AGS has ongoing projects around the world. Use the map below to browse our work and learn more.
With funding from the NASA Carbon Monitoring System, Applied GeoSolutions is leading an effort to improve forest monitoring capabilities in Indonesia. The project team, with members from Winrock, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of New Hampshire, Wageningen University, and the University of Virginia, is working closely with the LAPAN, the Indonesian space agency, to collect and analyze LiDAR imagery from across Kalimantan, the Indonesian section of the island of Borneo. The 3-dimensional pictures of the forests provided by the LiDAR imagery are being integrated with information from satellites and from field plots collected on the ground to create a more accurate picture of the carbon content of Indonesian forests. As part of this project, the team will conduct a series of workshops in Indonesia on the use of LiDAR and RADAR data for forest monitoring applications.
The Food and Agriculture Organization estimate more than one billion people are currently undernourished at the same time urbanization is converting cropland to urban land uses. Resilient and sustainable agricultural development is critically needed to ensure more self-sufficiency in crop production and to enhance livelihoods in developing countries. Monitoring of cropland extent, cropping intensity (single, double, and triple crops), irrigation, and crop production is required to support food security programs. In collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Kyoto & Carbon Initiative (K&CI) we are using ALOS PALSAR to map paddy rice across Monsoon Asia. Rice represents one of the world’s most important crops providing energy to more than a billion people and occupying 11% of arable land.
Research at the intersection of limnology and public health is showing that toxins produced from cyanobacteria act as a trigger for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS affects upper and lower motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord with symptoms including wasting of muscles, weakness, difficulty speaking. A lack of water quality information on the presence, extent, magnitude, and intensity of harmful algal and blooms has limited our ability to understand linkages among cyanobacteria, toxicity, and human health. We are developing satellite remote sensing technologies to generate accurate maps and metrics of cyanobacteria and water quality. Operational imagers are combined with well-validated, adaptive algorithms to provide maps and metrics of water quality. We work directly with resource managers and public health officials to supply customized information.
Assessments of the efficacy of mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from rice paddy production have typically been analyzed based on site specific field studies. However, extrapolation of the mitigation potential of alternative management practices from field studies to watershed, province or national scales is enhanced by spatially explicit process models, like the DeNitrification and DeComposition (DNDC) model. Applied GeoSolutions led a study that produced an analysis of the dynamic impacts of several mitigation alternatives, varying water management, fertilizer, and rice straw practices, on net GHG emissions, rice yields, and water use at global scale. Our methodology has been applied for GHG inventory studies for Chinese rice paddies. The previous results indicated that, despite large scale adoption of midseason drainage which reduced methane emissions by about 50%, there was still large potential for additional methane reductions from Chinese rice paddies of 20-60% over 2000-2020. However, changes in management for reducing CH4 emissions simultaneously affect soil carbon dynamics as well as N2O emissions and can thereby reorder the ranking of technical mitigation effectiveness. The conclusions from this global scale modeling project will be published in late 2012. This work was supported by US EPA and included collaborators from University of New Hampshire, RTI and US EPA.
Agricultural row crops occupy hundreds of millions of acres, and decisions regarding tillage practices in these areas have a significant impact on the land and surrounding environment. With support from the USDA and NASA, we’ve made significant progress on our Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS). OpTIS seamlessly integrates multiple satellite technologies to gather data, applies customized agricultural algorithms, and generates maps that distributed via an online web-GIS tool. The system is scalable to any region, and can help map the distribution of tillage types, assess the effectiveness of management practices, manage carbon credits, or track relationships between tillage and ecosystems services.
As made clear by the extensive Conservation Effects Assessment Program study of cropland in the Upper Mississippi River Basin we must do much more to address nutrient loss from agriculture if we are to address the pressing water quality issues. At stake are the health of local and regional waters, many drinking water supplies, and the Gulf of Mexico – and the countless communities that depend on these vital resources. The Right Practice, Right Place project will address these economic and scientific challenges by developing new modeling tools and geospatial approaches that will maximize the effectiveness and water quality benefits of these priority practices by matching the right practice to the right place at both regional (major basin) and local (within HUC-12 watershed) scales; stimulate producer interest in implementing the right practice in the right place through improved economic incentives; and enable stakeholders to assess and compare the environmental and economic outcomes associated with different combinations of practices and practice locations at the watershed scale.
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