In PONTOS a new generation of scientists turn satellite data into useful information

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The first training session on “Exploitation of Earth Observation Satellite Systems Data” was held virtually on 13- 14 October by the PONTOS partners in Greece Democritus University of Thrace (DUTH) and the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH).

The two-day long online Training session attracted more than 80 participants coming from Regional Administrations, Municipalities, Protected Area Management Bodies and the wider Public Administration as well as young scientists, students and professionals active in the primary sector. The training focused on topics related to the use of satellite monitoring technology focusing on Copernicus’ services. More specifically, presentations and discussions delved around spaceborne data assimilation for the assessment of coastal erosion, the systematic monitoring and assessment of eutrophication in lagoons, the improvement of water use in agriculture through precision irrigation systems in the Nestos Delta region, and land cover mapping via the Earth Observation Data for Ecosystem Monitoring (EODESM) system.

PONTOS pilot demonstration site in Greece

The PONTOS project approach is based on the use of tested cutting-edge technological applications for the optimization of environmental and agricultural management through the exploitation of satellite data and their validation at the local scale through the extensive network of sensors and monitoring stations deployed by DUTH. This network has been installed and operated over the last 15 years in both the terrestrial and marine areas of the region, mainly funded by trans-European cooperation and research programmes.

“We are gradually creating the infrastructure for the provision of Knowledge support services to local businesses and public services and contribute to the creation of a new generation of scientists capable of transforming scientific data into useful information and therefore into a lever for sustainable local development, innovation and entrepreneurship”, said Professor George Sylaios of DUTH, in his concluding remarks. The leader of the CERTH team, Dr. Ioannis Manakos, highlighted the importance and value of interaction of the end users with the PONTOS services and products for enhancing cooperation, exchange of knowledge and practices implementation experience across the Black Sea Basin countries. Indeed, the PONTOS project brings together six major government, civil society and knowledge development actors from Greece, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine and offers an opportunity to strengthen and deepen relations in critical activity sectors.

The next training session will take place at the end of the first semester of 2022 in cooperation with the Municipality of Nestos and will include practical training in the field, which was cancelled this time due to adverse weather conditions.

Training materials and resources are available with this link.