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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Research Project #444157

Research Project: National Measurement and Monitoring Innovations for Environmental and Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Project Number: 3042-21660-001-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 19, 2023
End Date: Sep 15, 2025

1. Developing and evaluating low-cost sensor technologies (IoT) and data pipelines that meet or exceed current federal cybersecurity requirements while minimizing costs with an initial emphasis on GHG. 2. Developing and evaluating dynamic information technology digital research platforms that optimize the integrated power of commercial and government cloud resources and leverage appropriate high-performance computing infrastructure (in collaboration with ITSD and SCINet). 3. Innovating and optimizing standardized automated dynamic data pipelines that run from data collection to delivery of collaborative and authoritative datasets.

There is a critical need to modernize ARS research data capture technologies and streamline data collection, integration, analytics, storage, and sharing processes and systems, including expanding the environment and natural resources data we collect and automating the way we capture and process the data. With rapidly evolving Federal data management, access, and cybersecurity policies, ARS requires data technology research that will help equip our scientists with technologies that help them maintain data compliance with those policies while delivering agility, innovation, and relevance. This project will lead the development, assessment, and deployment of high priority, cost effective IoT (Internet of Things) technologies, agricultural data standardization and integration, big data tools and analytics for greenhouse gas (GHG) flux measurement and monitoring, environmental feedback, and data-driven agricultural decision-making. The project will innovate data automation, integration, and visualization through operational leadership of the USDA ARS Partnerships for Data Innovations (PDI). This is envisioned as a data science and technology project delivering novel cost-effective sensors and process and data integration innovations. This will be a highly collaborative project with researchers, technicians, and data managers across ARS research units and our university partners. It is expected that the scientists and staff working on this project will collaborate with partners across the USDA ARS, with an initial emphasis on current efforts in the Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems project portfolio, including LTAR, CEAP, GRACEnet, erosion modeling, Water Vision 2050, and the regional Climate Hubs. The engineering and data science conducted on this project should result in the development, evaluation, and deployment of new and novel instruments, sensors, data pipelines, platforms, digital analytical tools, and software that can be used by other researchers to drive their individual or team research. Further, these technological solutions (e.g., climate-smart and precision agricultural technologies) will be used to enhance the productivity, resilience, and sustainability of small, medium, and large farms, ranches, and processors in the face of our rapidly evolving challenges including climate change, extreme weather, pests and pathogens, labor shortages, and societal demands. Through this project, highly integrated collaborations between this project team, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; North Dakota State University; and ARS Research Units in Clay Center, NE, and Stillwater, OK is expected. These partnerships provide a unique opportunity to put state-of-the-art technologies into everyday practice that will result in greater positive impact than ARS, NDSU, or UNL could accomplish working on their own. This project will advance solutions that improve GHG measurement and monitoring and enhance precision agriculture opportunities. These solutions will benefit agricultural researchers, rural communities and producers at all scales including limited-resource, minority, and veteran small farmers, ranchers, and processors.