NASA Harvest News
NASA Harvest Africa Program Lead, Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, has been named a 2020 Africa Food Prize Laureate for her innovative contributions in food security across Africa. Awarded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the Africa Food Prize is the preeminent award presented to outstanding individuals who are leading the effort to improve farming practices and outcomes in Africa. The $100,000 prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agriculture agenda. Looking ahead, Dr. Nakalembe hopes to expand her work to more regions and to have a direct impact on more people: “My hope is one day no farmer should operate in the dark without guidance or sufficient information."
Recently published in Scientific Data, research led by NASA Harvest partners Drs. David Lobell and Jillian Deines with Stefania Di Tommaso and Sherrie Wang, analyzed twenty years worth of satellite data for maize and soybean crops throughout the Midwestern United States.

Harvest Deputy Director, Dr. Alyssa Whitcraft, and Harvest Crop Condition Co-Lead, Dr. Ritvik Sahajpal, have been invited to serve as guest editors for MDPI Land’s Special Issue on Cropland Carbon, focused on regenerative agriculture techniques for enhancing soil and environmental health.
The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor for Early Warning was developed in 2016 in response to the need for timely and science-driven information on global crop conditions and to provide an early warning of potential production shortfalls for the most vulnerable regions that are at high risk of acute or chronic food insecurity.
The Lacuna Fund issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to fund the creation and/or augmentation of datasets for machine learning in Sub-Saharan Africa. Lacuna Fund hopes that these datasets will positively impact society by enabling natural language processing and machine learning research. The RFP closes Nov 6, 2020. Details on the RFP can be found here and applications can be filed here.
Upcoming Events
Harvest Deputy Director, Dr. Alyssa Whitcraft, will be co-chairing a session at EO for Ag Under Pressure- a free online workshop hosted by ESA. The workshop is designed to discuss challenges facing EO researchers in the field of agricultural monitoring. Participants will see panels on changing agricultural practices under the European Green Deal; efforts in adapting to changing climate; managing shifting water resources; and sustainable developments in agricultural yields. Harvest Partner, Sergii Skakun, will be presenting on Harvest's utilization of EO for food monitoring and security.
October 13 - 15, 2020
Planet Explore 2020 is set to be held virtually this year and will be free for all attendees! The live event will include talks from several keynote speakers, opportunities to learn from end users, and discussions on leveraging satellite imagery and insights. Goals of the annual conference are to "bring together industry thought leaders, customers, partners, end users, and developers for two days of learning and conversation."
This year's AWRA Conference aims to cover a variety of topics revolving around innovative, practical, and applied water resource management solutions, management techniques, and current research. Water resources as they relate to agricultural productivity, drought effects, and sustainability are among the wide-ranging areas of focus with an emphasis on lessons learned from multidisciplinary projects, best practices in resource applications, and policy decision impacts.
NASA Harvest's Alyssa Whitcraft and Varaprasad Bandaru will be leading sessions and giving presentations on NASA Harvest and remote sensing applications for agriculture. More details on the agenda are forthcoming, visit the ACS meeting website to register today.
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.