Dr. Liem Tran

Department of Geography
306 Burchfiel Geography Building
The University of Tennessee
1000 Phil Fulmer Way
Knoxville, TN 37996-0925
Department Phone: (865) 974-2418
Voice Mail Phone: (865) 974-6034
Fax: (865) 974-6025
Email: ltran1@utk.edu

  • Physical and environmental geography (focus on landscape ecology, hydrology, climatology, integrated modeling, and human-environment interactions);
  • Geographic information science (focus on geocomputation, neural networks, application of fuzzy set and systems in geography);
  • Spatial/quantitative analysis, geostatistics.
  • Uncertainty analysis.


  • BE in Geology (HoChiMinh City University) 1984
  • ME in Environmental Engineering (HoChiMinh City University) 1992
  • MA in Geography (University of Hawaii at Manoa)1995
  • Ph.D. in Geography (University of Hawaii at Manoa) 1999
  • Post-doctoral (Pennsylvania State University) 1999-2003


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Professional Appointments

  • 2010-current: Associate Professor, Geography Department, University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
  • 2006-2010: Assistant Professor, Geography Department, University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
  • 2003-2006: Assistant Professor, Geosciences Department, Florida Atlantic University.
  • 2001-2003: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Geography Department, the Pennsylvania State University.
  • 1999-2003: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Integrated Regional Assessment (CIRA), the Pennsylvania State University.
  • 1989-1992: Instructor/Research Associate, Center for Water Supply and Environment, HoChiMinh City University.
  • 1985-1989: Instructor/Research Associate, Department of Geophysics and Hydrogeology, HoChiMinh City University.

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Current Students

Latha Baskaran (Ph.D. student)

Rachel Craig (Ph.D. student)

Njoroge Gathongo (Ph.D. student)

Adam Alsamadisi (Ph.D. student)

Matthew Miller (MS student)


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Selected Publications

Liem T. Tran (2016). An Interactive Method to Select a Set of Sustainable Urban Development Indicators. Ecological Indicators 61(2): 418-427.

Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill, Randall J.F. Bruins, Elizabeth R. Smith, Carol Harden (2015). Linking land use/land cover with climatic and geomorphologic factors in regional mean annual streamflow models with spatial regression approach. Progress in Physical Geography. 39(2): 258-274.

Ingrid Luffman, Liem T. Tran (2014). Risk factors for E. coli O157 and cryptosporidiosis infection in individuals in karst valleys of East Tennessee, USA. Geosciences 4(3): 202-218.

Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill, Elizabeth R. Smith, Randall J.F. Bruins, Carol Harden (2013). Application of Hierarchy Theory to Cross-Scale Hydrologic Modeling of Nutrient Loads. Water Resources Management, 27(5): 1601-1617.

Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill (2013). Detecting the effects of land use/land cover on mean annual streamflow in the Upper Mississippi River Basin, USA. Journal of Hydrology, 499(30): 82–90.

Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill, Elizabeth R. Smith (2012). A watershed-based method for environmental vulnerability assessment with a case study of the Mid-Atlantic Region. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 34: 58-64.

Thomas L. Saaty and Liem T. Tran (2010). Fuzzy Judgments and Fuzzy Sets; International Journal of Strategic Decision Science (in the inaugural issue in 2010).

Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill, Elizabeth R. Smith (2009). Spatial pattern of environmental vulnerability assessment in the Mid-Atlantic Region, USA. Applied Geography, doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2009.05.003

Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill, Elizabeth R. Smith (2009). Determine the most influencing stressors and the most susceptible resources for environmental integrated assessment. Ecological Modelling, 220(18):2335-2340.

Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill, Elizabeth R. Smith (2009). Environmental Integrated Assessment via Monte Carlo simulation with a Case Study of the Mid-Atlantic Region, USA. Environmental Management, 44(2): 387-393.

Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill, Elizabeth R. Smith, Paul F. Wagner, and Megan Mehaffey (2008). Watershed-Based Self- and Peer-Appraisal Indices for Integrated Environmental Assessment with a Case Study of the Mid-Atlantic Region; Ecological Indicators, 8(3): 308-315.

Thomas L. Saaty and Liem T. Tran 2007. On the invalidity of fuzzifying numerical judgments in the Analytic Hierarchy Process; Mathematical and Computer Modelling, doi:10.1016/j.mcm.2007.03.022.

Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill, Elizabeth R. Smith, C. Gregory Knight 2007. Sensitivity Analysis of Aggregated Environmental Indices with a Case-Study of the Mid-Atlantic Region; Environmental Management 39:506-514.

Elizabeth R. Smith, Peter McKinnis, Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill 2006. The Effects of Uncertainty on Estimating the Relative Environmental Quality of Watersheds across a Region; Landscape Ecology 21:225–231.

Liem T. Tran, Robert V. O’Neill, Elizabeth R. Smith 2006. A Generalized Distance Measure for Environmental Integrated Assessment; Landscape Ecology 21:469–476.

Alan D. Ziegler, Liem T. Tran, Thomas W. Giambelluca, Roy C. Sidle, Ross A. Sutherland, Michael A. Nullet, Tran Duc Vien 2006. Effective slope lengths for buffering hillslope surface runoff in fragmented landscapes in northern Vietnam. Forest Ecology and Management, 224(1-2):104-118.

Tran, L.T., Jarnagin, S.T., Wickham, J.D., and Knight, C.G. 2005. Mapping thematic accuracy with fuzzy sets, Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, vol. 71 (1), pp. 29-36.

Alan D. Ziegler, Thomas W. Giambelluca, Liem T. Tran, Thomas T. Vana, Michael A. Nullet, Jefferson Fox, Tran Duc Vien, Jitti Pinthong, J. F. Maxwell, and Steve Evett 2004. Hydrological Consequences of Landscape Fragmentation in Mountainous Northern Vietnam: Evidence of Accelerated Overland Flow Generation. Journal of Hydrology 287: 124-146.

Locantore, N. W.; Tran, L. T.; O'Neill, R. V.; McKinnis, P. W.; Smith, E. R.; O'Connell, M. (2004). An Overview of Data Integration Methods for Regional Assessment. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 94 (1/3):249-261.

Tran, L. T.; Knight, C. G.; O'Neill, R. V.; Smith, E. R. (2004) Integrated Environmental Assessment of the Mid-Atlantic Region with Analytical Network Process. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 94 (1/3):263-277.

Giambelluca, T.W., Alan D. Ziegler, A.D., Nullet, M.A., Truong, D.M., and Tran, L.T. (2003) Transpiration in a small tropical forest patch. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 117:1-22.

Tran, L.T., Knight, C.G., O’Neill, R.V., Smith, E.R, and O’Connell, M. (2003) Self-organizing maps for integrated environmental assessment of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region. Journal of Environmental Management 31(6):822-835.

Tran, L.T., Knight, C.G., O’Neill, R.V., Smith, E.R., Riitters, K.H., and Wickham, J. (2002). Fuzzy decision analysis for integrated environmental vulnerability assessment of the Mid-Atlantic region. Journal of Environmental Management 29:845–859.

Tran, L.T., and Duckstein, L. (2002). Multiobjective fuzzy regression with central tendency and possibilistic properties. Fuzzy Sets and Systems 130(1):21-31.

Tran, L.T., and Duckstein, L. (2002). Comparison of fuzzy numbers using a fuzzy distance measure. Fuzzy Sets and Systems 130(3):331-341.

Tran, L.T., Knight, C.G., and Wesner, V. (2002) Drought in Bulgaria and atmospheric synoptic conditions over Europe. GeoJournal. 57: 149–157.

Tran, L.T., Ridgley, M.A., Duckstein, L., and Sutherland, R. (2002). Application of fuzzy logic-based modeling to improve the performance of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation. Catena vol. 47, no. ER3, pp. 203-226.

Leung, P.S, Tran, L.T., and Fast, A.* (2000). Identifying factors affecting disease occurrence on Asian shrimp farms using logistic regression model. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 41, 65-76. (* Senior author is not assigned)

Leung, P.S., and Tran, L.T.* (2000). Predicting shrimp disease occurrence: Artificial neural networks vs. logistic regression. Journal of Aquaculture 187, 35-49. (* Senior author is not assigned)

Giambelluca, T.W., Nullet, M., Ziegler, A.D., and Tran, L. (2000). Latent and sensible energy flux over deforested land surfaces in the eastern Amazon and northern Thailand. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, v 21 n 2, 107-130.

Lewis, N., Hamnett, M., Prasad, U., Tran, L., and Hilton, A. (1998). Climate and health in the Pacific: Research in Progress. Pacific Health Dialog 5(1), 187-190.

Ridgley, M., Penn, D., and Tran, L.T. (1997). A multicriterion decision support for a conflict over stream diversion and land water reallocation in Hawaii. Applied Mathematics and Computation, v 83 n 2/3, 153-172.

Ziegler, A.D., Sutherland, R., and Tran, L. (1997). Influence of rolled erosion control systems on temporal rainplash response - A laboratory rainfall simulation experiment. Land Degradation & Development, vol. 8, 139-157.

Giambelluca, T.W., Tran, L.T., Ziegler, A.D., and Menard, T.P. (1996). Soil-vegetation-atmosphere processes: simulation and field measurement for deforested sites in northern Thailand. Journal of Geophysical Research, v 101 n D20, 25,867-25,885

Book Chapters

Tran, L.T., Jarnagin, S.T., Knight, C.G., and Baskaran, L. (2004). Mapping spatial accuracy and estimating ecological indicators from thematic land cover maps using fuzzy set theory. In Lunetta, R.S., and J.G. Lyon (Editors), Remote Sensing and GIS. Accuracy Assessment. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Tran, L.T., and Knight, C.G. 2004. Some aspects of droughts in Bulgaria and its connection to atmospheric synoptic conditions over Europe. In Knight, C.G. and Raev, I. (Eds.), Bulgarian Drought: A Contemporary Analog for Climate Change.

Tran, L.T., Nearing, M., Duckstein, L., Ridgley, M. and Sutherland, R. (2002). Using fuzzy logic-based modeling to improve the performance of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation. In Stott, D.E., Mohtar, R.H., and Steinhardt, G.C. (eds.), Sustaining The Global Farm. Selected papers from the 10th International Soil Conservation Organization Meeting held May 24-29, 1999 at Purdue University and the USDA-ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory, pp. 919-923.

Peer-Reviewed Technical Report

Smith, E.R., Tran, L. T.; and O'Neill, R. V. (2003). Regional Vulnerability Assessment for the Mid-Atlantic Region: Evaluation of Integration Methods and Assessment Results. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Technical Report: EPA/600/R-03/082, October 2003.

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Professional Activities

Professional Memberships
+ American Geophysics Union
+ The Association of American Geographers

Other activities
Frequent reviewer for various professional journals (e.g., Journal of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA), Fuzzy Sets and Systems, Environmental Management, Naturwissenschaften, Environmental Modelling and Software, Mathematical and Computer Modelling, and Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, etc.)

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