From the START Secretariat

Earth Observation Scientists will receive training at the 2015 GOFC-GOLD Data Initiative 

The GOFC-GOLD Data Initiative Advanced Training will take place in July 20 - August 8, 2015. Nine fellows from Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Bulgaria, South Africa, Togo, India, Nepal, and Madagascar will attend this year’s training. The first week of the training will take place at the USGS EROS Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Participants will receive advanced training on data management and archiving practices; access, download, and compile pertinent regional and country-level data sets, including on on land cover, land use, fire observations. Fellows will then head to Boston University to get advanced training on use of relevant software for data processing and application. Upon returning to their home countries and institutions, the participants are expected to serve as focal points for distribution of acquired data and skills in their regions and provide training to their colleagues. Read more about the data initiative event and fellows here


SCERIN Network of Earth Observers Meets in Romania

The GOFC-GOLD South Central and Eastern European Regional Information Network (SCERIN) Capacity Building Workshop (SCERIN-3 CBW), the the third meeting in the line of SCERIN meetings, took place place in Brasov, Romania during July 13-17 2015. It is sponsored by GOFC/GOLD and START and held in Brasov, Romania July 13-17, hosted by the Transylvania University of Brasov.

The objectives of the workshop include increasing focus on remote sensing in forest management and administration, monitoring of protected areas, and assessment of forest disturbance in the region; reviewing the requirements and availability of satellite data, products, and approaches for land cover monitoring; outlining the specific land-cover and land-use change research, applications and development needs in the region; and discussing ongoing major scientific efforts and projects with possible contribution and follow-up activities with meeting participants. The meeting was attended by over 40 participants from 13 countries including SCERIN members and non-SCERIN observers.



ASSAR meeting in Botswana

Jon Padgham recently participated in the annual planning meeting of the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project in Gaborone, Botswana. The meeting provided an opportunity for the research teams from West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa and India to report on progress made in their research on climate change adaptation related to governance, gender and ecosystem services.




START's Board of Directors meets in Washington DC

At the end of this month (July), staff at the International START Secretariat in Washington DC will welcome our board members from across the globe as we sit down together for 3 days to discuss our vision and leadership for START's future. We are excited to get together face to face and utilize our board's shared knowledge and experience to direct START on a successful path forward.

From START Regions


ACCFP Phase 3 Fellows Are Announced

The ACCFP Secretariat at the University of Dar es Salaam has finished its selection process for Fellows in Phase 3 of the African Climate Change Fellowship Program.  START has assisted the ACCFP Secretariat with this process and we are thankful to have such a great pool of talent to pull from.  Word is getting out throughout Africa about this terrific program!  The program will get underway with a kick off meeting in the coming months.  Read more about the 2015-16 ACCFP fellows here.



Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Nicholas Ozor

Dr. Nicholas Ozor first encountered START seven years ago at the University of Nigeria Nsukka when he applied for a Teaching Fellowship with the inaugural round of our African Climate Change Fellowship Program (ACCFP). With these small seed funds from START, Nicholas grew a revolution of climate change awareness at his university and a very successful research and policy career.

In 2007, returning home from his PhD program in the United Kingdom, Ozor saw the need to increase awareness of climate change at his home institution, the University of Nigeria Nsukka. As an ACCFP Teaching Fellow, Ozor gathered deans of faculties from across disciplines as varied as health, engineering, social sciences, environmental sciences, education, arts, and agriculture as well as the Vice Chancellor’s Office to discuss how climate change affects all areas of study. This experience catapulted Ozor into the role of “climate change expert” at his university and in local and national media.

Next Ozor applied for a DelPHE (Development Partnerships in Higher Education) grant from the UK. Ozor’s project aimed to develop a framework for agricultural adaptation to climate change in Southern Nigeria. Ozor published many peer-reviewed journal articles, a book, a policy brief and made connections with researchers whom he has worked with on other projects with grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Erasmus Mundus Research Fund, and Open Society Foundation. For the past six years, Ozor has worked at the African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) network based in Kenya, first as a Post-Doctoral Researcher, then the Senior Research Officer, and now as the Executive Director. ATPS is a trans-disciplinary network of researchers, policymakers, private sector actors and the civil society that promotes the generation, dissemination, use and mastery of STI for African development, environmental sustainability and global inclusion. ATPS implements its programs in 30 countries (27 in Africa and 3 Diaspora chapters in the Australia, United States of America, and United Kingdom).

Ozor recently visited the START Secretariat while he was attending the “Southern Voices Network” conference in Washington DC, meeting with other African NGOs and U.S. policy makers to discuss critical issues in the Southern hemisphere. Throughout his career, Ozor has been committed to raising awareness of climate change, both in the academic and policy realms. Ozor says “START exposed me to becoming a researcher and advocate of climate change research, development and policy.”

START’s initial investment in Ozor’s ACCFP teaching fellowship continues to yield fruit as the University of Nigeria in Nsukka now has a full-fledged postgraduate program in climate change economics, innovation and development with many graduate students already enrolled in the program since 2012. It became the first university in Nigeria to establish such a program and obtain full approval from the National Universities Commission (NUC), a regulatory body of all universities in Nigeria.

Don’t expect Nicholas Ozor to slow down any time soon. He plans to return to the University of Nigeria to pursue his other career goals, and is always on the lookout for synergies that will benefit Africa. He hopes to connect his policy expertise at ATPS with START’s scientific capacity building efforts in future partnerships. We look forward to staying in touch with Nicholas and wish him much continued success! 


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