NASA Announces Funding For Eight New Projects Under SERVIR Africa Hubs

After a multi-round solicitation process, NASA has selected the 20 projects comprising the next SERVIR Applied Sciences Team.

Each of the proposed projects has been developed alongside one of the five regional SERVIR hubs—located in Eastern & Southern Africa, Hindu Kush Himalaya, Lower Mekong, West Africa, and Amazonia. Projects were selected across thematic service areas, balancing needs identified by each hub in topics such as water scarcity, food security, land cover monitoring, and disaster preparedness.

The team includes members based out of NASA research centres and private and public academic institutions across the U.S. Each Principal Investigator (PI) will be leading a separate project, supported by Co-Investigators (Co-Is) and hub-based researchers. PIs will also be available to collaborate across the global SERVIR network within their areas of expertise.

“We are excited; this new team will support decision making in SERVIR regions with innovative and practical uses of Earth observations,” SERVIR Chief Scientist Ashutosh Limaye said.

Funding over the full 3 years of the grants from NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) totals $13.7 million. This will be the third iteration of the SERVIR Applied Sciences Team, with previous selections in 2011 and 2015.

The projects to be implemented include the following:

SERVIR West Africa Hub

  1. Geospatial Information Tools That Use Machine-Learning to Enable Sustainable Groundwater Management in West Africa. Principal Investigator is Norm Jones with affiliation with Brigham Young University.
  2. Linking deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural expansion for land use decisions in Ghana. Principal Investigator is Jasmeet Judge with affiliation with University of Florida, Gainesville.
  3. Supporting continuous monitoring and sample-based estimation of land change and forest degradation in West Africa. Principal Investigator is Pontus Olofsson with affiliation with Boston University.
  4. Connecting West Africa users to cutting edge resources: Integrating satellite observations and sub-seasonal climate forecasts to enhance agricultural and pastoral water-management decision-making using 21st-century agro-pastoral water deficit predictions. Principal Investigator is Shraddhanand Shukla with affiliation with University of California, Santa Barbara.

SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa Hub

  1. Using Earth Observations and Statistical Models to Enhance Drought, Food Security, and Agricultural Outlooks in Eastern and Southern Africa. Principal Investigator is Frank Davenport with affiliation with University of California, Santa Barbara.
  2. Range monitoring for decision support, pastoral livelihoods and food security in arid and
    semi-arid East and Southern Africa. Principal Investigator is Niall Hanan with affiliation with New Mexico State University.
  3. Earth Observation for National Agricultural Monitoring. Principal Investigator is Catherine Nakalembe with affiliation with the University of Maryland, College Park.
  4. In Situ Data Collection with Remote Sensing for Machine Learning Parameter Estimates and Improved Hydrologic Models for Flood, Drought and Agricultural Yield Forecasting – SERVIR Applied Science Team Step 2 Proposal – University of Colorado Boulder. Principal Investigator is Evan Thomas with affiliation with University of Colorado, Boulder.


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