In efforts led by GEOG Assistant Research Professor Dr. Mike Humber, the NASA Harvest Consortium and several of its partners recently received two separate grant awards to support furthering remote sensing and Earth observation research for improved agricultural monitoring and decision-support.
The first award comes from NASA's "Rapid Response and Novel Research in Earth Sciences" solicitation which called for novel research projects that can immediately respond to unforeseen events in the Earth system, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The team includes international partners from multi-sector institutions such as AMIS and its Steering Committee member organizations, including the International Grain Council, the World Trade Organization, OECD, IFPRI, FAO, and the World Food Program (WFP). The group of experts plans to develop a geospatial platform that analyzes diverse supply chain information and assesses relevant food supply data sets in order to provide easily-accessible information for policy makers around the world.
The second source of grant funding for a separate project, again spear-headed by Dr. Humber, was awarded by the "GEO-Amazon Earth Observation Cloud Credits Programme." This collaborative grant program provides Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing credits for projects that support environmental and sustainable development goals (ie. the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement, and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development). This research team is also comprised of a wide variety of partners across the NASA Harvest Consortium and University of Maryland Department of Geographical Sciences, including: Dr. Inbal Becker-Reshef, Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, Dr. Hannah Kerner, Estefania Puricelli, John Keniston, Antonio Sanchez-Galvez, as well as several NASA Harvest national collaborators. This project will focus on GEO implementation of Sen2Agri in the AWS cloud to generate several national cropland and crop type maps in support of the work of the NASA Harvest Consortium, based out of the Department of Geographical Sciences, and its partner organizations.