Get to know us!

Meet the people that make CITRIS @ UC Merced what it is


Erin Hestir, PHD

Director

Dr. Erin Hestir assumed the role of Director for the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) & the Banatao Institute at UC Merced in August 2023. Formerly Associate Director of the institute, she emphasizes interdisciplinary research for societal benefit. As Associate Director, Hestir institutionalized the Valle! Get your start in tech! education program and brought remote sensing programming to undergraduate students in the Central Valley. She is an Associate Professor for Civil and Environmental Engineering and a faculty member in the Environmental Systems Graduate Group. Through her lab, Earth Observation and Remote Sensing, Hestir's leadership extends to pioneering geomatics and sensing solutions for agricultural and environmental challenges. Her impactful work includes leading NASA's BioSCape biodiversity campaign and transforming agriculture through technology with the NSF Engineering Research Center for IoT4Ag. With a Ph.D. in Geography from UC Davis, Hestir brings diverse international expertise to her role.