UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD Geographical Sciences Faculty Is First U.S. Winner Of International Prize

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) recently recognised Dr. Inbal Becker-Reshef, associate professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences, as the U.S. nominee for the prestigious Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) award. This is the first time the United States has put forward a nominee for the prize; Becker-Reshef was chosen for her work in the application of satellite information for agricultural monitoring at national to global scales.

This year’s APEC competition was based on the theme of “Technologies for Food Security.” Becker-Reshef was recognized for her dedication to transitioning her work from theory to practical applications. “I’m interested in doing applied research that can be used to support decisions in agriculture and that can be integrated into operational monitoring systems. Most recently, my work has focused on developing an international initiative called the Crop Monitor. This initiative for the first time brings together close to 40 national and international organizations representing the main food security monitoring agencies, ministries of agriculture, space agencies, and research organizations,” Becker-Reshef said.

“Dr. Becker-Reshef has realized her vision of taking data from satellites and other sources and rendering them to provide information that is immediately understandable to policy and decision makers,” said Professor Chris Justice, chair of the UMD Department of Geographical Sciences. “She is a leader in her field.”

Becker-Reshef was also recognized for her work as a program scientist with the G20 GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative. She is co-director of the Center for Global Agricultural Monitoring Research at UMD where she manages the Global Agricultural Monitoring (GLAM) activities and leads projects on critical areas of food security such as wheat yield forecasting, crop condition, and methods for evaluation and application of research information.

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