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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report CONTRIBUTIONS OF LAND REMOTE SENSING FOR DECISIONS ABOUT FOOD SECURITY AND HUMAN HEALTH WORKSHOP REPORT Committee on the Earth System Science for Decisions About Human Welfare: Contributions of Remote Sensing Geographical Sciences Committee Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington,D.C. www.nap.edu
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Award No. W24736; U.S. Department of Agriculture Award No. 59-0790-3-194; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Award No. 200-2000-00629, Task Order No. 18; and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Award No. 4W-3838-NALX. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations contained in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agencies that provided support for the project. Mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations does not constitute their endorsement by the sponsoring agencies. International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-10295-2 International Standard Book Number-13: 978-309-10295-7 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet http://www.nap.edu. Cover: A choropleth map showing levels of poverty in northern and western Kenya fades into a satellite image showing the color of the Earth’s surface in northern Tanzania. Kenya poverty gap index map courtesy of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Columbia University. Satellite imagery courtesy of NASA. Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report COMMITTEE ON EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE FOR DECISIONS ABOUT HUMAN WELFARE: CONTRIBUTIONS OF REMOTE SENSING RUTH S. DEFRIES, Chair, University of Maryland, College Park ROBERTA BALSTAD, Columbia University, Palisades, New York RITA COLWELL, University of Maryland, College Park TOM P. EVANS, Indiana University, Bloomington NINA S.-N. LAM, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge JOEL MICHAELSEN, University of California, Santa Barbara KAREN SETO, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California MARK L. WILSON, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor National Research Council Staff SAMMANTHA MAGSINO, Study Director (since February 2006) HEDY J. ROSSMEISSL, Study Director (through February 2006) PEGGY TSAI, Associate Program Officer AMANDA M. ROBERTS, Senior Project Assistant (through August 2006) JARED P. ENO, Senior Project Assistant (since August 2006)
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report GEOGRAPHICAL SCIENCES COMMITTEE ROGER M. DOWNS, Chair, Pennsylvania State University, University Park BRIAN J. L. BERRY, University of Texas, Dallas SUSAN L. CUTTER, University of South Carolina, Columbia RUTH S. DEFRIES, University of Maryland, College Park WILLIAM E. EASTERLING III, Pennsylvania State University, University Park PATRICIA GOBER, Arizona State University, Tempe MICHAEL F. GOODCHILD, University of California, Santa Barbara SUSAN HANSON, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts JONATHAN D. MAYER, University of Washington, Seattle EMILIO F. MORAN, Indiana University, Bloomington DAVID L. SKOLE, Michigan State University, East Lansing National Research Council Staff PAUL M. CUTLER, Senior Program Officer VERNA J. BOWEN, Financial and Administrative Associate
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Chair, University of Virginia, Charlottesville M. LEE ALLISON, Arizona Geological Survey, Tucson GREGORY B. BAECHER, University of Maryland, College Park STEVEN R. BOHLEN, Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Washington, D.C. KEITH C. CLARKE, University of California, Santa Barbara DAVID J. COWEN, University of South Carolina, Columbia ROGER M. DOWNS, Pennsylvania State University, University Park JEFF DOZIER, University of California, Santa Barbara KATHERINE H. FREEMAN, Pennsylvania State University, University Park RHEA L. GRAHAM, Pueblo of Sandia, Bernalillo, New Mexico ROBYN HANNIGAN, Arkansas State University, State University MURRAY W. HITZMAN, Colorado School of Mines, Golden V. RAMA MURTHY, University of Minnesota (retired), Corrales, NM RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada BARBARA A. ROMANOWICZ, University of California, Berkeley JOAQUIN RUIZ, University of Arizona, Tucson MARK SCHAEFER, Global Environment and Technology Foundation, Arlington, Virginia RUSSELL E. STANDS-OVER-BULL, BP American Production Company, Pryor, Montana BILLIE L. TURNER II, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts TERRY C. WALLACE, Jr., Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico STEPHEN G. WELLS, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada THOMAS J. WILBANKS, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee National Research Council Staff ANTHONY R. DE SOUZA, Director PAUL M. CUTLER, Senior Program Officer ELIZABETH A. EIDE, Senior Program Officer DAVID A. FEARY, Senior Program Officer ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer ANN G. FRAZIER, Program Officer SAMMANTHA MAGSINO, Program Officer RONALD F. ABLER, Senior Scholar CAETLIN M. OFIESH, Research Associate VERNA J. BOWEN, Financial and Administrative Assistant JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Financial Associate JARED P. ENO, Senior Program Assistant ogram Assistant
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report Preface The National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Geographical Sciences first considered a study on remote sensing for human welfare several years ago. Since then, the world has witnessed the tsunami of 2004, Hurricane Katrina of 2005, wildfires in the western United States damaging human lives and property, emergence of diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and avian influenza, and entrenched chronic poverty and hunger in many parts of the world. These occurrences add to an already long list of human welfare concerns that intricately link land use, environmental conditions, and vulnerabilities of human populations. Effective decisions about human welfare—how to foresee changing environmental conditions on the land surface with negative outcomes for human welfare, where and when to respond, how to foster land use and development policies that enhance human welfare—inevitably depend on understanding and communicating these complex linkages. Coming decades will see major changes in the numbers, distribution, and lifestyles of human populations; climate and other environmental conditions; and land use in response to both economic demands and altered environments. These vast transformations challenge the scientific community to understand complex linkages between environmental conditions and human access to food, water, healthy living conditions, and other aspects of human welfare—and to transfer this understanding into usable information. Remote sensing data offer one piece in this multifaceted puzzle. Combined with other data, remote sensing reveals interactions over space and time that simply cannot be observed from the ground.
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report This report offers examples that illustrate the possibilities of addressing agency objectives to apply remote sensing for societal benefit. Beyond these illustrative examples, the report summarizes workshop discussions on the opportunities and challenges in moving toward the long-term goal of integrating land remote sensing into decision making on a range of human welfare decisions. The committee organized this workshop to consider the potential, recognizing that the scientific community has only begun to address the opportunities. The workshop was one of many stepping stones to bring together multiple perspectives from different disciplines to transfer this potential into reality. The workshop and this report would not have been possible without the hard and dedicated work of the organizing committee and the workshop participants. In addition, NRC staff provided the logistical support as well as substantive contributions. Hedy J. Rossmeissl helped in developing the agenda and all aspects of organization. Sammantha Magsino and Peggy Tsai contributed immensely in drafting the report. Amanda Roberts assisted at the workshop and behind the scenes. This report is the product of the combined talents of all of these individuals. We hope that it serves as a launching point for many scientific endeavors, interactions with decision makers, and applications that harness the capabilities of land remote sensing to advance human welfare. Ruth S. DeFries Chair
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report Acknowledgments This report was greatly enhanced by input from the presenters and participants at the workshop (see Appendix E). These presentations and discussions helped set the stage for the committee’s fruitful discussions in the sessions that followed. Robert Pool prepared an initial summary of the workshop, which was useful to the committee in writing this report. This workshop summary report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: George H. Born, University of Colorado Michael Emch, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Gregory Glass, Johns Hopkins University Michael F. Goodchild, University of California, Santa Barbara Marshall A. Martin, Purdue University Billie L. Turner II, Clark University Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclu-
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report sions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the workshop summary report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Daniel G. Brown, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 5 Workshop Objectives, 6 Previous NRC Work, 7 Intended Impact of Workshop, 7 Structure of Workshop, 8 Findings, 9 2 THE CURRENT STATE: OPPORTUNITIES FOR APPLYING LAND REMOTE SENSING TO HUMAN WELFARE 11 Sources of Remotely Sensed Data, 11 Monitoring for Food Production and Security, 13 Monitoring for Human Health, 22 3 CHALLENGES AND POTENTIAL FOR APPLYING LAND REMOTE SENSING TO HUMAN WELFARE 20 The Potential of Remote Sensing Applications for Food Security, 30 The Potential of Remote Sensing Applications to Human Health, 32 Realizing the Potential of Remote Sensing for Human Welfare Applications: Common Themes from Human Health and Food Security, 36 4 KEY POINTS OF WORKSHOP DISCUSSION 41 REFERENCES 43
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Contributions of Land Remote Sensing for Decisions about Food Security and Human Health: Workshop Report APPENDIXES A Acronyms and Abbreviations 47 B Bibliography of Resources—Integration of Disparate Data 49 C Examples of FEWS NET Products 53 D Workshop Agenda 59 E Speaker Biographies and List of Workshop Participants 63 F White Papers 69 G Committee Biographies 95