Mapping Virginia’s Wine Industry and Measuring Coastal Agricultural Water Use are Subjects of NASA DEVELOP Program Research Projects Completed in 2015

Following are the hyperlinked headline and an excerpt from the Virginia governor’s office’s May 14, 2015, news release on recently completed Virginia agricultural research projects by the DEVELOP Program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

Governor McAuliffe Announces Completion of Spring 2015 Research Collaborations with NASA Langley Research Center, 5/14/15.

Excerpt: …[T]he National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/Langley Research Center…DEVELOP Program has completed two projects in Virginia designed to support the Commonwealth’s wine industry and improve the efficiency of water consumption for agricultural purposes. … As part of the NASA Applied Sciences Program, DEVELOP supports activities that discover and demonstrate innovative uses and practical benefits of NASA Earth science data, scientific knowledge, and technology.   The DEVELOP National Program fosters an interdisciplinary research environment in which applied science research projects are conducted under the guidance of NASA and partner science advisors.  DEVELOP participants also work directly with Commonwealth professionals on research projects that focus on using NASA Earth observations to address community concerns and public policy issues.

“The first research project, ‘Virginia Agriculture II,’ is a partnership between the Virginia Wine Board and DEVELOP that maps the acreage of Virginia vineyards using NASA Earth observations.  The results of this project were presented to the Virginia Wine Board in order to explore the future of viticulture – the science, production, and study of grapes.  DEVELOP teams in Richmond and Wise County collaborated on the project.

“The second research project, ‘Coastal Mid-Atlantic Water Resources III,’ partners the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Digital Harvest, a Virginia-based company using unmanned aerial vehicle technology in the agriculture sector, to use NASA Earth observations to gain a better understanding of how often farmers need to irrigate their fields, with a goal to decrease water waste and lower economic costs.   This project offers the Commonwealth a greater understanding of water consumption behavior in a region, as well as a useful proxy for drought monitoring throughout Virginia.  DEVELOP teams in Richmond and Hampton collaborated on this research.   Project results will also be shared with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to explore potential use by the agency.

“… NASA DEVELOP is helping to promote workforce development throughout the Commonwealth by engaging Virginia in innovative applied research projects that address environmental concerns in areas such as agriculture, ecological forecasting, water resources, and air quality.  DEVELOP offers research opportunities for participants during three 10-week terms per year.   In Virginia, DEVELOP has been active in Wise County and Hampton, in addition to the new partnership with the Governor’s office in Richmond.

“For more information on the NASA DEVELOP program, please visit http://develop.larc.nasa.gov/.”  [End excerpt]

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