Earth Observation Applications

The IRI Earth Observation Applications group researches innovative and practical uses of Earth science data and knowledge. It supports applied research and applications projects that foster use of earth observations from satellites and ground-based measurements.

The goal of IRI’s Earth Observation Applications group is to provide state-of-the-art data and products to its clients and partners in climate-sensitive sectors. We develop these products in collaboration with U.S. agencies such as NASA as well national meteorological agencies around the world. Through rigorous evaluation, analysis and interpretation of remotely-sensed products and in-situ measurements, our researchers ensure partners have access to the most reliable and relevant information in formats that are compatible with their decision-making and planning operations.

We focus on monitoring and analyzing satellite-derived and ground-based estimates of vegetation, precipitation, surface temperature, water bodies, atmospheric dust, land cover and evapotranspiration. Our products, made available through IRI’s Data Library and Maproom platforms, have been integrated into operational early-warning systems for public health, disaster management, agriculture and food security.

The Earth Observation Applications group also provides international and U.S.-based trainings on how to use its innovative products for decision making and planning. Past clients include the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization as well as the ministries of health, agriculture and national meteorological agencies of more than ten countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. We support graduate students in Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering and its Master of Arts Program in Climate and Society. Our group is also a node for the NASA DEVELOP program, hosting and mentoring students to work on applied science research projects.

Current members of the group are:
Pietro Ceccato, Research Scientist
Tufa Dinku, Research Scientist
Andrew Kruczkiewicz, Staff Associate
Jerrod Lessel, Staff Associate