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Interdisciplinary Decision Support Dashboard: A New Framework for a Tanzanian Agricultural and Ecosystem Service Monitoring System Pilot

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7 Author(s)
Eric H. Fegraus ; Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network, Science and Knowledge Division, Conservation International, Arlington, United States ; Ilya Zaslavsky ; Thomas Whitenack ; Jan Dempewolf
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Landscape degradation, soil depletion, scarcity of water and fuel resources are common threats to ecosystem services, agricultural production and human livelihoods in the developing world. Observatory or monitoring networks which focus on the dynamics of coupled human-natural systems are challenged by scarce data, data heterogeneity across multiple domains and spatial scales, and complex models required to produce meaningful sustainability indicators. An additional challenge is to visualize these complex data and indicators in a unified, easily understandable framework. This paper presents an environmental sustainability dashboard that integrates GIS data with household and plot surveys, field data and remote sensing imagery to compute a variety of metrics of ecosystem stress. The dashboard, a web-based decision support tool, is a key cyberinfrastructure component designed to satisfy the objectives of a Tanzanian agricultural and ecosystem services monitoring pilot. Based on this experience we discuss our framework and how it can be generalized for building decision support tools, and their associated cyberinfrastructure, for multi-scale, interdisciplinary monitoring networks.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 6 )