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Pinki Mondal

Assistant Professor


I am an interdisciplinary scientist interested in the dynamics of coupled natural and human systems. My research relies on remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS). I am particularly interested in developing geospatial methods for landscape-level monitoring and assessments. Currently, I am focusing on climate change impacts on agriculture in the developing countries.

I am also a Resident Faculty at the UD Data Science Institute.


PhD. Geography. 2011. University of Florida. Gainesville, FL

Prior Appointments

Senior Research Associate, 2015-2018. CIESIN, Earth Institute, Columbia University. Palisades, NY

Adjunct Professor, 2015-2018. The City University of New York (CUNY). New York, NY

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, 2012-2015. E3B, Columbia University. New York, NY

Postdoctoral Research Associate, 2011. University of Massachusetts. Amherst, MA


GEOG 372: Introduction to GIS

Current Projects

Implications of Agricultural Intensification for Diet and Nutrition in Rural India 

Veg_vendor_Mocha‘Hidden hunger’ – chronic deficiency of micronutrients – affects 2 billion people around the world. Smallholder farmers (owning <2 ha farmland) are one of the most vulnerable communities to such food and nutrition insecurity. To understand the seasonal fluctuations in food security and nutrient gaps, I am currently leading an inter-disciplinary project in central India, collaborating with researchers from multiple academic institutions including Columbia University, Rutgers University, McGill University, Foundation for Ecological Security (Indian NGO) and Johns Hopkins University.

Agricultural adaptation strategies for future climate scenarios

Wheat field IndiaThis interdisciplinary project involves the spatial science community and the crop-climate modeling community within Columbia University, New York University, and governmental and non-governmental institutes in India. In this project, we are combining field and simulation data to (a) estimate crop productivity at field-level for winter crops in central India for near-term (2015-2020), mid-century (2050s), and end-of-century (2100s) scenarios and (b) identify how crop productivity will vary with different adaptation strategies for projected climate change scenarios.

Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:

Mondal, P., Trzaska, S., de Sherbinin, A. 2018. Landsat-derived estimates of mangrove extents in the Sierra Leone Coastal Landscape Complex during 1990-2016. Sensors 18(1), 12, doi: 10.3390/s18010012.

Jain, M., Mondal, P., Galford, G., Fiske, G., DeFries, R. 2017. An Automated Approach to Map Winter Cropped Area of Smallholder Farms across Large Scales Using MODIS Imagery. Remote Sensing 9(6), 566, doi: 10.3390/rs9060566.

DeFries, R., Fanzo, J., Mondal, P., Remans, R., Wood, S. 2017. Is voluntary certification of tropical agricultural commodities achieving sustainability goals?: A review of the evidence. Environmental Research Letters 12(3) 033001.

DeFries, R., Mondal, P., Singh, D., Agrawal, I., Fanzo, J., Remans, R., Wood, S. 2016. Synergies and trade-offs for sustainable agriculture: Nutritional yields and climate-resilience for cereal crops in Central India. Global Food Security 11, 44-53,
doi: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.07.001.

Mondal, P., Jain, M., Zukowski, M., Galford, G., DeFries, R. 2016. Quantifying fluctuations in winter cropped area in the Central Indian Highland landscape. Regional Environmental Change 16, 69-82 (Special Issue on Central India). doi: 10.1007/s10113-016-0946-y

Mondal, P., Jain, M., DeFries, R., Galford, G., Small, C. 2015. Sensitivity of crop cover to climate variability: Insights from two Indian agro-ecoregions. Journal of Environmental Management 148, 21-30.

Mondal, P., Jain, M., Robertson, A., Galford, G., Small, C., DeFries, R. 2014. Winter crop sensitivity to inter-annual climate variability in central India. Climatic Change 126, 61-76.

Jain, M., Mondal, P., DeFries, R., Small, C., Galford, G. 2013. Mapping cropping intensity of smallholder farms: a comparison of methods using multiple sensors. Remote Sensing of Environment 134, 210-223.

Data Sets:

Meiyappan, P., Roy, P. S., Soliman, A., Li, T., Mondal, P., Wang, S., Jain, A. K. 2018. India Village-Level Geospatial Socio-Economic Data Set: 1991, 2001. Palisades, NY: NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).https://doi.org/10.7927/H4CN71ZJ.

Jain, M., Mondal, P., Galford, G. L., Fiske, G., DeFries, R. S. 2017. India Annual Winter Cropped Area, 2001-2016. Palisades, NY: NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). https://doi.org/10.7927/H47D2S3W

Center for International Earth Science Information Network - CIESIN - Columbia University. 2016. Global Urban Heat Island (UHI) Data Set, 2013. Palisades, NY: NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). http://dx.doi.org/10.7927/H4H70CRF.

Center for International Earth Science Information Network - CIESIN - Columbia University. 2016. Global Summer Land Surface Temperature (LST) Grids, 2013. Palisades, NY: NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).http://doi.org/10.7927/H408638T.


• Water & Society• Remote Sensing• Environmental Interactions


CEOE School & Departments

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Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography

Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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