While the world was captivated by recent images of Pluto coming in from the New Horizon’s mission, 20 scientists gathered at Memorial Union to use NASA data to map 3.7 billion acres of cropland on Earth.
Mutlu Ozdogan, associate professor of forest and wildlife ecology, hosted the sixth workshop on Global Food Security – Support Analysis Data @ 30m (GFSAD30). Using satellite data and special software, the NASA-funded GFSAD30 project will document cropland changes from 1990 to 2017 to provide a record of water use, crop type and productivity, cropping intensity and other information vital to global food security.
“Having accurate and up-to-date cropland information helps us do better accounting of agricultural productivity, water use, as well as environmental sustainability – all critical for studying global food security,” says Ozdogan. “From the vantage point of space, satellites give us the unique ability to extract this information repeatedly and at global scales without bias.”
Participants include researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NASA, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), USDA and several universities.