David Gwenzi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor - Geospatial Science

One year of hard labor during undergraduate studies, manually monitoring baboon ranging patterns and quantifying the damage they inflicted on pine trees in plantation forests of Zimbabwe prompted me to consider GIS and Remote Sensing as convenient data acquisition and processing tools in Natural Resources Stewardship. My knowledge of remote sensing and enthusiasm in using GIS tools in assessing forest products grew bigger as I started specializing in lidar remote sensing for quantifying woody biomass and spatially modeling the associated ecological functionalities such as carbon storage. My recent hobby in the geospatial sciences involves Unmanned Aerial Vehicles data acquisition and processing and I am currently implementing this exciting field into my teaching and research.

I have a passion for teaching and research because I strongly believe in the power of education in answering the questions that are always posed by our inquisitiveness and curiosity. My main goal for teaching is to provide the foundations needed by the learner(s) in a way that fills undue gaps and facilitate the growth of individuals in seeking such answers and consequently acquiring knowledge.

Specialty Area

Spatial analysis, Remote sensing


PhD, Spatial Ecology, 2015, Colorado State University, USA
MSc, Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation, 2008, University of Twente, Netherlands
BSc Environmental Science, 2004, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe

Courses Taught

GSP 270: Geographic Information Science
GSP 330: Mobile Mapping
GSP 370: Intermediate GIS
ESM 685: Graduate Seminar


Remote sensing of vegetation structure and function and the use of geospatial decision support tools in natural resources stewardship.


“The joy of discovery is certainly the liveliest that the mind of man can ever feel” - Claude Bernard (1813-78).

Gwenzi, D. & Lefsky, M. A. (2016). Spatial modeling of lidar-derived woody biomass estimates collected along transects in a heterogeneous savanna landscape. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, PP (99)

Gwenzi, D
., Lefsky, M. A., Suchdeo, V. P., Harding, D. H. (2016). Prospects of the ICESat-2 laser altimetry mission for savanna ecosystem structural studies based on airborne simulation data. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 118 (2016)

Gwenzi, D. & Lefsky, M. A. (2016). Plot level aboveground woody biomass modeling using canopy height and auxiliary remote sensing data in a heterogeneous savanna, Journal of Applied Remote Sensing,  10(1)

Gwenzi, D. (2015). Lidar remote sensing of savanna biophysical attributes. PhD Dissertation, Colorado State University http://gradworks.umi.com/37/20/3720536.html

Gwenzi, D. & Lefsky, M. A. (2014). Prospects of photon counting lidar for savanna ecosystem structural studies, Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XL-1, 141-147, doi:10.5194/isprsarchives-XL-1-141-2014

Gwenzi, D
. & Lefsky, M. A. (2014). Spatial modeling of transect based aboveground woody biomass data in a heterogeneous savanna landscape: A data fusion approach. Proceedings of the 10th international Conference of the Association of African Remote Sensing of the Environment, Johannesburg, South Africa

Gwenzi, D. & Lefsky, M. A. (2014). Modeling canopy height in a savanna ecosystem using spaceborne lidar waveforms. Remote Sensing of Environment, 154(2014)

Gwenzi. D (2008) Spaceborne Lidar Canopy Height Estimation for Aboveground Forest Biomass Assessment in a Cool Montane Area. A case of Wangqing forest area, NE China. ITC Academic output http://www.itc.nl/library/papers_2008/msc/nrm/gwenzi.pdf

Katsvanga C.A.T, Bobo E.D, Jimu L, Nyamugure T, Gwenzi D, Kundhlande A (2009), Vegetation Diversity and Composition of Bindura Mining Town in Zimbabwe. Discovery and Innovation, 21 (1)

Gwenzi. D
, Katsvanga. C.A.T, Ngorima. G.T, Mupangwa J.F (2007), Baboon Papio ursinus ranging patterns and troop size relative to bark stripping in the Chimanimani Pine Plantations of Zimbabwe,Acta Zoologica Sinica, 53 (5)

Jimu L, Katsvanga C.A.T, Kundhlande A, Nyamugure T, Gwenzi D, Mupangwa J.F (2007), Comparative growth of Pinus taeda and Pinus patula in Penhlonga, Zimbabwe. Southern Africa Journal of Education, Science and Technology, 2(1)

Katsvanga C.A.T , Jimu L, Gwenzi D, Muhoni L, Masuka P, Moyo M (2007), Characterisation of Community Identified Uapaca kirkiana Phenotypes for Domestication, Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 9 (4)

Katsvanga C.A.T, Mudyiwa S.M, Gwenzi D (2006), Bark stripping and population dynamics of baboon troops after chemical control in pine plantations of Zimbabwe. African Journal of Ecology, 44 (3)

C.A.T Katsvanga ; L Jimu ; A Kundhlade ; D Gwenzi (2006), Eucalyptus species performance under short rotation conditions on the Vumba highlands in Zimbabwe. Southern African Journal of Education, Science and Technology, 1(1)

David Gwenzi
(707) 826-3825
Natural Resources (NR) Building, Rm. 221