Zachary Burnett is a PhD pre-candidate in the UMD Geography track, focusing on basic science and implementation of abstract data structures in geospatial information science (GIS) and planetary science. He is passionate about space science and open source data.

He currently works full-time for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, contracting to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide development support for coupled coastal ocean model hindcasting in support of storm surge inundation mapping following named storm events (tropical storms and hurricanes) on the U.S. East Coast, in accordance with the COASTAL Act.

Zach is interested in spatial data structures underlying tasks in planetary science, namely terrain representation, illumination modeling, terrain-relative navigation, and model meshes.

Areas of Interest

  • spatial data structures
  • unstructured mesh generation
  • planetary science
  • terrain representation


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Geospatial Information Science and Computer Cartography (Astronomy)
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Geospatial Information Science


  • 2017-05-12
    Roger A. Harper Undergraduate Research Award

Research Topics

  • Geospatial-Information Science and Remote Sensing
Zachary Burnett
zrb [at]