Thursday, October 30, 2014

National Drought Mitigation Center

NDMC's International Activities

2014

  • The North American Drought Monitor Forum, June 17-19, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was the most recent bi-annual chance for scientists, stakeholders and contributors to confer on advancing the continent-wide product. Impacts and networking emerged as notable themes, said Mark Svoboda, NDMC climatologist and head of the NDMC’s monitoring program area. Svoboda presented on the NDMC’s Drought Impact Reporter and Drought Risk Atlas, and Tsegaye Tadesse made a presentation on the Canadian Vegetation Drought Response Index Pilot Study.
  • Brian Fuchs gave a presentation about the NDMC, “Bringing Science to the Citizens,” at the SWAN conference, June 9-11 in Seville, Spain. SWAN is a joint European Union-United States project, creating a joint water research center.
  • Mike Hayes was one of the co-organizers of the InterDrought Summer School held in Mikoluv, Czech Republic, July 1-4. InterDrought is a European Union-funded project to help Czech scientists foster interdisciplinary drought research and train young researchers. The NDMC has a long-time collaboration with Czech drought researchers. This partnership was especially fruitful in 2014. The Czech Republic experienced a drought, and Czechs used the InterDrought website weekly to track current drought conditions, much as the U.S. Drought Monitor product is used.  Both agricultural producers and the media were following the InterDrought website, which generated significant attention and provided a focus for drought-related communication in the country.  Much of the progress in the Czech Republic has resulted from the NDMC partnership with scientists at Mendel University in Brno.
  • Mark Svoboda and Chris Poulson, NDMC geospatial analyst, also traveled to Rabat, Morocco, May 20-22, as part of a World Bank effort to establish drought monitoring in that country. Under the leadership of the Centre Royal de Teledetection Spatiale (Royal Center for Remote Sensing), that country is developing a composite drought index.
  • Mark Svoboda, Brian Fuchs and others at the NDMC were working to establish a drought monitor prototype for the nine northeastern states  in Brazil, with funding from the World Bank.
  • Tsegaye Tadesse, NDMC climatologist, is leading a NASA-funded project, Seasonal Prediction of Hydro-Climatic Extremes in the Greater Horn of Africa under Evolving Climate Conditions to Support Adaptation Strategies. It began in January 2014. A kickoff meeting was held in Addis Ababa in August 2014.
  • Mark Svoboda traveled to Brazil in January as part of a World Bank-sponsored project to help develop a monitoring product for that country similar to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and the NDMC hosted visitors from Brazil in March. In August, Svoboda traveled to Brazil for a World Bank training, and Hayes traveled to Brazil as an expert visitor for the Permanent Forum on Drought Initiatives in the state of Pernambuco.
  • Mark Svoboda and Cody Knutson traveled to Germany in January for the kick-off of the DrIVER project, sponsored by the Belmont Forum. 

2013

  • Cody Knutson traveled to Turkey in November to help lead a United Nations-sponsored workshop on drought planning for Central Asian countries.
  • The NDMC is hosting visiting scholar Cristina Domingo-Morimon of the Autonomous University in Barcelona, Spain, April 15-July 31.
  • The third day of this year's U.S. Drought Monitor Forum focused on working with colleagues from islands in the Caribbean and Pacific on implementing drought monitoring for their areas.
  • Mike Hayes, director of the NDMC, is working with colleagues based at Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic, in May and June. Hayes is helping scientists there implement a drought early warning system.
  • Tsegaye Tadesse, NDMC climatologist and remote sensing expert, and Jesslyn Brown, EROS geographer, traveled to Mexico City in April 2013 to work with Mexico’s Agricultural and Fisheries Information Service on how Mexico can implement its own version of VegDRI and to present at the XIII Agricultural Outlook Forum 2013.
  • Several people associated with the NDMC were involved in the High Level Meeting on National Drought Policy in Geneva, Switzerland, in March 2013. Sponsoring U.N. organizations were the World Meteorological Organization, the Convention to Combat Desertification, and the Food and Agricultural Organization. Country representatives unanimously acclaimed a declaration encouraging countries to develop and implement national drought policies. The NDMC's role was reported in DroughtScape. The meeting also had an extensive website.

2012

  • The NDMC is involved in two major projects in central Europe: InterDrought with the Czech scientists at Mendel University in Brno, and a newly-funded project with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria, to develop a drought monitoring system for agriculture. A Czech delegation visited the NDMC for a week in December.
  • A UNL delegation to India in November included, from left to right, Derek Heeren, BSE; Marc Andreini, Water for Food; Harkamal Walia, Agronomy; Roberto Lenton, Water for Food; and Mike Hayes, National Drought Mitigation Center.
  • Mike Hayes was part of a UNL group visiting the Indian Agricultural Research Institute Water Technology Center in November to help develop a research agenda and Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Mark Svoboda is on the organizing committee for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Climate Center’s International Conference on Climate, Water and Policy (ICCWP) 2012, which will be Sept. 11-13, Busan, South Korea.
  • Tsegaye Tadesse, NDMC climatologist and remote sensing expert, spent a month in Ethiopia in summer 2012 advancing several collaborative projects related to food and water on behalf of an interdisciplinary team from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. .
  • June 1-9, Mike Hayes, Mark Svoboda and Don Wilhite participated in “Drought Monitoring, Assessing and Planning under Global Climate Change,” a workshop at Beijing Normal University. They also visited the Department of Water Hazard Research at the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, the Beijing Climate Centre at the Chinese Meteorological Academy, the Center for Rural Environmental Social Studies, and the Institute of Sociology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
  • Mike Hayes is on the Scientific Advisory Board for a large climate change-related project taking place in the Czech Republic called CzechGlobe, and attended the board's first meeting May 14-15, in Mikulov.
  • Mark Svoboda and Brian Fuchs helped conduct a drought monitoring, early warning and information system training workshop for the Caribbean, the week of May 21 in Jamaica.
  • Mark Svoboda, Brian Fuchs and Brian Wardlow participated in the North American Drought Monitor Forum, April 18-20 in Cancun, Mexico.
  • Mike Hayes helped organize the Global Drought Information System Workshop in Frascati, Italy, April 11-13. Don Wilhite, founding director of the NDMC, gave a keynote presentation. Mark Svoboda and Brian Fuchs both presented posters.
  • Mark Svoboda is an invited External Advisory Board member for the European Union's project "Fostering European Drought Research and Science-Policy Interfacing (Drought R&SPI),” which met March 27-30 in Valencia, Spain.
  • Lin Zhao, a visiting scholar from the Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management at Beijing Normal University, found that streamflow drought lagged meteorological drought by about 112 days in the Jinghe River Basin.meteorological drought by about 112 days in the Jinghe River Basin.
  • Getachew Berhan Demisse, a visiting scholar at the NDMC from August 2011 through February 2012, returned to Ethiopia to demonstrate his method for predicting drought up to four months ahead.
  • In August 2011 Meixiu Yu began a year as a visiting scientist at the NDMC. She is working on a Ph.D. in Hydrology and Water Resources at Hohai University in China, and is particularly interested in drought monitoring and indices.

2011

  • Cody Knutson traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, to help the United National Development Programme Drylands Development Centre assess its Africa-Asia Drought Risk Management Peer Assistance Project, June 14-15.
  • The World Meteorological Organization published Towards A Compendium on National Drought Policy, co-edited by Donald A. Wilhite, founding director of the National Drought Mitigation Center. The volume is the proceedings of an expert meeting that was July 14-15, 2011, in Washington, D.C.
  • The Canadian Invitational Drought Tournament in February 2011 introduced a competitive element to traditional scenario planning.

2010

  • NDMC representatives traveled to Argentina in October 2010 for the Argentine Congress of Animal Production and to advise the Patagonian region on setting up an agricultural drought monitoring system.
  • NDMC climatologist Tsegaye Tadesse is part of an interdisciplinary team that includes social and biological scientists working with communities in Ethiopia on food security.

Other NDMC International Activities Through 2010

NDMC Near East Activities, 2006-2011

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