TFG Participate in Idnetifying Global Cropland and Water Use

The Forestland Group, LLC participates in international effort to identify global croplands and their water use.

The Forestland Group’s Senior Forester, Alex Finkral, has joined a team of scientists sponsored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to create a “knowledge warehouse” for data, products, approaches, methods, algorithms, models, and maps pertaining to global croplands and their water use. The Global Croplands Working Group is supported by the USGS Powell Center in Fort Collins, Colorado (http://powellcenter.usgs.gov/). Created in 2010, the Powell Center serves as a catalyst for innovative thinking in earth system science research, initiated as one means of implementing the USGS Science Strategy, to support scientist-driven interdisciplinary analysis and synthesis of complex natural science problems.

The Global Cropland Working Group, comprised of 13 scientists from China, India, Nepal, Italy, England, Turkey, and the U.S., held their first meeting September 26th-30th, 2011. Climate change is putting unprecedented pressure on global croplands and their water use, vital for ensuring future food security for the world’s rapidly expanding human population. Through fusion of advanced remote sensing (e.g., Landsat, Resourcesat, MODIS) in combination with national statistics, ancillary data (e.g., elevation, precipitation), and field-plot data, the group aims to develop an advanced geospatial information system that will provide information such as: crop types, precise location of crops, cropping intensities (e.g., single crop, double crop), crop health\vigor, watering methods (e.g., irrigated, supplemental irrigated, rainfed), flood and drought information, and yield or productivity (expressed per unit of land and\or unit of water). Dr. Finkral brings a resource management perspective to the group, with a focus on tradeoffs in ecosystem services between crop and non-cropland ecosystems.