University of Helsinki in collaboration with University of Nairobi & RCMRD conducted training in GIS & RS in Nairobi, Kenya

University of Helsinki in collaboration with University of Nairobi and Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development conducted an advanced training in GIS and RS in Nairobi, Kenya.

The University of Helsinki (UH), in collaboration with the University of Nairobi (UoN) and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), organized an advanced training program in Geographical Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) in Nairobi, Kenya. The training took place from June 5th to June 8th, 2023.

The primary objective of the training was to provide participants from the ESSA project partners and associates with the necessary skills to utilize airborne laser scanning data for environmental mapping and analyze geospatial data using the Google Earth Engine cloud computing platform. A total of 20 participants attended the training, consisting of 13 male and 7 female individuals. The participants represented various organizations, including the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), UoN, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), RCMRD, the Wildlife Research Training Institute, and the Taita Taveta County Government.

The training covered a range of topics, including an introduction to the ESSA project and airborne laser scanning (ALS), visualizing ALS data products in software like QGIS and RStudio, ALS applications for mapping environmental parameters, modeling vegetation biomass using ALS metrics, an introduction to the Google Earth Engine (GEE) and JavaScript programming, remote sensing data collections in GEE, land cover classification using GEE, training machine learning algorithms for land cover classification, and accuracy assessment of land cover maps.

Trainers from the University of Helsinki's Department of Geosciences and Geography, specifically Dr. Janne Heiskanen and Mr. Ilja Vuorinne, along with Ms. Rose Njambi from the University of Nairobi, were actively involved in conducting the training.

Overall, the training aimed to enhance the institutional capacity of the participants in applying remote sensing and geographical information systems for environmental management.