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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Research Project #445306

Research Project: Geospatial Solutions and Training for Agricultural Researchers and Practitioners

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Project Number: 3042-21660-001-010-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

Geographic information system (GIS) products are central to researching and delivering climate change solutions, trade market forecasts and analyses, conservation plans, rural development programs, facilities management, continuity of operations, food security, outreach to underserved communities and thousands of forestry and emergency program applications. The pace of technological advancements, however, has outstripped the ability of researchers and practitioners to maximize the value of the technology as driven by software applications. For research, emergency response, trade, conservation, climate change and other programs, these limitations affect mission delivery due to excessive big data duplication, reduced analytical efficiencies, and burgeoning costs. This collaborative effort will address how to mitigate these limitations by: (1) assessing current geospatial assets, use cases, personas, and workflows across USDA agencies/offices and partners; and (2) develop a strategic training approach to customize existing geospatial training materials to support advanced geospatial capabilities for research and practitioners.

This University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) team will engage with the USDA-ARS's Partnerships for Data Innovations (PDI), the National Measurement and Monitoring Innovations for Environmental and Sustainable Agricultural Systems project (M&M), and USDA Office of the Chief Information Officer’s (OCIO) Enterprise Geospatial Management Office (EGMO) to: (1) conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the geospatial tools used across USDA, including user input on pro, cons, future needs, and concerns; and (2) work with USDA and contractors to develop a comprehensive geospatial training program for the USDA. These efforts align with both Departmental-level and Agency-level goals aimed at planning for future geospatial software solutions and supporting geospatial capabilities for researchers and practitioners. In addition to these items, the ARS-UNL PDI team will engage and develop synergies to address geospatial data solutions for climate smart and resilient agriculture. The team will work closely with ARS-UNL PDI team to understand stakeholder needs and implement programs.