GSCE doctoral students receive fellowships to study African grasslands, water resources

Two doctoral students, Njoki Kahiu and Esther Mosase, have received Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowships to support research using earth-imaging satellite data through the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence to manage natural resources in Africa.

News Date: 
Sep 22, 2015

New analysis suggests trees contribute to re-greening of the Sahel

A GSCE team recently completed a study of long-term vegetation dynamics in 260 watersheds of the West African Sahel.  Postdoctoral research Armel Kaptué with GSCE faculty Lara Prihodko and Niall Hanan found consistent recovery (“re-greening”) of vegetation since the severe droughts of the 1970s and 1980s, but with strong regional differences related to the degree of recovery of woody plant populations.  While human-induced degradation occurs in areas of most intensive land-use, the study concludes that overgrazing and desertification are not as ubiquitous in the Sahel as often reported. The full article is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1509645112).

News Date: 
Sep 21, 2015

GSCE Graduate Students Doing Fieldwork in Kenya

Geospatial Science and Engineering PhD program students Njoki Kahiu and Chris Axelsson are currently doing fieldwork in Kenya as part of their independent research projects.  Both are working in savanna landscapes, with field sites in Amboseli, Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks and in private conservancies in Laikipea district.  Njoki is measuring leaf area index (LAI) of woody and herbaceous plants as the rainy season progresses for comparison to remote sensing estimates she is deriving from MODIS data. Chris is collecting detailed information on woody community structure (density and size of trees and shrubs) for comparison to high resolution satellite estimates.  Local collaborators include the Kenya Wildlife Service who have provided access to the National Parks for this research, and communities associated with group ranches and private conservancies in Laikipea.

GSCE Graduate students Njoki Kahiu and Chris Axelsson (3rd and 5th from right) with advisor Niall Hanan (2nd from right) at the Il Ngwesi group ranch eco-lodge, Laikipea district, Kenya.

News Date: 
Sep 21, 2015

Dr. David Roy presents at U.K. Remote Sensing Conference

Dr. Roy attended the RSPSoc, NCEO & CEOI-ST Joint Annual Conference 2015, University of Southampton, U.K., Sept 8-11th 2015 as a member of the conference steering committee, and give the following two oral presentations and met with European collaborators.

  1. Roy, D.P., Kumar, S., Zhang, H., Boschetti, L., Prototyping a Landsat-8 Sentinel-2 Burned Area Product, RSPSoc, NCEO & CEOI-ST Joint Annual Conference 2015, University of Southampton, U.K., Sept 8-11th 2015.
  2. Roy, D.P., Yan, L., White, E.,  Mapping and monitoring field sizes and their change from Landsat time series RSPSoc, NCEO & CEOI-ST Joint Annual Conference 2015, University of Southampton, U.K., Sept 8-11th 2015.



News Date: 
Sep 14, 2015

Dr. Cochrane participates in climate change press conference

Due to the worsening wildfire situation in the western United States, Professor Mark Cochrane was requested to participate in a ‘media presser’ as one of three professionals informing a wide array of journalists and reporters about the role of climate change in these events. The event was organized by Climate Nexus, a group that works—primarily through the media—to change the conversation on climate change and clean energy in the US. The press conference has resulted in reported stories including:

News Date: 
Sep 02, 2015