Tarendra Lakhankar

Research Scientist

Adjunct Professor

Areas of Expertise/Research

  • Data Science
  • Field Campaigns
  • Remote Sensing and GIS
  • Statistics
  • Urban Extremes and Social Vulnerability
  • Weather Stations Networking


Steinman Hall


Room 185


(212) 650 5815


Tarendra Lakhankar


Scientific Research:

Dr. Lakhankar has led and coordinated various research projects contributing to the NOAA and NASA’s satellite remote sensing missions in water prediction and ecosystem services research. Dr. Tarendra Lakhankar has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills by designing and leading several major field campaign sites. These include the Snow-SAFE site in Caribou, ME, the Soil Moisture Field Campaign at CUNY-SMART in Millbrook, NY, and the NYC-Urban HydroMet Testbed project. The NYC-Urban HydroMet Testbed involved installing 21 weather stations in key research and educational outreach locations across New York City, including public schools, botanical gardens, and community colleges. These projects have provided valuable data for research, improved the accuracy of weather and water predictions, and increased public awareness of environmental issues. These projects have resulted in successful outcomes and publications in top-tier journals. Dr. Lakhankar has also served as a mentor and supervisor to numerous undergraduate and graduate research students. He has successfully organized research meetings and conferences, led grants and professional development seminars, and provided mentoring, advising, and outreach activities. His dedication and service to the City College of New York were recognized with the S.T.A.R. Award in 2022.

Teaching and Training:

Dr. Tarendra Lakhankar boasts a rich teaching career at The City College of New York, where he has imparted knowledge across several courses, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Water Resources, Geographical Information Systems, Introduction to Satellite Remote Sensing and Imaging, Environmental Systems Science, and Environmental Water Resources. His teaching philosophy centers around inquiry-based learning, fostering scientific inquiry, honing data analysis skills, and cultivating effective communication abilities in both written and oral forms. This approach significantly bolsters students' capacities in problem-solving and research. For over a decade, Dr. Lakhankar has dedicated his summers to teaching high school and undergraduate students, extending his educational impact beyond the regular academic year.


Peer Reviewed Papers:       

Book Chapters

Courses Taught

GIS in Water Resources (CE-G0800)

In this course, students will learn how to use the underlying concepts of Geographic Information Systems for problems in Water Resources engineering. We will start with a review of the basic concepts of GIS, such as the use of Coordinate systems, projections, data concepts, and geographic references. After refreshing this knowledge, we will apply these concepts to typical hydrologic tasks, such as Terrain modeling, watershed delineation, computation, and extraction of river and watershed networks, including spatial analysis computations. Once we have mastered that, the course will introduce some modeling concepts and expand on integrating time series and geospatial data in general. We will also add some components that address remote sensing data products and their analysis within the GIS environment. The course will be rounded out with special topics related to challenges for geospatial information systems, such as data heterogeneity, data about data (metadata), and how to search best for data.

Geographical Information System (ENGR59910)

This course aims to develop an understanding of geographic space and how maps represent geographic space. In this class, students will learn about the basic principles of maps, their specialized contents, and how to create these maps. The class will also address approaches to map projections, reference systems, and where to find locations. The class will introduce you to basic objects such as points, lines, polygons, and features and ways to organize these in classes. It will also cover principles of geographic information systems, learn about spatial analysis, and how to represent data via data models such as raster and vector formats and store and organize data in a geodatabase. You will get hands-on experience using GIS software and acquire basic skills to insert, create, and extract data from different sources and manipulate these in the GIS environment. 4 hr/wk; one 2.0-hour lecture; one 2.0-hour Lab, 3 cr.

Introduction to Satellite Remote Sensing and Imaging (ENGR 30100)

This introductory remote sensing course covers different environments where remote sensing can be applied, including discussing various space platforms and selected sensors that orbit the Earth. Emphasis is placed on the application of remote sensing on the interactions between the hydrosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and atmosphere, as well as bio-productivity and geophysical/geochemical processes in the oceans. By the end of this class, students should be able to Understand the principles of an EM wave and interactions with surface/atmosphere that are relevant to remote sensing (e.g., surface scattering vs particle scattering), Describe various types of remote sensing systems (e.g., visible, Infrared, microwave, etc.), Understand the fundamental principles for different types of remote sensing systems, Understand resolutions and viewing geometry of different remote sensing systems, and Describe different satellite orbits that are used for Earth Observations.

Environmental Systems Science (SCIE 4104E)

This course focuses on Earth as a system and explores the interdependent relationships among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere.  Through inquiry-based laboratories and field investigations, students learn to take scientifically valid measurements in the fields of atmosphere, hydrology, soil, and land cover/phenology.  Students will gain experience in analyzing and mapping scientific data, designing and investigating their scientific inquiry, and presenting oral and written reports to their peers. The goal of this course is to provide an integrated background in earth system science and to become proficient at scientific practices, including asking questions, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematics and computational thinking, constructing explanations, engaging argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

Environmental Water Resources (CE 45100)

The goal of this course is: 1) Develop an appreciation for the components of the hydrologic cycle, how they interact, and how they transport various materials; 2) Practice quantitative techniques for estimating the magnitude of different components of the hydrologic cycle; Become more comfortable making reasonable estimates, utilizing data, and addressing open-ended questions in engineering problem solving and design; 3) Become familiar with the agencies, organizations, and institutions participating in scientific research and management of the Southern Hudson River; 4) Improve their ability to communicate technical material in written form and orally; 5) Better their ability to do research: identify and collect needed information, analyze data, draw and support appropriate conclusions, and provide recommendations for future studies; 6) Improve their ability to work as part of a team effectively; 7) Develop their skills in completing an open-ended project under time constraints using a systematic, phased approach.

Hydrology and Hydraulics Engineering (CE36500)

This course aims to give civil engineering majors a basic understanding of flow systems in closed and open hydraulic and hydrologic systems. It provides detailed computation for studying, analyzing, and designing components of hydraulic systems such as pipes, pumps, open channels, and storm collection systems. This course will include two hydraulic laboratory experiments and three computer lab experiments using commercial software (e.g., Haestad-Method© software), which help students design and visualize different hydraulic and hydrological phenomena professionally.