Geospatial hydroclimatology data and approaches support important early warning systems for drought effects, such as the collaborative program between USAID and USGS known as FEWS NET (Famine and Early Warning System Network).
Climatology has long been an important field of geography. Geographic methods of spatial analysis can be effectively applied for the identification of hydro-climatic extremes and trends (droughts, floods, landslides, aridification, etc.) that threaten human livelihoods. This is true for the current time frame, and is becoming increasingly important for the construction of scenarios of 21st century climate change impacts. It is appropriate, then, that geographers use their expertise in spatially continuous modeling and analysis to develop new research and applications in this area. Geography also offers a unique framework for integrating climate services, environmental and land cover data, and socio-economic information, supporting the effective early warning and climate adaptation.
This task supports management of appropriated and reimbursable geospatial hydrology, climatology, and environmental activities sponsored by LCS (Drought Monitoring and Phenology; WaterSMART), USAID (FEWS NET; Sahel West Africa), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP GRID), and the Latin American Development Bank (CAF) – involving the development, management, and oversight of both technical and science contracts at EROS. Important university partners for these activities include the University of California, Santa Barbara; South Dakota State University; Utah State University; and the University of Washington.
This research is important because increased monitoring and modeling of climate variability and landscape change are needed to inform preparedness activities, early warning systems, and climate change adaptation. These methods can identify the deviations from normal conditions in ecosystems that indicate threats to vulnerable communities in the form of drought, floods, disease outbreaks, or other hazards. They can also reveal long term trends that foretell the need to adjust livelihoods to adapt to a changing world.
Principal Investigator: James Rowland, email@example.com, EROS Center, Sioux Falls, SD