Pietro Ceccato originally trained as an agronomist and soil scientist. He spent two years in Central African Republic helping local communities improve agricultural practices before obtaining an M.S. degree in environmental management using decision-support systems. As a Research Scientist at the Natural Resources Institute (Chatham, UK), he developed remote sensing products to monitor active fires and vegetation status in order to assess fire risk. He has also worked at the European Commission Joint Research Centre (Ispra, Italy) and at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (Rome, Italy) to develop an early warning system to monitor Desert Locust. Pietro joined the International Research Institute for Climate and Society in 2004. He is responsible for the advancement of remote sensing techniques within research activities and leads the Environmental Monitoring Program. He has conducted research in the use of remote sensing methods to study land surface temperature, relationship between rainfall and vegetation response, statistical methods in human health mapping, and links between diseases and climate/environmental factors. Many of these studies have resulted in the development of new remote sensing products which are currently available via the IRI Data Library (http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/index.html). Pietro has also integrated methods for the analysis of climate and environmental factors with epidemiological data and fire data to create new early warning systems for human health, food security and fire risk management. As a result of this research, Early Warning Systems have been created for (i) food security, (ii) fire early warning, and (iii) malaria early warning. These EWSs are now used operationally by different ministries of agriculture, natural resources, and health and by several national and international organizations, for example, NASA (SERVIR), UN-FAO (Desert Locust Information System), and UN-WHO (Global Malaria Program).
Biography Updated on 2 December 2012