 (LINK)

    Carbonneau, P.E., Dietrich, J.T. (2017). Cost-Effective Non-Metric Photogrammetry from Consumer-Grade sUAS: Implications for Direct Georeferencing of Structure from Motion Photogrammetry. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 42(3): 473–486. DOI: 10.1002/esp.4012 (LINK)

    Atha, J.B., J.T. Dietrich. 2016. Detecting Fluvial Wood in Forested Watersheds Using LiDAR Data: A Methodological Assessment. River Research and Applications 32(7): 1587–1596. DOI: 10.1002/rra.2989 (LINK)

    Dietrich, J.T. 2016. Riverscape Mapping with Helicopter-Based Structure-from-Motion Photogrammetry. Geomorphology 252: 114–157. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.05.008 (LINK)

    Fonstad, M.A., Dietrich, J.T., Courville, B.C., Jensen, J.L., Carbonneau, P.E. 2013. Topographic structure from motion: a new development in photogrammetric measurement. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 38(4): 421–430. DOI: 10.1002/esp.3366 (LINK)

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