Assistant Research Professor Jan Dempewolf, Faculty Research Assistant Jon Nordling and Graduate Student Ahmad Khan traveled to Pakistan from March 15-29, 2014, to work with partner insitutions in the Punjab and Sindh Provinces on improving local capacity for satellite-based crop monitoring. In this project, under the leadership of Inbal Becker-Reshef and Jan Dempewolf, members of the Department of Geographical Sciences are developing tools and data products to facilitate the monitoring of crop conditions throughout the growing season and help provide more accurate forecasts on end-of-season harvests of major crops.
During their most recent visit, the researchers installed Linux servers with the advanced versions of the Global Agricultural Monitoring System (GLAM) customized to Pakistan and Windows workstations at the Crop Reporting Services offices in Punjab and Sindh Provinces as well as the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam. The project has also installed Geo-ODK, an open-source solution for mobile data collection based on the OpenDataKit (ODK) to improve the speed, accuracy and overall efficiency of field data collection by crop reporters and University researchers. The hard- and software installations are the first of their kind in Faisalabad and in the Sindh Province with a specific focus on GIS and remote sensing for agriculture; thus, the technology was well-received. The project has provided a basis for further collaboration among the partner organizations and with the University of Maryland.