My passion for agriculture stems from my family’s viticulture business, from a background in international development, and from a long-standing interest in methods of maintaining human livelihoods. My training in geography turned my attention toward remote sensing and geospatial methodologies, and showed the importance of spatial thinking in global problem-solving.

My research focuses on agriculture and the monitoring and mapping of agricultural characteristics and processes worldwide. I have spent most of my career leading efforts to define Earth observations data requirements for global agricultural monitoring, and working with space agencies through CEOS in order to increase acquisition of, availability and continuity of, and access to consistently pre-processed satellite data sets for agriculture. In this vein, I am the agriculture point of contact for the CEOS Ad Hoc Team on and GEOGLAM lead GEOGLAM's Earth observation data coordination activity. 

I continue to work on generalized and crop-specific phenological detection and metrics definition, although program management and coordination, data policy, and capacity development activities have emerged as core interests for me beyond research.

I am the Associate Director and Program Manager for the NASA Harvest Program.

I am the lead of the Agricultural Monitoring in the Americas initiative, the joint community and implementing group of both GEOGLAM Latinoamerica and AmeriGEOSS Food Security & Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. More at

I also have a side interest in Geographic education research and knowledge transfer methodologies, as well as issues of equity and access to knowledge and resources in virtual and traditional classrooms. I aim to bring an intersectional lens to everything I do, personal and professional.

Areas of Interest

  • Agriculture
  • Remote Sensing
  • International Development
  • Capacity Development
  • Program Management
  • Policy
  • Viticulture


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Geographical Sciences; University of Maryland, College Park 2014
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Geography/Environmental Studies & International Development Studies (double major); University of California, Los Angeles 2007
This is a picture of my face
4321 Hartwick Rd. Suite 410
Department of Geographical Sciences
alyssakw [at]