Catherine Nakalembe is Assistant Research Professor at the University of Maryland. She grew up in Kampala, Uganda, where she earned a BSc. at Makerere University in Environmental Science. Dr. Nakalembe earned an MSc. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and her Ph.D. in Geographical Science at the University of Maryland. Most recently, she was awarded the 2020 Africa Food Prize (AFP) for her contributions to the promotion of food security across the continent.
Dr. Nakalembe has broad interests including agriculture, food security, remote sensing, and climate change. She has worked with the World Bank Environment Group and Climate Change Unit, The Nature Conservancy, Washington Adventist University, The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the NASA LCLUC program. She is currently working with government agencies in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda as a co-investigator on the NASA SERVIR Applied Sciences Team and NASA Harvest. She also serves as the Program Assistant for the NASA Land Cover and Land Use Change Program.
Dr. Nakalembe's doctoral research focused on drought and its impacts on land use and livelihoods in the Karamoja region of North Eastern Uganda. She pioneered the repurposing of remote sensing by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from agricultural monitoring, to the survey of major refugee camps in her native Uganda.