Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


UGA doctoral student selected as NASA Future Investigator

Alan Flurry

Chintan Maniyar, a Ph.D. student in the department of geography, received a NASA early career fellowship, the NASA Earth Science Division announced in August.

Known as the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINNEST), the $150,000 fellowship, the program accepts proposals for graduate student-designed research projects that contribute to Science Mission Directorate’s science, technology, and exploration goals. Maniyar and project P.I. Deepak Mishra were one of 53 awardees selected for their proposal, "Detection, Driver-Response Analysis, and Forecasting of Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms in Inland Waters Under a Changing Climate."

The project aims to fuse earth observation and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to develop an integrated model for near-real time monitoring, quantification, and forecasting of CyanoHABs. 

Maniyar will work on a remote sensing framework to detect, monitor, and forecast toxic Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (CyanoHABs) in freshwater systems. The effort will utilize multi-sensor and multi-platform remote sensing data to understand the spatio-temporal evolution of CyanoHABs with climate change, and employ cloud computing and AI techniques to develop an early warning system to mitigate the environmental and public health risks associated with CyanoHABs.

"The negative health consequences associated with cyanobacterial harmful algae blooms (CyanoHABs) are expected to disproportionately impact populations that are intimately associated with and directly dependent upon water resources and are thus more likely to encounter CyanoHABs," said Mishra, Merle C. Prunty, Jr. Professor & associate head of the department of geography. "Continuous monitoring and information dissemination are key to tackling the challenge. Chintan’s proposed modeling framework will apply to a broad range of inland waterbodies worldwide." 

"The results and tools from this project will not only provide means for continuous monitoring and early warning of CyanoHABs, but will also help understand the long-term evolution of CyanoHABs under a changing climate and their functioning in a more localized way for inland waterbodies," he said. 

This research will also provide a framework to continuously assess water quality conditions in small to moderate-sized waterbodies often missed by coarse resolution satellite data, and would positively impact public health if monitoring results could be disseminated through social media in a timely fashion.

Image: Chintan Maniyar, via NASA


Support Franklin College

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.