Professor Alyssa K. Whitcraft has a broad portfolio ranging from management of large, multi-national programs to applications research in remote sensing of agriculture and in the social, political, economic and technical aspects of transforming decision support systems with Earth observations.
She is the associate director and program manager of NASA Harvest, a multidisciplinary consortium of over 40 partners commissioned by NASA and led by the University of Maryland focused on advancing the use of satellite-based Earth observations by agricultural and food security decision-makers. She is also an associate research professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences at UMD, where she has served on numerous committees.
Since 2015, Alyssa has served as program scientist at the G20’s Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM), where she co-developed the foundations of the program in addition to her specific roles as Agriculture Point of Contact to the world's space agencies (CEOS), lead of the Earth Observation Data Coordination component and founder and director of the Agricultural Monitoring in the Americas Initiative, a regional GEOGLAM network.
She has led the development of GEOGLAM’s satellite observation acquisition, pre-processing and access requirements, drawing together the state of the science with the state of use from the perspective of eventual information and decision support needs. In the process, Alyssa has learned to engage with diverse stakeholders along the data-decisions cycle and to develop collaborations and partnership models with public and private sector, emphasizing sustainable business models and value to all actors.
Alyssa is engaged in capacity development efforts worldwide and has broad interests in increasing equitable access to knowledge and diversity in science and academia. She firmly believes in intersectionality in all things, acknowledging the role that each of us has in revolutionizing the food system in the face of pressing global challenges, and brings this lens to her work.