Blog / Maddie West / July 17, 2018
A Junior Professional Officer (JPO) from China has joined the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat in Geneva to support work on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security. Guo Man will work alongside GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM) director Ian Jarvis to support agricultural monitoring research.
We spoke with Guo Man to learn more about her background and what she will be working on at GEO:
Hi Guo Man, welcome to GEO! Can you tell us a bit about your educational and professional background?
I am an associate professor in the area of Science and Technology Innovation. I’ve been working in the Torch High Technology Industry Development Center of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology for nearly ten years, including in policy formulation and implementation, technology transfer, organization development, data analysis and research report writing. The past decade helped me to fully understand the field of science and technology innovation.
Of course, as a JPO, the deciding factors for me to work with GEO were my educational background in agricultural information management, and my work experience in international organizations.
What will you be working on as part of the GEO Secretariat and GEOGLAM team?
I will be working on sustainable agriculture, which includes the sustainable use of agricultural resources, the continuous improvement of agricultural ecology, and agricultural economics.
At the same time, food security remains a critical issue for the international community. I will work under the guidance of Ian Jarvis to contribute to GEO’s efforts in support of the Sustainable Development Goals - a commitment upheld by all states. In particular we are focusing on how we can support Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger.
In August, I am going to be attending the GEOGLAM Annual Meeting, focusing on GEOGLAM cloud infrastructure and knowledge management. It will be a great learning experience to get to know more about GEO’s Flagships, Initiatives and Community Activities, and a great opportunity to meet the rest of the GEOGLAM Community.
How will you combine your work experience from China with your work at GEO?
That's a good question, and also what I thought about quite a bit before I started at GEO. I am a person with strong goals and plans, and I am very concerned about the operability and effectiveness of my work. I really hope that my work can focus not only on scientific data, but also to serve regional economic development and benefit people's livelihoods.
In the past decade, my work in China has focused on technology commercialization. Although I was in the management department, I understand that only with the combination of technology and capital can agriculture produce the amplification effect to feed the world.
Businesses drive innovation and bridge between science and economy. I hope that the future work of GEO, whether in the field of agricultural sustainable development or other areas, more large and medium-sized businesses will get involved. There’s a Chinese proverb that says "be tolerant to diversity, tolerance is a virtue “(海纳百川，有容乃大). It is important that GEO engage the full diverse range of stakeholders in our work.
Is there anything specific you hope to accomplish during your year with us?
GEO is an open platform, which connects the demand for sound and timely environmental information with the supply of data and information about the Earth. I would like to understand more about our community, including opportunities to strengthen GEO’s connection with current and prospective partners.
GEO is a professional platform. Part of [the Global Earth Observation System of System (GEOSS)’s] value is that it is underpinned by both science-based information from satellites and in-situ observations. I look forward to working with the GEO team to build a results-oriented GEOSS, and making a meaningful contribution during my time with the GEO Secretariat.