GES students map cropland changes in Eastern Thailand due to COVID-19 with satellite technologies

Categories: News

Four GES students Miles Calloway, Wyatt Hicks, Harris Robinson, and John Kinsey, along with two non-GES students Mia Todd (Architecture) and Grace Bell (UNC-CH), travelled to Thailand this summer to participate in a 8-week collaborative project between UNC Charlotte and Chulalongkorn University, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Directed by Dr. Gang Chen and Dr. Colleen Hammelman, the students conducted field work in seven provinces of Eastern Thailand: Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Prachin Buri, Rayong, Sa Kaeo, and Trat. Three years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world. The pandemic had lasting economic, social, and political effects, many of which impacted the farmers of Eastern Thailand. The project seeks to understand these changes through the analysis of satellite and field data, and answer an important research question “How has crop cultivation in Eastern Thailand changed between the years of 2017-2023 due to the effects of COVID-19?” At the end of the program, students conducted two workshops in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, to disseminate the research findings, which were well received by Thai policy makers, farmers and researchers. 

Below are several photos from the 8-week project: