- Wed 13,Dec 2023
UAES PARTNERS ASTAL ON HUMAN CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
The University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo, Imo State, has collaborated with the Advanced Space Technology Applications Laboratory (ASTAL) Uyo to organize a capacity-building workshop which was attended by over six higher Institutions in Imo State and environs.
The workshop held last Thursday at the University could be said to be the first fruit of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Advanced Space Technology Applications Laboratory (ASTAL), Uyo and the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo, Imo State. The organization of an intensive capacity-building workshop last Thursday at the University by ASTAL was welcomed as a milestone in the earlier agreement by the two organizations.
ASTAL operates under the auspices of the National Space Research and Development Agency, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology. The three-day workshop was essentially organized to develop local content on the use of synthetic aperture radar for tackling environmental and security challenges in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.
In a welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Prof Christopher Eze thanked the management of the Advanced Space Technology Applications Laboratory (ASTAL) for its proactiveness and purposefulness in organizing timely workshop on an effective space-driven technology that will assist in checking environmental hazards in the Niger Delta Region of the country, an area that is prone to various forms of oil spillage, gas flaring and pipeline vandalism.
Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellor urged participants to take the workshop seriously as it was aimed at building their capacity in space research. “This workshop aims to foster scientific collaboration, promote knowledge exchange, and strengthen local capacity by training individuals in the effective use of SAR technology. Through this immersive experience, we will delve into the applications of SAR for environmental monitoring, resource management, and security enhancement. I encourage you all to actively participate, engage in fruitful discussions, and harness the collective expertise present here.
"By sharing ideas, experiences, and innovative approaches, we can position ourselves at the forefront of synthetic aperture radar research and its application to address environmental and security concerns in the Niger Delta region.”
The University Chief thanked His Excellency, Dist. Sen Hope Uzodinma for the noble vision he has for the Institution which has seen the University excel in various forms of institutional reforms and collaborations. He also hailed the Governor for envisioning a University at a time like this which is positioned to play a lead role in championing the cause of teaching and research in agricultural and environmental issues.
In her key note address, Dr. Chinyere Amadi of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, commended the Management of the Advanced Space Technology Applications Laboratory (ASTAL) for collaborating with the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in organizing a capacity-building workshop that is aimed at leveraging on technology to solve environmental issues that are ravaging the Niger Delta Region of the country.
In a technical session, the Director and Chief Executive Officer of ASTAL, Dr. Kenneth Uchua took participants on an exhaustive intellectual expedition on the history of Nigeria’s venture into the space, the various satellites so far launched by the country and their roles in the space. He also opened the eyes of participants to the dynamics of space technology and the myriad of existential problems that could be solved through the technology. He cited several occasions when the organization had had to assist the country proffer solutions to extreme climatic conditions. It will be recalled that participants at the workshop all had their laptops installed with requisite software with which to engage in practical sessions required at the workshop. There were lectures on Nigeria Space Programme Launch, Satellite Remote Sensing and Earth Observation and Practical session on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).
In the end, Dr. Uchua congratulated the participants for being attentive, while recommending them to be certificated by the Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo. He also encouraged participants who are doing postgraduate studies in space related areas to visit the Laboratory in Uyo and take a course for two weeks or a month during which their worldview would exponentially improve.
Finally, Dr. Uchua challenged participating institutions to take advantage of the requirements given by the organization and open a space resource centre in each of their institutions.
High point of the event was the presentation of certificates to participants amid fanfare.
The event was graced by the Special Adviser on UAES, Chief Ezekiel Chukwukere, Special Adviser on Intervention, Hon. Mrs. Esther Ukachukwu and a former Commissioner for Education in Imo State.