We are pleased to announce the eighth edition of the ForestSAT 2018 conference hosted by the University of Maryland and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center at the newly completed Hotel at the University of Maryland, just minutes from Washington DC. ForestSAT has become the pre-eminent conference on the application of spatial analysis and remote sensing technologies for forest monitoring, modeling and description. Previous conferences have been held in Chile (2016), Italy (2014), USA (2012), Spain (2010), France (2007), Sweden (2005), and Scotland (2002).
Inbal Becker-Reshef, Ph.D. from the University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Geographical Sciences has been selected by NASA to lead a new multidisciplinary consortium dedicated to enhancing the use of satellite data for improving food security and agriculture around the world. The Earth Observations for Food Security and Agriculture Consortium (EOFSAC) will combine the expertise of more than 40 partners to advance the adoption of Earth observations in informing decisions affecting the global food supply.
A recent emergence of drug-resistant malaria parasites in the Greater Mekong region is posed to undermine the World Health Organization’s (WHO) inspiring agenda of global malaria elimination. Tatiana Loboda (UMD Department of Geographical Sciences) and Mark Carroll (SSAI/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) have received funding from NASA within the Group on Earth Observations Work Programme to develop a satellite data driven early warning system to support malaria elimination efforts in Myanmar. Myanmar, one of the 5 countries with documented cases of artemisinin resistant malaria, carries a disproportional malaria burden.
The Center for Geospatial Information Science (CGIS) celebrated its inauguration with two invited talks and an Open House and reception on Wednesday, November 1st. Professors Hanan Samet (Computer Science, University of Maryland) and Harvey Miller (Geography, Ohio State University) gave the invited talks as part of this event. The Open House included demonstrations and poster talks on a wide range of research topics involving members of the CGIS.
In a recent paper published in Environmental Research Letters (ERL), a team of researchers led by Department of Geographical science’s Post-doc Katelyn Dolan introduce a new framework to assess forest vulnerability to increased disturbance rates. By comparing modeled estimates of ecosystem growth under various disturbance rates with annual satellite observations of forest disturbances, researchers estimated the increases in observed disturbance rates that may push forested ecosystems across the US into non-forest states, terming the metric of vulnerabil
Efforts to eradicate extreme poverty will have little impact on achieving climate targets, suggests a study led by Drs. Klaus Hubacek, Giovanni Baiocchi, and Kuishuang Feng in the Department of Geographical Sciences, in collaboration with Anand Patwardhan in the School of Public Policy UMD. However, elevating the income of the extremely poor to a fairly modest level will require additional climate mitigation efforts and resources.
An international team of authors including UMD Department of Geographical Sciences researchers Louise Chini, Fernando Sedano, Ritvik Sahajpal, Matt Hansen, and George Hurtt, recently published an article titled "A global view of shifting cultivation: Recent, current, and future extent" in the open source journal PLOS One. This article is a first attempt at mapping extent of shifting cultivation landscapes globally until the end of the 21st century.
Using climate and vegetation models, researchers and predict that if humans adopt the strict climate mitigation strategies under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 2.6, wetland methane (CH4) emissions may still overtake anthropogenic methane emissions during the mid-21st century due to climate change-induced increases in the extent of boreal wetlands and in temperature-driven tropical methane emissions, highlighting the need to consider wetland methane feedbacks to climate forcing in mitigation policies.