Detailed Description of Food security

Web-based estimates of food productivity for enhanced food security.

1. Basic information

In the face of global climate change and population increase our ability to monitor the Earth’s natural resources has become more and more pressing. The promise of timely and easy access to geo-information is an essential building stone in this endeavour. Geo Data Infrastructure (GDI) technologies try to sell us the idea that data, and no longer our time, is a consumable. In reality however, we still consume a significant portion of our time and energy on understanding the messages hidden in the terabytes of freely accessible data. This module highlights new technologies that may well change this situation ushering in a new era of distributed data access, processing, and analysis aiming to generate more detailed, accurate, spatially explicit, and timely production forecasts of food and fibre crops at regional scales. It also tries to stimulate participants to engage in rural development oriented research for enhanced food security.

2. General information

The course is part of the internet based programme ‘GIS and Earth Observation for Environmental modeling and Natural resource management’ (iGEON). The course is an elective course for the double degree: Master of Science in Geographical Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Faculty ITC, the Netherlands and Master of Science in Geographical Information Science of Lund University, Sweden. The course is also given as a single subject course. The language of instruction is English. The course is fully based on distance learning, with all material distributed over the Internet. It is flexible in the sense that students can study full time (100%), half time (50%), or with a 25% study tempo.

3. Learning outcomes

After the course the student is able to use basic computer scripting languages (python, ingrid) to perform various scientific interrogations on remote data collections. Presented analytical procedures cover, amongst others:

From data to information:

From qualitative to quantitative:

Best practices in open-source software usage and referencing remote data collections in scientific publications or educational materials are demonstrated as well.

4. Course contents

At the end of the course the student is able to:

5. Teaching and assessment

Teaching consists of:

6. Grades

Students are graded for the course with a grade between 10 and 100. 60 is the pass mark.

In order to pass the course the student is required to have passed the exam, all compulsory exercises, and to have participated in all compulsory course elements.

Examination is through a summative assessment (examination) of theory and formative assessment of practical work through individual final assignment and various online tests.

7. Entrance requirements

The following are required for admission to the course: Basic admission requirements of Faculty ITC, and basic GIS and remote sensing corresponding to  iGEON compulsory courses of semester 1 and 2 (35 ECTS).