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
2018 • Drone 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.
2016 • Weather 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.
2015 • Weather 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.
2014 • Field-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.