Faqrul Islam Chowdhury- translating his learning into practices

Mr. Faqrul Islam Chowdhury, Assistant Professor of the Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences of Chattogram University (IFESCU) was a participant in the Google Earth Engine (GEE) training. USAID’s Community Partnerships to Strengthen Sustainable Development Program (Compass) organized the GEE training for the students, early career forestry graduates, and young forestry faculties and researchers. The ultimate objective of the training was to increase the capability of the forestry professionals for dealing with the geospatial data for different applications in forestry. It was an online-based eight weeks long training and started in May 2021. The program covered GIS and Remote Sensing by using QGIS/ArcGIS software and geospatial data analysis with GEE including 16 lectures with two lectures per week. Bangladeshi trainers working at different foreign universities, as well as foreign professionals, facilitated the training. 

Before Mr. Chowdhury had some basic knowledge of GEE, but he never practiced in the professional field. The GEE training helped the participants to develop confidence through lecturing and assignments. After receiving the training, Mr. Chowdhury was confident enough to supervise an undergraduate forestry student, Ashiqur Rahman. With the close supervision of Mr. Chowdhury, Ashiqur did “modelling of soil organic carbon storage in the Chattogram University campus using InVEST 3.9 software and GEE". For the modelling of the soil carbon storage, Ashiqur did a Land Use Land Cover (LULC) classification of the study area by using GEE. Ashiqur used GEE also for making a NDVI Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)map of the Chattogram University campus using GEE. 

GEE is important for the forestry professional for identifying location, area map, vegetation, and analysis of different data like land-use patterns, vegetation cover, and forest types. USAID’s Compass Program aims to strengthen the capacity of key academic and research institutions in Bangladesh to provide technical support in preparing students for the present and future needs of the forests, natural resource management, and resilience. As part of the program activity, Compass organized the training in collaboration with Khulna University.