Sustainable agriculture in Washington State drives to be economically viable while being environmentally responsible through improvements made to both on- and off-farm practices. Effective and efficient monitoring programs are an essential piece of policy implementation and adaptive management for sustainability. In our previous BioAg research, we hypothesized that remotely sensed data are underutilized in these programs due to the lack of specific technical methods for monitoring riparian and natural vegetation in the agricultural setting and the need for a pipeline to integrate these methods into existing monitoring programs. We partnered with the Palouse Conservation District and Washington State Conservation Commission to develop robust methodologies for monitoring riparian structure as a proxy for ecosystem function that utilizes publicly available satellite imagery combined with the capabilities of cloud-based computing (Google Earth Engine) (Stahl, Fremier, Heinse In review BioScience; see Figure 3 attachment for example). We demonstrated the potential of cloud-based environmental monitoring (CBEM) techniques to improve feedback and evaluation of large-scale programs, such as VSP and CREP. Our next step is to complete the technical transfer of the new methodology to diverse Conservation Districts including Palouse, Walla Walla, and Pend Oreille for integration into monitoring programs (this extension proposal). We will meet iteratively with these groups to adapt workflows to their monitoring needs and to prepare online resources for practitioners across the state. Additionally, we will pilot a prototype GEE App to simplify the CBEM workflows for environmental monitoring in agricultural lands. Our goal is to make remote sensing technologies accessible and easily applicable at a low-cost to agricultural communities for more efficient and effective reporting of conservation practices.
- Principal Investigator(s): Fremier, A.
- Grant Amount: $9,721