Published: Aug. 8, 2023
Kylen at reservoir

NASA Future Investigators in Nasa Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST).

I recently received a fellowship from NASA that will fund the rest of my PhD in Geography. My project is titled: "Mapping and Analyzing the Distribution and Drivers of Small Agricultural Reservoirs in Brazil". 

It's a fellowship which funds graduate students for 1-3 years. It will fund the last 2 years of my PhD studying the drivers and distribution of small agricultural dams in Brazil. There are hundreds of thousands of these small reservoirs (< 1km in length) used for agriculture. I'm using NASA/USGS Landsat satellite data with AI computer vision methods to map the reservoirs over Brazil and distinguish them from natural water bodies. I'll also model how their distribution has changed over time in relation to changing patterns of agricultural land-use. Finally, I'm conducting qualitative interviews with farmers and ranchers in the Araguaia River Basin about water use and management, particularly in response to climate change. Due to climate change, the rainy season that Brazil's agriculture relies on is becoming shorter and less reliable, which will likely drive farmers to rely more on reservoirs to store and access water. The potential impacts of this shift are not well understood. Overall, the goal is to better understand the past, present, and future impacts of agriculture on surface water in Brazil.

More info from NASA >>