GEOGLAM is an international G20-endorsed program geared toward enhancing the use of Earth observations (EO) to strengthen decision making, action taking, and policy in the realms of food security and sustainable agriculture. As major contributions to GEOGLAM, NASA Harvest funds co-chairpersonship of GEOGLAM (C.O. Justice), the coordination and leadership of the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor (I. Becker-Reshef et al.), and leadership of the EO Data Thematic Coordination Team and co-leadership of the Essential Agriculture Variables for GEOGLAM working group (A.K. Whitcraft).
GEOGLAM is the Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative. Launched in June 2011 by the Group of Twenty (G20) Agriculture Ministers and reaffirmed in January 2017, the GEOGLAM initiative forms part of the G20 Action Plan on Food Price Volatility, which also includes the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS). GEOGLAM is a collaborative initiative with an inherently synthetic focus. It draws on the expert knowledge and experience of international agriculture experts from around the world, who focus on food production and food security and national, regional, and global scales. GEOGLAM aims to leverage and build upon existing programs and activities through coordinated Earth observation, capacity development, monitoring, and research and development activities.
Drs. Chris Justice and Inbal Becker-Reshef of NASA Harvest along with others in the Department of Geographical Sciences at UMD were instrumental in the conception, design, and realization of GEOGLAM, starting with leading the GEO Agricultural Monitoring Task and helping organize and establish the GEO Agriculture Monitoring Community of Practice (Ag CoP). Today, Justice, Becker-Reshef, and Alyssa Whitcraft are still instrumental in GEOGLAM program leadership, with critical support of the programs activities led by Harvest: we coordinate the monthly GEOGLAM Crop Monitor for AMIS and Crop Monitor for Early Warning, staff the GEOGLAM Secretariat, and serve as co-leads on the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Ad Hoc Team for GEOGLAM and on regional networks (e.g. AmeriGEOSS, GEOGLAM Latinoamerica, and AfriGAM).
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At the core of GEOGLAM’s activities is the coordination of Earth observations, including satellite-based data drawn from both the commercial and civil space agencies. In the latter case, this is accomplished through a strong relationship with the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). Dr. Alyssa Whitcraft is leading an effort to “reboot” the requirements to account for advances in agricultural monitoring techniques, methodologies, and research outcomes, as culled from research activities which have taken place in the context of GEOGLAM. She continues to work with CEOS to translate requirements into specific, actionable acquisition requests for site, sub-national, national, regional, and global extent, as well as to set definitions for “analysis ready” data for both optical and SAR systems.