Chima Iheaturu, a PhD student at the University of Bern and visiting scholar at the University of Washington, is harnessing the power of cutting-edge technology to tackle critical environmental challenges in West Africa. His research, focused on modelling the dynamics of tropical forest patches, exemplifies the exciting potential of collaboration between researchers and initiatives like Digital Earth Africa (DE Africa).
Chima is excited about the potential of Digital Earth Africa (DE Africa) to revolutionise forest monitoring and conservation in West Africa. He says, "DE Africa's cutting-edge infrastructure and data resources are opening new doors for research and innovation. I am particularly impressed by the DE Africa Sandbox, which provides a user-friendly platform for accessing and analysing massive datasets. This has been instrumental in my research on developing high-resolution forest cover maps for West Africa."
Together with experts from DE Africa, Chima is pioneering new methodologies that address the critical need for locally tailored, high-resolution forest cover maps for West Africa. He leverages the DE Africa Sandbox's computational power to integrate laser scanning data and optical data with deep learning algorithms, capturing fine-scale variations in forest cover down to the ecoregion level.
Chima's current research projects, which will be presented at the AGU (American Geophysical Union) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, highlight his commitment to utilising DE Africa's resources for positive impact. His first presentation, "Forest Cover Mapping in West Africa: A Deep Learning-Guided Interpolation of GEDI and ICESat-2 Data Using Environmental Variables," Leverages the cloud computing capabilities of the DE Africa Sandbox to perform the deep learning workflow for mapping forest cover across West Africa, utilising some of the platform's analysis-ready data to streamline the process.
In his second presentation, "A Longitudinal and Ethnographic Assessment of Mangrove Cover Dynamics and Socio-Ecological Resource Dependence in Lamu County, Kenya," Chima showcases his collaborative efforts to understand the complex relationship between mangrove ecosystems and local communities. This research highlights the importance of integrating social and ecological data for effective resource management.
If you're attending the AGU Annual Meeting, be sure to connect with Chima and learn more about his innovative research. You can also find his presentations and iPosters online:
- Forest Cover Mapping in West Africa: A Deep Learning-Guided Interpolation of GEDI and ICESat-2 Data Using Environmental Variables (December 11, 2:10 PM - 6:30 PM PST)
- A Longitudinal and Ethnographic Assessment of Mangrove Cover Dynamics and Socio-Ecological Resource Dependence in Lamu County, Kenya (December 13, 8:30 AM - 12:50 PM PST)
Mangrove Cover Dynamics: https://agu23.ipostersessions.com/Default.aspx?s=F5-1B-40-C0-0D-66-BA-12-D4-FF-F3-48-C9-69-14-9C
By supporting researchers like Chima, DE Africa is at the forefront of developing innovative solutions for environmental conservation and sustainable development in Africa. We are proud to be a part of Chima's journey and look forward to seeing the impact of his research on the future of West African forests.
Would you like to be featured as a DE Africa Champion? Submit a use case to the DE Africa Team.
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