Research

1) Improving, Evaluating and Extending Satellite-Based High Resolution Cropland Carbon Monitoring System (2021-2024)

The overall goal of this project is to improve the existing cropland carbon monitoring system through integrating newly available satellite data products and implement over U.S and Canada croplands. There are four specific objectives. Picture1In the first objective, we will enhance the CCMS v1.0 through assimilating SMAP based Thermal Hydraulic disaggregation of Soil Moisture (THySM) high-resolution soil moisture (1km) product using a robust ensemble propagation approach, and by integrating Landsat and Sentinel based spatially resolved 30 m tillage maps. To ensure the quality of the CCMS products to use in the state and regional carbon and climate related programs, in the second objective, we will conduct an evaluation study in five pilot regions (located in Maryland, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Manitoba) representing major cropping systems in the U.S and Canada. We will collect extensive in-situ data to adjust crop parameters to reflect crop specific dynamics and local conditions, and to understand the performance of improved CCMS framework (CCMS v2.0) to estimate C and N2O fluxes at local scale. In the third objective, we will deploy the CCMS v2.0 framework over U.S and Canada croplands to estimate seasonal and annual C fluxes and N2O emissions at 500m spatial resolution under major cropping systems (i.e. corn, soybean, winter wheat, spring wheat, rice, cotton and canola) for a five year-period (2017-2021). Further, we will quantify the uncertainty in the CCMS products using observed data from USDA long-term agroecosystem research (USDA-LTAR), USDA-GRACEnet, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada flux sites, and AmeriFlux sites, as well as reported country yield statistics. In order to improve usability and obtain feedback on our CMS products, in our fourth objective we will work closely with USDA regional climate hubs, the Maryland state government, the Arkansas NRCS, and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, and will integrate CCMS products in their conservation and climate change mitigation programs.

2) Agricultural Land Use Change in Central and Northeast Thailand: Effects on Biomass Emissions, Soil Quality, and Rural Livelihoods – NASA LCLUC program (2018-2022)

The overall goal of this project is to understand the impacts of recent land use changes in Central and Northeast Thailand on biomass emissions, soil quality, and economic well-picssbeing in rural communities. The specific objectives are to: 1) map major cropping system conversions (e.g. rice to sugarcane) from 2010-2014 and 2014-2018 at 30-m spatial resolution using a combination of Landsat 5, 7 and 8, IRS-P6 AWiFS, Sentinel 1 and 2 satellite datasets; 2) implement Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) and remote sensing EPIC modeling frameworks to quantify the impacts of residue burning and alternative residue management strategies under rice and sugarcane production on crop productivity, soil erosion and carbon cycling at 1-km spatial resolution; 3) estimate spatially-explicit biomass emissions using an improved bottom-up approach; 4) implement an integrated socio-economic modeling framework to quantify the socio-economic impacts of cropping system conversions and residue management practices; and 5) understand farmers’ willingness  to adopt sustainable management practices and barriers and incentives to adaptation of these practices.

3) Cropland Carbon Monitoring System (CCMS): A satellite-based system to estimate carbon fluxes on U.S croplands -NASA CMS program (2016-2021)

The primary goal of this project is to create a prototype of a Cropland Carbon Monitoring System (CCMS) that improves the existing cropland C storage and flux estimates developed under previous NASA CMS activities picture_new_0in terms of spatial and temporal scales as well as completeness. This project will use RS-EPIC developed as part of Global Agricultural Monitoring Program (GEO-GLAM) to estimate, at 500-m resolution, the 2015-2016 seasonal and annual C fluxes of nine major crops (corn, soybean, winter wheat, spring wheat sorghum, cotton, alfalfa, barley, rice, and peas) grown over ~96% of the cropland area in the conterminous United States. The product developed under this project will provide the knowledge base at required spatial and temporal scale to understand complex carbon cycling outcomes under various land use and land management practices and develop joint policies to meet objectives of food and energy security while stabilizing atmospheric CO2. Further, the data product will help improve national inventories and carbon budget reporting.