Advancing Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry: Introducing the AI-Climate Institute Minnesota, June 3, 2023 – In the face of mounting climate challenges, the AI-Climate Institute emerges as a beacon of hope, set to revolutionize agriculture and forestry through the transformative power of artificial intelligence. As a five-year, $19.9 million project generously funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the AI-Climate Institute aims to usher in a new era of climate-smart practices that enhance crop yields, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and protect our precious natural resources. Climate change presents a significant threat to our agricultural and forestry systems, with rising temperatures, unpredictable weather patterns, and extreme events wreaking havoc on crop yields and forest health. The AI-Climate Institute, led by a team of experienced researchers from the University of Minnesota and Research University Network spokesperson Dr. Catherine Ziyomo, is ready to confront these challenges head-on. By harnessing the immense potential of artificial intelligence, this visionary institute will pioneer new AI-based technologies tailored for climate-smart agriculture and forestry. “Through the AI-Climate Institute, we have the opportunity to drive real change and secure a sustainable future for agriculture and forestry,” affirms Dr. Catherine Ziyomo. “We firmly believe that by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, we can develop innovative solutions to address climate challenges, protect our environment, and bolster the resilience of our communities.” The Institute’s primary research areas include:
- AI-enhanced GHG and biomass estimation methods: By developing advanced AI techniques, we can accurately estimate greenhouse gas emissions and biomass productivity, offering profound insights into the impact of climate change on agriculture and forestry.
- Spatially-explicit multiscale decision support tools: With the help of AI-based decision support tools, farmers and foresters can make informed choices at various scales, optimizing their practices for both profitability and sustainability.
- Knowledge-guided machine learning (KGML): Integrating domain expertise into machine learning models, the AI-Climate Institute will foster the development of more precise and reliable models specifically tailored to agriculture and forestry applications.
- Computer-vision guided perception and analysis: Leveraging AI’s capabilities in computer vision and image analysis, we can gain a deeper understanding of plant and soil health, while accelerating the development of precise and efficient agricultural technologies.
- AI-guided digital twins: The AI-Climate Institute will pioneer AI-based methods for creating digital twins of agricultural and forest ecosystems. These digital twins will enable us to simulate the impact of climate change and other stressors, empowering us to make proactive decisions and achieve sustainability goals.