My research addresses the intersection of environmental niche and agricultural system decisions, transforming scientific data into actionable knowledge through maps and spatial analysis.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Precision agriculture for smallholder farming systems in Africa 
"The purpose of this project is to collect and integrate multi-scale data and analytic techniques to generate inter- and intra-seasonal decision support guidance capable of improving Malawian smallholder farmers’ agricultural productivity. Recent advances in data management and modeling and in the commercialization of remote sensing tools are leading to dramatic improvements in our understanding of the multi-scale spatial patterns of soils, weather and climate, and agricultural productivity. These types of data are now increasingly available in Africa to combine with farm survey data on farm management, input use, and soil characteristics to provide inter- and intra-seasonal decision support guidance for agricultural extension systems for the benefit of smallholder farmers. In essence, the project seeks to demonstrate how to make agriculture in developing countries 'smarter' through newly available tools for collecting and and analyzing large volumes of data on productivity, suitability, and producer behavior." PI: Dr. Joseph Messina
• Visit k-state.edu/siil/whatwedo/currentprojects/malawi for additional information.

ONGOING & PAST PROJECTS

Perennial grain crops for African smallholder farming systems 
"Cultivation of perennial grain crops such as wheat, rice and sorghum, by smallholder African farmers potentially has many benefits, such as alleviation or reversal of soil degradation, increased soil health, reclamation of marginal land, and increased crop profitability. However, there has been little research devoted to the development of these crops for use in the tropics, particularly for marginal lands, and adoption by farmers may be difficult, especially without seeing immediate benefits and profits from soil conservation......One of the most common and most commonly overlooked development tasks is targeting. In this sense we are referring here to proactively determining the appropriate location and scaling potential for any development innovation. We faced three distinct problems with targeting and scaling perennial grains. 1) where is the agriculture, 2) where is a perennial grain innovation appropriate and scalable given biophysical constraints, current or future, and 3) how do we disentangle social factors driving poorly producing agricultural regions." PI: Dr. Sieglinde Snapp
• Visit globalchangescience.org/eastafricanode and pgrainsforafrica.psm.msu.edu for additional information.​​​​​​​

FIELD RESEARCH

2018Drone imaging and crop chlorophyll data acquisition
Prepared drone flight plans for collecting high spatial resolution (3–10 cm resolution) multispectral imagery (RGB, NIR, and Red Edge) at Africa RISING trial farms in Machinga, Malawi (senseFly eBee equipped with Parrot Sequoia multispectral camera). Collected ground measurements with SPAD 502 chlorophyll meter for each plot within the trial farms.
2016Weather station construction in Vietnam
Assembled and installed weather stations on cassava trial farms in Yen Bai Province and Ho Chi Minh City. Technical workshop conducted with researchers at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and Hung Loc Agricultural Research Center in Vietnam. The stations are set to record data continuously at 15-minute intervals and will provide access to data on wind speed, wind direction, barometric pressure, temperature, relative humidity, dew point, precipitation, photosynthetically active radiation, and soil moisture. 
2015Weather station construction in Central Malawi
Navigated the Malawian landscape assessing cropland and land-cover via true color imagery, near-infrared imagery, visual inspection, and on-site interviews. Constructed a weather station at Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme.
2014Field-verifying satellite imagery in Malawi
Assembled and installed weather stations at (1) Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR), (2) Linthipe Extension Planning Area (EPA), (3) Golomoti EPA, and (4) Nsipe EPA. Technical workshop conducted with faculty and staff at LUANAR in Lilongwe, Malawi.