Dr. Yang’s research interests are water resources management, water-energy-food nexus, agent-based modeling, coupled natural and human complex systems, climate change risk assessment, international rivers, transboundary water policy, hydro-ecology and urban stormwater management. Dr. Yang has extensive experiences in water management in the Great Himalayan, Sub-Saharan Africa region and the Western US. He leads more than 12 research projects (more than $3 million) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, the Work Bank, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and the Research Triangle Institute. Most of these projects evaluated climate change risk and social development influence on the water-energy-food-environment nexus for large river basins such as the Colorado, Columbia, Brahmaputra, Indus, Ayeyarwady, Mekong, Amu Darya, Yellow and Niger. Along with the system modeling skill, Dr. Yang’s research can answer difficult questions of uncertain climate change impact and anthropogenic influence on water-energy-food-environment nexus quantitatively.

Prior to joining Lehigh’s faculty, Dr. Yang was a research assistant professor in the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is an author and co-author of 50 peer-reviewed journal papers and 50 conference papers. Dr. Yang received the NSF CAREER Award in 2020. Dr. Yang is a regular reviewer for top-ranking journals in the water resources management and he serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management – ASCE. He was also the Chair of the Water and Society Task Committee in the American Geographical Union from 2017 to 2019.


Teaching and Service

Dr. Yang is teaching Fluid Mechanics (CEE122), Water Resources Engineering I (CEE222). Engineering Hydrology (CEE320) and GIS for Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE326) in the CEE Department. He is a member of undergraduate curriculum committee and website committee.


Selected Publications

Lin, C. Y., Yang, Y. C. E. and Wi, S. 2022. HydroCNHS: A Python Package of Hydrological Model for Coupled Natural–Human Systems, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management – ASCE, 148(12), 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0001630.

Lin, C. Y. and Yang, Y. C. E. 2022. The effects of model complexity on model output uncertainty in co-evolved coupled natural-human systems, Earth’s Future. 10, e2021EF002403. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021EF002403.

Hung, F. W. and Yang, Y. C. E. 2021. Assessing Adaptive Irrigation Impacts on Water Scarcity in Nonstationary Environments - A Multi-agent Reinforcement Learning Approach, Water Resources Research, 57, e2020WR029262. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020WR029262

Yang, Y. C. E., Son K., Hung, F. W. and Tidwell, V. C. 2020. Impact of climate change on adaptive management decisions in the face of water scarcity. Journal of Hydrology, 588, 125015

Hyun, J. Y., Huang, S. Y., Yang, Y. C. E., Tidwell, V. and Macknick J. 2019. Using a coupled agent-based modeling approach to analyze the role of risk perception in water management decisions. Hydrology and Earth System Science. 23: 2261-2278.

Yi-Chen Ethan Yang
Y. C. Ethan Yang
Associate Professor
(610) 758-5685
STEPS Building 466
1 West Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015


Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010
M.S., Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, 2004
B.S., Geography, National Taiwan University, 2002

Areas of Research

Water Resources Systems Analysis, Food-Energy-Water-Environment Nexus, Agent-based Modeling, Complex Adaptive Systems, Stormwater Smart City, IoT-based green infrastructure