Environmental sensing activities at Kishenyi fields


For the past few days, we have been studying human-nature interactions. So, today we have shifted our focus more to the environment. This morning  (19.1.2024) we had our first brief introduction lecture on environmental sensing techniques by Ashfak Mahmud. We came to learn about soil health assessment and monitoring, conducting ground-based measurements using a field spectrometer, indoor and outdoor soil and leaf spectral measurement protocols and also got to know more about the instruments for environmental sensing activities- spectroradiometer and accessories. It is really interesting to know that by comparing and analyzing spectral measurements we can monitor soil and vegetation health. After the lecture, we left for Kishenyi. We did two types of activities at the field sites:

  1. Outdoor spectral measurement of maize leaf
  2. Soil sampling

Outdoor spectral measurement of maize leaf

To take the measurements, we went to the test field sites of the REACT project. There we took spectral measurements of maize leaves using a spectroradiometer, leaf clip, white reference and android PDA. First, we took the reflectance measurement of the white reference and then we took the the measurements of the target leaves. We didn’t need any external light source as the leaf clip has its own source of light!

Spectroradiometer and the leaf clip
Leaf spectral measurement

Soil sampling

Firstly, we selected sites for the soil samples and by using push probes and hammer probes, samples were taken out. We had sieved the samples before lebelling them.


Sieving the soil samplesWe also tracked the location of those sites by using the GPS device. After coming back to the station, we took the measurements of soil spectra in the laboratory room using the spectroradiometer. The room was completely dark and we tried to ensure that no other light source was present there as it can hamper the actual result.

It was a suceessful day with lots of learnings and hand on exercise experiences!