Laiyin Zhu

Photo of Laiyin Zhu
Laiyin Zhu
Associate Professor
(269) 387-3484
(269) 387-3442
3236 Wood Hall, Mail Stop 5424
Mailing address: 
Department of Geography, Environment, and Tourism
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5424 USA
  • Ph.D., Geography, Texas A&M University, 2013
  • M.S., Geography, Beijing Normal University, 2008
  • B.S., Environmental Science, Nanjing Forestry University, 2004
  • Fellows Certificate, Graduate Teaching Academy, Texas A&M University, 2012
Research interests: 
  • Atmospheric Science, Extreme Weather and Climate Change, especially Tropical Cyclones, Risk Analysis of Natural Disasters

Laiyin Zhu is an associate professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Tourism at Western Michigan University. He has broad research interests in Tropical Cyclone Precipitation Climatology, Extreme Weather and Climate Change, Risk Analysis and Community Resilience from Natural Disasters. Specifically, he has developed a new technique that reconstruct the long-term climatology of Tropical Cyclone Precipitation (TCP) at continental scale from historical rain gauge observations. He also developed the first generation of statistical model that can provide seasonal forecasting of TCP ahead of Atlantic hurricane season.

Before WMU, he has worked in multiple scientific projects from National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and A Private Utility Company. He has worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. He is one of the developers for an agent-based model that simulates household reconstruction choices and evolution of community resilience in repeated hurricane disasters.

Dr. Zhu has teaching interests and experiences in courses with topics in Geographical Information System (GIS), Extreme Weather and Climate Change, Climate Data Analysis, as well as Environmental Modeling.

Selective Courses:

GEOG 4685/6685 - Internet GIS

GEOG 3010/5010 - Fund/Intro to GIS

GEOG 1000 - World Ecology Problems

GEOG 3060 - Climate Change: Atmospheric Perspectives

GEOG 3070 - Extreme Weather under Changing Climate

GEOG 4280 – Data Analysis in Climate Science

Selective Publications:

Reilly, A., Zhu, L, Igusa, T, Guikema, T. (2017) “Evolution of vulnerability of communities facing repeated hazards” PLoS ONE (IF 2.766), doi:

Zhu, L., S. Quiring. (2017) An extraction method for long-term tropical cyclone precipitation from daily rain gauges. Journal of Hydrometerorology (IF 3.790), doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-16-0291.1.

Zhu, L., S. Quiring, K. Emanuel. (2013) Estimating tropical cyclone precipitation risk in Texas. Geophysical Research Letters (IF 4.34), doi: 10.1002/2013GL058284.

Zhu, L., O. Frauenfeld, and S. Quiring. (2013) Seasonal Tropical Cyclone Precipitation (TCP) in Texas: A Statistical Modeling Approach based on a 60-year Climatology. Journal of Geophysical Research–Atmospheres (IF 3.38), doi: 10.1002/jgrd.50663.


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