Thursday, August 15, 2013

Helping the UN with Ground Water Improvement in Darfur

Ground Water Improvement in Darfur, Sudan

As the Sudanese region, Darfur, continues to recover from genocidal tragedies, its people must cope with the land’s limited ground water resources. Mohamed Ali, a Darfuri worker for United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) had been tasked with assessing the ground water situation of an area of interest within the region.  This assessment was to be done using Geographic Information System (GIS) methods, but with little experience and technological access, Mohamed turned to the Washington College GIS program for help.

After taking Stewart Bruce’s free online classes via , Mohamed contacted Mr. Bruce for direct assistance on the project.  As this project would open up the GIS program to a new international level, it was accepted with excitement.  Students including Melody Qanadilo, Kelley Holocker, and upcoming freshman Daniel Ortiz all contributed to the early stages in the project’s development. Their progress can be seen on the beta interactive webpage, made by Thomas Fish.  The team, led by Brad Janocha, will ultimately use remote sensing and contemporary imagery to develop GIS solutions to ground water scarcity in the region.

The Darfur project has created a link between the Washington College GIS lab and the international community; by reaching out to people in need, the significance of this program will continue to grow.

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