Global Observation of Forest Cover and Land Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD)

Through its partnership with the NASA Global Observations of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD) project, START is leading a coordinated effort to improve developing country access to geospatial data, increase scientists’ capacity to utilize and produce the data needed for research and resource management, and foster regional and international networks of scientists interested in forest cover and land dynamics.

The GOFC-GOLD Data Training Initiative invites small groups of researchers, primarily from the GOFC-GOLD Regional Information Networks, to improve their use of remotely sensed Earth observations around the world. The Fellows are particularly experienced in mixed use of Earth observations and on-the-ground fieldwork and data validation.

Two GOFC-GOLD Advanced Training events were held in 2014 and 2015. The trainings occurred at the USGS EROS Center in South Dakota, which is the global leader in the distribution and application of earth observation data, and at Boston University in Massachusetts where fellows analyzed data and imagery and map landscape change. Upon returning to their home countries and institutions, the participants serve as focal points for distribution of acquired data and skills in their regions and provide training to their colleagues to fully utilize the data sets.

John Isaac Molefe

“Botswana currently does not have a critical mass of trained people who can take advantage of the freely-available remote sensing and GIS data. Therefore, in my teaching at University of Botswana, I will use my new skills to upgrade courses as a means to improve student skills for using Geospatial information. This will be one more step towards the development of the critical mass of trained people! Another important task will be to engage other Botswana institutions as shareholders in order for them to be able to tap into the data. This includes the Department of Surveys and Mapping, the Department of Town and Regional Planning, the Botswana International University of Science and Technology and the College of Agriculture at the University of Botswana. The last thing that I hope to accomplish is to advance independent research projects by using my sharpened skills in monitoring Land Use/Land Cover Change in Botswana...”

—John Isaac Molefe, Lecturer, University of Botswana, BOTSWANA (2014 Fellow)