Human civilization is currently experiencing an unprecedented water crisis, with 2 billion people facing water shortages in over 40 countries. Since agriculture is the largest freshwater consumer at 70%, global food production needs to move away from subsidizing thirsty crops to a more sustainable food production system. In this talk, I will discuss how geospatial data science can help address some of the pressing challenges of the modern world. I will also discuss why examining the agricultural systems and associated challenges from different ecological settings is important not only for academic understanding but also from policy perspectives.
Dr. Pinki Mondal is a geospatial data scientist and leads the "EArth observation for Sustainable Ecosystem and Livelihood" (EASEL) research group at the University of Delaware where she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences. She has a joint appointment in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and is a resident faculty at the UD Data Science Institute. Dr. Mondal's research group examines the dynamics of coupled natural and human systems, with specific focus on smallholder agricultural systems, including agricultural sensitivity to climate variability, smallholder food and nutrition security, effects of national-level policies on sustainability, and geospatial methods for accurate monitoring of agro-ecosystems. She received her PhD in Land Change Science from the University of Florida. Prior to joining UD, she was a Senior Research Associate at Columbia University.