Benjamin D. Goffin: Pioneering Remote Sensing for Agricultural Sustainability

Bluefield State University proudly celebrates the accomplishments of Benjamin D. Goffin, a 2016 graduate of the College of Engineering Technology. Fueling his passion for utilizing space-based earth observations to tackle global issues, Benjamin’s innovative work in remote sensing has earned him the prestigious title of Grand Prize winner in the esteemed 2023 AGU Michael H. Freilich Data Visualization Competition.

Benjamin’s academic journey began at Bluefield State University, where he completed his undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering Technology. He then earned his Master of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Virginia. Following a successful stint as a civil engineer, Benjamin returned to the University of Virginia, where he is pursuing his doctorate under the guidance of Professor Venkataraman Lakshmi.

Benjamin’s commitment to furthering his knowledge base included participating in the NASA Applied Science Capacity Building Program. He focused on harnessing the power of NASA satellites to monitor plant water demand and identify wildfire risks during megadroughts. His work led to receiving the Carlos and Esther Farrar University of Virginia Engineering Fellowship and the Peter and Crisler Quick Jefferson Scholars Foundation Fellowship.

In his presentation entitled “Combatting a Megadrought with Space-based Earth Observations,” Benjamin unveils the revolutionary potential of satellite observations in bolstering agricultural and water sustainability efforts. With data from the Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager and leveraging the perspective of the International Space Station, Benjamin presents dynamic visualizations that vividly portray the intricate relationship between vegetation greenness, drought, and crop-water interactions.

Benjamin’s work also serves as an invaluable tool for comprehending the complexities of water scarcity. By analyzing and translating global datasets into accessible and meaningful information, he showcases the transformative power of remote sensing in informing irrigation management strategies.

As Benjamin takes center stage at the upcoming AGU Annual Meeting, Bluefield State University proudly commends him for his extraordinary achievements and unwavering dedication to advancing scientific knowledge.

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