James Verdin is a Program Manager with the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) team at USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). He works with Harvest on projects related to the application of EO data to monitor and forecast agroclimatological conditions in countries at risk of acute food insecurity. In 2016, he helped launch the Crop Monitor for Early Warning (cropmonitor.org), which is compiled monthly through a collaborative international process involving experts from around the world. NASA Harvest's work on Earth observations for food security and agriculture aligns well with the operational needs of USAID BHA for evidence to support famine early warning.
Prior to his time at USAID, James P. Verdin was a physical scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Resources Observation and Science Center. He worked in the National Integrated Drought Information System program office at NOAA in Boulder, Colorado. He led USGS ET remote sensing efforts for the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART Program. He has been part of the USGS team supporting the FEWS NET and other U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs since 1992. He has extensive project experience in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the western United States. Dr. Verdin holds a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; an M.S. in civil engineering from Colorado State University; and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara.