NASA Harvest News
As COVID-19 continues to touch nearly every aspect of our daily lives, the impacts that the virus is having on agriculture and food production are a primary concern given the global, interconnected nature of the food system. A need exists for easily-accessible tools that enable agricultural stakeholders to gain a comprehensive understanding of COVID-19 impacts as they relate to food availability. Under P.I. Dr. Mike Humber, NASA Harvest developed the NASA Harvest COVID-19 Dashboard in an effort to help stakeholders quantify the pandemic’s impact on agricultural production and food security worldwide. Supported by NASA’s Rapid Response and Novel Research in Earth Science Program and backed by multiple COVID-19 and satellite datasets, the system will be maintained over the coming months and is currently accepting additional data submissions.
Learn more and email info@nasaharvest.org to contribute.
Published this month in Nature Food by NASA Harvest partners Dr. Jillian Deines, Dr. David Lobell, and Stefania Di Tommmaso of Stanford University, Changes in the drought sensitivity of US maize yields” explores the impacts of climate change on drought frequency and maize production in key agricultural areas throughout the U.S.
The El Nino/La Nina climate cycle has a massive impact on the temperature and precipitation of many regions throughout the world. A recent study by NASA Harvest partner Dr. John Bolten looked specifically at the impact of the cycle on agricultural productivity in Africa and the possibility of using the cycle's timeline to predict future crop yields.
The ongoing military conflict in Eastern Ukraine has caused significant amounts of agricultural and industrial change in the region. Harvest Partner, Dr. Sergii Skakun, was recently awarded a grant to use EO data to study the scale of the change over the life of the conflict while also quantifying the extent of crop rotation and accompanying environmental impacts.
Improvements in remotely-sensed data availability and computational capabilities has led to a plethora of new applications in the agricultural field. Advancements in the field are being curated by Drs. Mehdi Hosseini, Ritvik Sahajpal, and Hannah Kerner in Remote Sensing Special Issue Recent Advances for Crop Mapping and Monitoring Using Remote Sensing Data.
Spearheaded by Dr. Catherine Nakalembe in coordination with international collaborators, Discoveries in Remote Sensing is seeking innovative work on “remote sensing applications, methods, technology, theory, discussions, and ethics” produced by research teams embodying the Section’s goal of trans-disciplinary research and diverse perspectives.
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Upcoming Events
Dr. Catherine Nakalembe (NASA Harvest Africa Lead), gave a presentation and participated in a discussion on climate adaptation measures at the UN's FCCC 2020 Climate Dialogues on November 30th. The virtual meeting continues this week and registration for the remainder of the 10 day conference is still open and free of charge.
The AGU 2020 Fall Meeting will be held virtually this year. NASA Harvest's Alyssa Whitcraft will co-convene a session on "Remote sensing applications for assessing the impacts of COVID-19 on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and helping with mitigation response", our Africa Lead Catherine Nakalembe is co-convening a session titled "Earth Observation Applications to Agriculture and Food Security System Shocks" with partners at SERVIR, FAO, and USAID, and Harvest's Hannah Kerner is leading the "Machine Learning for Planetary Science" session. NASA's Applied Sciences Water Resources Program is also sponsoring the "Remote Sensing Applications for Water Management" session.