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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Geography & Environmental Science Seminar  Seminar

2 December 2021
Via Teams

Event details

Geography & Environmental Science Seminar


Dr Chengxiu Li – Environmental Change and Sustainability, School of Geography and Environmental Science

Title: Earth observation for improving food and water security in sub-Saharan Africa - case studies from Malawi and Ghana

In this seminar, I will talk about case studies on implementing earth observation data for tackling food and water security challenges in sub-Saharan Africa, under a framework of UKRI funded interdisciplinary project called Building Research Capacity for sustainable water and food security in sub-Saharan Africa ( I will show two case studies from Malawi and Ghana. Malawi faces many challenges including low yield, land scarcity, population growth, and soil degradation. Under this context, we provided a spatially explicit assessment of the sustainability of cropland use in Malawi. To achieve the above aims, we used multi-source satellite data and socio-economic data and applied an approach of satellite image classification, trend analysis. We found evidence of unsustainable cropland use in Malawi, including rapid cropland expansion, reduced cropland productivity, and high level of soil erosion. To target fields with low crop yield, we further developed a framework to estimate crop yield in smallholder fields, we found that satellite data could estimate maize yield with moderate accuracy, however, the difficulties of monitoring prevalent intercropping practices need further investigation for improving food security in SSA. The second case study will be on the White Volta catchment in Ghana, where is prone to floods from torrential rainfall, potentially coupled with scheduled overspill from the Bagre Dam, Burkina Faso with devastating effects on the livelihoods of the poor communities living in the basin. I will demonstrate studies on examining the spatiotemporal pattern of floods and assess flood exposure through the utilization of satellite images, ground-based participatory mapping of flood extent, and socio-economic data.

Dr Nick Clarke – Economy, Society and Governance, School of Geography and Environmental Science

Title: 12 May 2020: Everyday Life in the COVID-19 Pandemic

In spring 2020, during Britain’s first national lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mass Observation Archive circulated a call for diaries, asking ordinary people across Britain to keep a ‘day diary’ on 12 May and send it to the archive. 5,000 people responded. In this talk, I introduce an idea for a book project based on these diaries. I discuss the diarists and their diaries, and the questions such a book project might address. How might we narrate and remember the COVID-19 pandemic? How might we present, theorise from, and mobilise everyday life? What role might the Mass Observation Archive play in democratising accounts of the pandemic and, more generally, life in twenty-first century Britain?

Speakers Information

Dr Nick Clarke - Associate Professor in Human Geography within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.

Dr Chengxiu Li - Research Fellow in earth observation within Geography at the University of Southampton.

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