Rwanda students attend NASA training
Four Rwandan students studying in the United States conducted research in a program developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), aimed at enhancing conservation efforts initiated by the Rwandan government.
The initiative was a partnership between the Embassy of Rwanda in Washington D.C., NASA Develop program, the National University of Rwanda (NUR) and the Great Ape Trust of Iowa.
A statement from the Rwandan embassy in Washington said over the past weeks, the four students; Faith Mwiza, Marvin Karugarama, Emmanuel Muzungu, and Joshua Abe, worked on two projects, under DEVELOP, a NASA program, to address and facilitate agricultural and forestry efforts using NASA’s Earth Observing Systems.
DEVELOP is a NASA Applied Sciences training and development program that fosters an interdisciplinary research environment for students and young professionals to work on Earth science application projects.
“They examined methods to map land cover in the Northwest part of Rwanda using a combination of satellite imagery and Geographic Information Systems software. They generated land cover classification maps which are useful to identify vegetation and agriculture practices in the region,” the statement reads.
One of the students, Karugarama said: “This was a very educational experience that broadened my understanding of the importance of remote sensing and its applicability to Rwandan agriculture. I hope that this resource can be utilized to foster development in other sectors of the economy.”
They also collaborated on an ecological forecasting study and created methods to monitor the long term deforestation and reforestation dynamics of the Gishwati Forest Reserve in Rwanda.
Some of the results of this study include a reforestation priority map aimed to guide current reforestation efforts in Rwanda.
Contact email: ivan.mugisha[at]newtimes.co.rw