The AIRG’s work is part of numerous projects, and supported by a variety of institutions. Please see below a list of our current and previous projects, as well as a list of tools we use in our research.


Mapping Africa is pioneering an active learning approach to develop a scalable, fast, and cost-effective land cover mapping system that fuses human and machine intelligence to map the distribution and characteristics of cropland in Africa with unprecedented accuracy. Mapping Africa is a Clark University project, developed together with the University of California Santa Barbara and Princeton University, and with support from Omidyar Network Property Rights Initiative (now PlaceFund), NASA, NSF, and IIASA.

Hazards SEES: Understanding cross-Scale interactions of trade and food policy to improve resilience to drought risk in Zambia examines the interactions between drought risk, crop production, trade and policy and their impacts on food security in Zambia, with the aim of improving existing early warning systems for famine. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Natural Hazards, 2015-2020. 

Water Sustainability Climate, Impacts of agricultural decision making and adaptive management on food security. This project aims to better understand how dryland farmers adapt to within-season climate variability and how these adaptations impact their resilience to climate variability and change, today and in the future. The project does this by bringing together cellphone adoption with research in data science, crop prediction, and environmental and social monitoring. Funded by the National Science Foundation, 2014-2019.


Integrating crowdsourcing, in situ sensing, and spaceborne observation to understand the sustainability of smallholder agriculture in African wet savannas: uses a novel approach to capture smallholder farmers’ fields and yields in sub-Saharan Africa by integrating in situ environmental sensing, Earth Observing satellites, and crowd-sourcing. The project aims to i) identify patterns of crop land change on smallholder farms, ii) identify landscape-scale trends in productivity on smallholder farmers, and iii) better understand the relationships between changes in crop productivity, climate variability, and land cover. Funded by the NASA New Investigator Program in Earth Science, 2015-2019.

Understanding the roles of climate and economics in shaping land use: South African crop distributions before and after agricultural subsidies (Michael Oppenheimer)

The Agricultural Synergies Project was a collaboration between various research institutions with the objective of developing guidance for countries in the developing world to increase food production, while simultaneously reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

Agriculture, Wildlife, Water and Changing Land Use in Sub-Saharan Africa. This project sought to better balance the competing interests of biodiversity, water resources, agriculture, and carbon conservation, and how climate change affects this balance, specifically through land use modeling, crop simulation modeling and remote sensing, and novel land cover mapping techniques. Funded by the Princeton Environmental Institute Grand Challenges Grant, 2012-2015. 

The interactions between climate change, agriculture, and biodiversity in South Africa. This research examined the impacts on biodiversity as a result of human adaptation to climate change, by examining the interactions between biodiversity, agriculture, and climate change in South Africa using process-based and bioclimatic envelope models. Funded by the Princeton Environmental Institute, 2007-2009.


Spatial model for evaluating agriculture-environment tradeoffs (R)

rcropmod: package for crop modeling (R)

Platform for crowdsourced mapping of discrete landcover types (R/Python/OpenLayers/PostGIS)

Automated between-date geometric rectification of UAS-collected orthomosaics (PhotoScan Professional/ python)


If you have any questions about this work, feel free to get in touch with us by sending us a message via the Contact page.