By Umesh Acharya – Dr. Umesh Acharya has recently (August 2021) joined Dr. Rattan Lal C-MASC, at the Ohio State University as Postdoctoral Scholar. Umesh completed his master’s and PhD in soil science from North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, USA. He developed a model to predict soil moisture integrating satellite imagery, weather station and soil data using machine learning algorithms. During his PhD, he was teaching assistant for Introductory soil science course for two semesters and independently managed soil lab class for a group (12 students).
Umesh developed his expertise on satellite image processing, machine learning algorithms, ArcGIS during his PhD work. Umesh has worked in drainage, tillage, crop rotation, residue decomposition, cover crop and soil health and published five research articles from his master’s work from North Dakota State University. In addition, He got a Government of India scholarship to pursue master’s in horticulture from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. He has worked on the effect of zinc and boron on yield and quality of seedling transplanting multiplier onions.
Before coming to the United States, Umesh worked as food security coordinator in a remote hilly district of Nepal for three years. He worked closely with small holder farmers to improve soil productivity in the marginal land and support farmers with software approaches utilizing local resources and knowledge. The principal approach was agriculture for food and nutrition because transportation was a huge problem. They must produce enough food to support themselves for the entire year. Umesh also worked in the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF Nepal) for one year (2015-16) on a project supported by Global Environment Facility (GEF). Here, he worked with farmers in the buffer zone of national parks of fragile Chure mountain to implement agroforestry approaches and protect soil and agriculture farms. All his work in Nepal was in collaboration with the Agricultural ministry and Extension services.
He has published 12 articles in peer reviewed journals and one study report. Umesh is recipient of the prestigious “Nepal Vidhya Vhusan” gold medal from the president of Nepal in the year 2016 for his excellent academic achievement during his MS in Horticulture from India. In addition, he has received five awards from North Dakota State University and two fellowships from North Dakota Water Resources Institute.
At Dr. Rattan Lal C-MASC, Umesh is conducting research on measuring soil organic carbon and soil moisture using the device developed by Microsoft and calibrating device based on soil physical characteristics. He will be using drone hyperspectral images and satellite images to map soil organic carbon and moisture at field and farm level. He will work directly with the research team of Microsoft to develop a model to measure and map soil organic carbon at large scale. Umesh is excited to work with the Dr. Rattan Lal C-MASC team and Microsoft. Dr. Rattan Lal was an idol for Umesh and feels lucky and dream comes true to work under his guidance.