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June 1, 2023

Title: Co-Production of Satellite-Derived Vegetation Health Reports with Marshall Islands Stakeholder Communities

Speaker: David Helweg, USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center

Date: June 9 at 2:00 pm Eastern

Abstract.  The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a sovereign Small Island State characterized by low-lying coral atolls and islands in the tropical North Pacific Ocean. Multiple hazards, such as coastal inundation and flooding, saltwater intrusion and drought threaten freshwater and agriculture security of Marshallese communities. Vegetation communities also serve as habitat for wildlife and thus also are at risk. These threats are exacerbated by climate variability and change. Despite congressional funding, indigenous Marshallese communities remain underserved, and hazards management and humanitarian assistance programs operate with limited environmental information that requires substantial expertise to transform complex geospatial data to decision-ready tables and graphics. A team of U.S. Geological Survey scientists partnered with natural hazards and agricultural program managers in the RMI, United States Agency for International Development, and U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service to use satellite data to develop monthly map-based reports of precipitation and vegetation conditions for locations selected by RMI officials. The monthly reports contribute to situational awareness by providing a first-of-its-kind spatial detail and science translation for decision makers in the RMI.

Project Author Affiliations:

Gabriel Senay1, Kurtis Nelson1, David Helweg2 and Thomas Cecere3

1 USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center

2 USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center

3 USGS National Land Imaging Program

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