NASA Harvest’s All-Hands meeting and Eastern Africa and Domestic Strategy Day were held on June 24 and June 26 during the week of the NASA Harvest Conference. Working events on these days focused on Harvest’s strategy for ongoing projects and specific collaborative areas of work. These events provided an opportunity for Harvest partners to share their progress, learn more about the broad range of work Harvest covers, and find ways to work more effectively towards Harvest’s goals.
To minimize passive listening and maximize exchange, the All-Hands meeting utilized a “Marketplace of Ideas” as well as breakout groups on select topics. The Marketplace of Ideas consisted of presentation stations wherein partners were invited to present their Harvest-related work in a series of lighting sessions followed immediately by an opportunity to respond to questions from non-presenting partners. Abstracts were collected and distributed in advance to help attendees select which presentation stations they would visit. This allowed partners to share their work, better understand what work was happening across the spectrum of Harvest partners, and form connections interactively from the outset.
Breakout discussions focused on implementation in the thematic areas of domestic strategy as well as food security and early warning, bringing together ideas and identifying possible areas for enhanced collaboration and potential new initiatives. Inbal Becker Reshef and Chris Justice helped to summarize areas where shared progress can be made on advancing the use of Earth observation (EO) towards operational activities and for decision making and development.
The meeting on June 26 focused on two of NASA Harvest’s cross-cutting regional areas: an all-day session on Eastern Africa and a parallel afternoon session on the United States. High-level presentations and group discussions advanced Harvest’s work and international coordination on operational user needs, priorities, and future directions in these regions.
Catherine Nakalembe and presenters from the region focused on Earth observations integration in agricultural monitoring in Eastern Africa. Panel discussions focused on articulating the current state of science for ways in which satellite-derived information can be used to inform national and regional decisions and policies. Presentations and discussions highlighted transferable and operations-ready applications, discussed major challenges including ground data and technology transfer, and identified priorities for a range of stakeholders.
For Domestic Strategy, a focused group explored Harvest activities on public-private partnerships, on establishing ongoing NASA-USDA dialogue on emerging Earth observation technologies and data sources, and on improving EO-usage at the intersection of agriculture and water use in the US. The discussions led to a set of priorities where shared progress can be made on advancing the use of EO for decision-making, action-taking, and policy-making. A full meeting report is forthcoming, which will articulate these priorities and ways forward.