UCL Department of Geography


Beijing Winter School

First International Symposium on Agricultural & Ecological Remote Sensing attracted over 500 students

During 24-26, November 2018, withthe aim of improving lasting benefits and scientific impacts of UK-China Newton Agri-Tech Projects funded by STFC, the first International Symposium on Agricultural & Ecological Remote Sensing and Postgraduate Training Conference was hosted by University College London (UCL) and China Agricultural University (CAU) in CAU, Beijing.

Researchers from more than 110 institutes, including, UCL, CAU, Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing for Agri-Hazards, Key Laboratory of Agricultural Land Quality, Ministry of Land and Resources, the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, National Agriculture Informationization Engineering Technical Research Center, China Academy of Agricultural Sciences Resource and Agricultural Quhua Academe, China Meteorological Research Institute, Beijing Normal University, Peking University and so on, presented in this meeting, including 27 professors, and more than 600 postgraduates students and research associates.

In the opening session, Professor Philip Lewis, from the Department of Geography, UCL, stressed the importance of using ESA Sentinels satellites for agricultural monitoring, especially for North China Plain (NCP), which is nearly 20% of the total agricultural area in China and of great food security and economic importance for the whole country. In the rest of the conference, talks given by different professors cover the usages of remote sensing technologies in agriculture and ecological area, which include optical, SAR, hyper-spectral, solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence, and the usages of data assimilation in combining different 3D vegetation canopy radiative transfer models, crop growth models with remote sensing observations in the applications of classifying different crop types, monitoring crop growth stage and health, and product quality, predicting the crop final yields, and the mutual effects of agriculture and the ecosystem, mainly focus on the hydrology and soil fertilisation.

On the 26th of November, Dr Nicola Pounder from Assimila Ltd., UK, partner of UK-China Newton Agri-Tech Projects, Dr Qingling Wu, Dr Hongyuan Ma and Feng Yin from the Department of Geography, UCL, gave practical training on the usage of Earth Observation Land Data Assimilation (EO-LDAS) software for assimilating satellite observation and prior information of vegetation growth with 3D vegetation canopy growth model to infer vegetation canopy structure and leaf spectral information during the whole vegetation growing periods. The practical training session truly brings UK and China researchers sitting together and has hands-on practices on general remote sensing problems, which helps to make the discussions of scientific problems become more vivid and perceptible.

Winter School

Just after the conferences, many participants feel it’s very fruitful to join this meeting and wish to have a second conference and more practical sessions.

As one of the leading Institute of the UK-China Newton Agri-Tech Projects, researchers from the Department of Geography, UCL, are cooperating firmly with researchers from China partners, and importantly we are also trying to pursue prolonged benefits for people in this country by initiating a platform for professors, researchers and students to share, discuss and learn different aspects of remote sensing research, in particular for agriculture monitoring, with each other.