Using Remote Sensing and GIS to Analyze NDVI Values for Darfur, Sudan

Learning Unit Description:

Integrated Geospatial Education and Technology Training (iGETT) presents a series of Learning Units (LU) designed to incorporate federal land remote sensing data into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) instruction. This LU focuses on what likely caused the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, a conflict between farmers needing water for their crops and nomads needing water for their cattle during droughts that may signal the onset of regional desertification. During this LU students analyze data from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and examine it along with rainfall totals. MODIS imagery will be used in the lesson. The learning objectives and outcomes for this learning unit are: 

  • Describe remote sensing and how NDVI analysis it is used.
  • Explain the geographic method along with its similarities and differences with the scientific method.
  • Understand the causes of drought and desertification, specifically in Darfur, Sudan.
  • Download specific MODIS data imagery using GLOVIS from the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) and load it into ENVI for analysis.
  • Analyze monthly NDVI data for 2008 in the Darfur region to determine the wet and dry seasons for the region.
  • Analyze NDVI values for the wet month - the month of August - in the Darfur region from 2000 to 2008 to determine if the genocide occurred during a dry period for the region as many suggests.
  • Load the NDVI values into GIS to create a map showing the NDVI values for the region.
  • Correlate the relationship between precipitation patterns and NDVI values based on the GIS.
  • Explain how water shortages influenced and perhaps initiated the 2003 genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
  • Analyze before and after satellite imagery to observe the actual destruction to villages caused by the invasion of the Janjaweed nomad militias into the non-Arab farm lands.

Lesson Contents:

This learning unit includes an instructor guide, student handout, a curriculum support document, and data files.

The 12-page instructor guide includes a problem statement, overview, learning objectives, a time estimate, lesson sequence, a correlation to National Geography Standards, resources, an answer guide, and more.

The 5-page curriculum support document includes a lesson description; a learning sequence; software, hardware, and data resources needed; method of instruction; and more.

The 19-page student handout includes an overview; and introduction to NDVI analysis, drought, and desertification; directions for downloading and reprojecting MODIS NDVI imagery; directions for NDVI analysis for Western Sudan, two worksheets, and more.  

There are 7 data sets in .rar format that are also included.

For orientation purposes Dastrup_CS.pdf has been included as a separate attachment, and offers a sample of the type of material included in the lesson unit. 

LU_Adast (12 files, 1.56 GB)

  • adastrup_data1.rar (17.5 MB)
  • adastrup_data2.rar (222.9 MB)
  • adastrup_data3.rar (225.3)
  • adastrup_data4.rar (226.6 MB)
  • adastrup_data5.rar (301 MB)
  • adastrup_data6.rar (3.3.2 MB)
  • adastrup_data7.rar (225.5 MB)
  • Curriculum Support Document (Dastrup_CS.pdf 331 KB)
  • Correlating Drought and Land Use Conflicts in Sudan Instructor Guide (Dastrup_IG_Final(4).pdf 5 MB)
  • Correlating Drought and Land Use Conflicts in Sudan Student Hangout (Dastrup_SH_Final.pdf 28.9 MB)
  • Lesson Overview (Dastrup_Thumbnail.pdf 216 KB)
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