Dr. Raechel Anne Portelli

Raechel Anne Portelli
  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences
  • 673 Auditorium Rd
  • 234 Geography Bldg.
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 353-0308


Dr. Portelli has a Ph.D. in Geography from Pennsylvania State University (2014). An MS degree in Physical Geography (2010) and two B.S. degrees (2009), one in Social Environmental Science and one in Physical Geography. She began her appointment here at Michigan State University in 2014.


Dr. Portelli’s research examines the development of computational methods of emulating human image interpretation using Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA) and machine learning. Her current research examines the linkages between ground-based imaging techniques, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and plant community dynamics in grazed and disturbed landscapes.

Her prior research has addressed geologic applications of high-resolution remote sensing imagery for understanding coastal, forestry, and planetary geology processes. Her dedication to the remote sensing discipline led her to study historical trends in knowledge diffusion in air photo training texts during the early twentieth century and their survivability through the latter part of the twentieth century as disciplinary focus shifted towards machine-based image analysis.