African scientists collaborate to solve global problems
As part of the Africa Water-Energy-Food-Health (AWEFH) Nexus initiative, in both February and June, the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science (GGS) partnered with the Environmental Science and Technology Center (ESTC) to offer two UN Environmental Programs (UNEP) on mapping and monitoring Africa's natural resources using remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) data. Science and policy delegates from Kenya, South Sudan, Senegal, BotswanaUganda, Egypt, and the United States gathered on Mason's Fairfax Campus for a series of lectures. Mason scientists covered topics ranging from the processing and analysis of remote sensing data to the utilization of this data for monitoring methane emissions and land carbon levels. Additionally, six Mason Science Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program (ASSIP) summer interns attended the second UNEP-Mason training workshop in June 2023 and prepared their final ASSIP presentations, along with abstracts, for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall meeting 2023.
The workshops offered sessions featuring remote sensing and GIS experts and leaders, including Mason GGS faculty and ETSC researchers Xianjun Hao and John Qu, as well as Bouchra Taouil, the African Coordinator. Additional experts in attendance included Charles Sebukeera and Pushpam Kumar from UNEP, Zhiliang Zhu from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and Ashbindu Singh from the Environmental Pulse Institute. Ritesh Gautam from the Environmental Defense Fund and John Wilson from Terrapulse Inc. were also present. These UNEP-GMU training workshops provide an excellent opportunity for Mason to make a global impact and foster future collaborations with UN agencies and African countries.