About Wei

Dr. Wei Gao is a professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Director of the USDA UV-B Monitoring and Research Program, and Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Warner College of Natural Resources. Dr. Gao also serves as the Associate Provost for CSU China Programs and Director of CSU Confucius Institute where he helps the university coordinate China-related activities. He is also the Director of ColoradoView, an affiliate member of the AmericaView/USGS, National Consortium for Remote Sensing Education, Research and Applications. He was the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing(2006-2012). He is the Editor-in-Chief for the Frontiers of Earth Science. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1997 and did postdoctoral training at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. His research interests include UV radiation and modeling, remote sensing application in ecosystems, regional climate/ecosystem/economic modeling, and impact of climate change. He has published more than 150 academic papers and edited 21 books, proceedings, and journal special issues. He is a fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering.

Website CV


  • There are new opportunities to further contribute research in the areas of ecosystem science and sustainability. An increased emphasis on ecosystem sustainability will ensure teaching and research are futuristic and solutions oriented. These are important attributes as the world, national, and local leaders increasingly look to scientists and institutions of higher learning to address important ecological and environmental problems, but more importantly to provide solutions. My primary research interests are: 1) UV-B Monitoring Network– manages and operates a national 39 station UV-B Monitoring Network in the best interests of the USDA and its stakeholders, the agricultural research community; 2)UV-B Plant Stress/Response Studies–participates in laboratory, growth chamber, greenhouse, and field studies designed to evaluate both the isolated effects of elevated UV-B and the combined effects of UV-B and other climate stress factors such as drought, high temperature, and high CO2 concentration on agricultural crops, livestock, forest, and range resources; and 3) Climate-Crop-Economic Modeling –develop an Integrated Agricultural Impact Assessment System that will couple the Earth‘s climate, ultraviolet-visible solar radiation and comprehensive crop growth models, as well as assimilating satellite and in situ observations to study climate-crop interactions and related economic impacts stemming from crop response to a wide range of UV and climate stressor effects.


Ph.D., Applied Meteorology - Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN, 1997

M.S, Micrometeorology and Modeling - Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS, 1992

B.A., English - Anhui Normal University
Wuhu, China, 1987

B.S., Applied Meteorology - Nanjing Institute of Meteorology
Nanjing, China, 1982

Awards, Honors, Grants

  • NREL Most Publications Award, Colorado State University , 2010
  • Lifetime Distinguished International Service Award, Colorado State University, 2009


  • International Optical Engineering Society
  • American Society of Agronomy
  • American Meteorological Society
  • The Geographical Society of China