2015 GOFC-GOLD Data Training Initiative

The GOFC-GOLD Data Initiative Advanced Training will take place in July 20 – August 8, 2015. Nine fellows from Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Bulgaria, South Africa, Togo, India, Nepal, and Madagascar will attend this year’s training.

The first week of the training will take place at the USGS EROS Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Participants will receive advanced training on data management and archiving practices; access, download, and compile pertinent regional and country-level data sets, including on on land cover, land use, fire observations. Fellows will then head to Boston University to get advanced training on use of relevant software for data processing and application. Upon returning to their home countries and institutions, the participants are expected to serve as focal points for distribution of acquired data and skills in their regions and provide training to their colleagues.


Meet the Fellows

Nivohary Ramaronson
Nivohary Ramaronson is working at the Climate Change Department within the Ministry of Environment in Madagascar. She develops climate change strategies and mitigation projects. She is currently working on a project which aims to monitor forest changes and fires by using satellite data. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Antananarivo where she is working on the monitoring of land cover and land use change of a new protected area in the South West part of Madagascar.

“My goal is to use the skills acquired on the use of LANDSAT data to monitor land cover and land use change in the context of climate change. The skills acquired will help me to enhance the remote sensing network inside the Ministry of Environment in Madagascar.”


John Ejiet Wasige
Dr. John Ejiet Wasige is from Uganda (East Africa). He holds a PhD in Geo-Science from ITC-The Netherlands. His research interests are focused on the application of Free Open Source Satellite Earth Observation data in resolving large-scale resource and sustainability concerns in Africa through the integration of geospatial and social sciences.

“The GOFC-GOLD Workshop will provide me with opportunity to gain skills and knowledge in large spatial data analysis with aim of addressing critical research needs (species and ecosystem health modeling, climate change impacts, food security scenario analysis) and ensuring global environmental sustainability. I am expecting to work in an international research environment and network with world scientists.”


Mercy Ojoyi
Dr. Mercy Ojoyi is an Environmental Scientist with a background in Environmental Sciences acquired from University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, University of Guelph, University of Twente (ITC) in the Netherlands, Moi University and University of Bonn, which have provided professional and solid foundation in the process of my career development. She has applied remote sensing techniques in solving complex environmental challenges including climate change, scenario development, and assessment of impacts on ecosystems and livelihoods. She has worked at both the local and international platforms on climate change projects including the African Initiative Research Programme, Canada, Alcoa Foundation Sustainability Programme, and the International Climate Protection Programme of the Humboldt Foundation.

“I am developing an in-depth understanding pertaining ecosystem dynamics, land productivity, and mapping out high risk areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project aims at facilitating development of interventions in the context of decision making particularly on optimal land productivity and long term conservation scenarios. I hope to gain an in-depth training and skills pertaining effective ways to unravel change processes by use of satellite imagery and tangible points of action.”


Shiva Khanal
Mr. Shiva Khanal is a Research Officer at the Department of Forest Research and Survey in Nepal. He has almost 10 years of working experience in different capacities including Ranger, Forest Inventory Crew Leader and Assistant Research Officer. He holds Masters by Research (Honors) from University of Western Sydney, Australia and B.Sc. degree in forestry from Nepal. His research interest includes forest monitoring over larger area by integrating field data with remote sensing based observations.

“I expect to get practical insights on the special features and applications of data sets from Landsat, MODIS, ASTER and others. My additional wish list includes aspects related to satellite data acquisition.”


Pham Ngoc Hai
Pham Ngoc Hai is a researcher at the Center of Multidisciplinary Integrated Technologies for Field Monitoring (FIMO Center) at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Vietnam National University (VNU) in Ha noi, Vietnam. He is currently working on Earth observation datasets (MODIS, NPP, Landsat) for air pollution, forest fire, and rice monitoring. Pham has been trained in remote sensing and GIS for land cover, forest cover classification and rice monitoring. He monitors land use and land cover changes in many eco-regional areas of Vietnam. Pham is part of the GOFC-GOLD Southeast Asia Regional Research and Information Network (SEARRIN).

“My training at the Data Initiative will help me to process large amounts of data. My goal is to take my training and data sets to do a better job of communicating land use/land cover changes to my colleagues.”


Hèou Maléki Badjana
Hèou Maléki Badjana received an MSc in Environment Management in 2010 at the University of Lomé, Togo where he is affiliated to the Laboratory of Botany and Plant Ecology as a research assistant. As a PhD student of the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) and its graduate research program of “Climate Change and Water Resources” at the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin, he recently submitted his PhD-thesis focusing on integrated river basin assessment for sustainable land and water resources management in West Africa using remote sensing, GIS and hydrological modeling techniques, for reviewing.

“I am expecting to have access to a wide range of satellite datasets in order to facilitate their dissemination and use but also to learn more methodological approaches and tools, and acquire new skills in the use of satellite data for land and water resources conservation and planning in West Africa.”


Suryakant A. Sawant
Suryakant A. Sawant completed his B.Tech. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri (Maharashtra, India) in 2008. He completed his M.Tech. in Technology and Development from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), (Mumbai, India) in 2010. Presently, he is a PhD research scholar at Centre of Studies in Resources Engg. (CSRE) IITB and working on the topic “Sensor Web Enablement for Water and Pest Management in Horticulture (Citrus)”. His areas of interest are Remote Sensing of Vegetation, Wireless Sensor Network Application (WSN) in Agriculture, Geographic Information System, Information and Communication Technologies for Agricultural Applications, Hydrology and Irrigation and Drainage Engineering.

“My main motivation to attend the advanced training at the EROS Center and University of Boston are, 1) To study the advances in satellite data processing for vegetation monitoring especially crop evapotranspiration estimation using satellite based surface energy balance for water management in horticulture crops (i.e. Citrus / Mandarin). 2) To estimate citrus crop growth stage, using satellite based remote sensing and data assimilation techniques for crop resources (water, fertilizer) management. 3) At regional level setup community to facilitate the use and sharing of RS data for Education, Research and in house training programs (e.g. Continuing Education Programs (CEP), Quality Improvement Programs (QIP)).”


Ilina Kamenova
Ilina Kamenova is a PhD student at the Space Research and Technology institute in Bulgaria. Her disertation deals with assessment of vegetation properties using remote sensing data. She has particular interest in biochemical parameters such as nitrogen and chlorophyll content. Recently she went for 6 weeks specialization in the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute in Tromso, Norway, working on a project dedicated to crop production and feed quality estimation of grassland fields near Tromso. She has defended her MSc at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, also working on estimation of crop biochemical parameters, using hyperspectral remote sensing data and Sentinel-2 simulations.

“The advanced training at EROS centre and Boston University will provide me, my research organization and the SCERIN regional network with vast data sets and training in advanced methods for monitoring landscape changes and particularly changes in areas with extensive agricultural activity.”


Godfrey Pachavo
Godfrey Pachavo gained both his BSc and MPhil degrees from the University of Zimbabwe. His research interests include earth observation science and spatial ecology, where he produced research output on net primary productivity modelling and its distribution patterns in relation to land use/tenure and biomass assessment for thermal power generation. He is a Research Associate in the Geo-information and Remote Sensing Institute (GRSI) of the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC).

“I want to understand the USGS EO data server (EarthExplorer) in order to effectively utilise its EO products when back home. I expect to gain capacity especially on Image processing methods for biomass and biodiversity monitoring applications.”


Last Updated on July 21st, 2015




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