Senior Research Geographer, University of California, Santa Barbara
The UCSB, including Dr. Husak and Dr. Chris Funk, has a long history of food security analysis and drought monitoring in developing countries. Activities for Harvest focus on three areas:
1) development of short-term and seasonal forecasts of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration to integrate with Earth observation data,
2) enhancing the capacity of partners and stakeholders in developing countries, and
3) supporting UMD on the development of web-enabled tools to improve access to Earth observation datasets.
These efforts will involve collaborations with many Harvest partners, including NASA Goddard, the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, SERVIR, the Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, U.S. Agency for International Development, and USDA-FAS among others. Our target end users are vast, and range from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), IGAD Climate Predication and Applications Centre (ICPAC), along with meteorological services and agricultural ministries in target countries.
The Climate Hazards Group provides climate analysis, drought monitoring and data support for food security applications across much of the developing world. This work has led to the creation of the Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS) dataset, which has become a standard for monitoring rainfall throughout Africa. The CHG is composed of 12 scientists and programmers at UCSB and seven field scientists positioned throughout Africa and Central America. This team allows us to integrate remotely sensed and modeled data with ground-based information to provide cutting edge details on the conditions being faced by vulnerable populations. Furthermore, the network developed by the field scientists and a longtime association with FEWSNET provide opportunities to build capacity by key stakeholders and partners, and allow datasets and information to reach the decision-makers.