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NASA Hosts Two Media Briefings About Earth System Science Advances

June 15, 2009

 NASA will hold two media briefings to present new developments in research and benefits to society made possible by the Earth system science approach pioneered by the agency during the last 20 years. The briefings will be held on June 23 and 24 at 12:30 p.m. EDT at the National Academy of Sciences, 2100 C St., NW, Washington.

The briefings are part of the “NASA Earth System Science at 20: Accomplishments, Plans and Challenges” symposium sponsored by NASA’s Earth Science Division. NASA embarked on a revolutionary mission for its Earth science program 20 years ago: to study our planet from space as an inter-related whole. The June 22-24 symposium features more than 20 invited talks, including a presentation on June 22 at 11 a.m. by NASA Acting Administrator Christopher Scolese about the evolution of NASA’s Earth-observing capability.

The media briefing on Tuesday, June 23, will focus on current Earth system science projects that are providing new benefits to society:

* From Satellites to Whales: Stewardship of Living Marine Resources
New capabilities produce forecasts of marine habitats that support management of sustainable fisheries and mitigate adverse human interactions with protected species. Presented by Dave Foley of the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Pacific Grove, Calif.

* Forecasting California Agricultural Water Needs

Developing targeted forecasts of crops’ water needs to reduce water use and boost crop yields. Presented by Ramakrishna Nemani of NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffet Field, Calif.

* From Space to Village: The Growing SERVIR Program

The Web-based network that brings critical Earth information to decision-makers in developing countries. Presented by Dan Irwin of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The media briefing on Wednesday, June 24, highlights new research frontiers made possible by the Earth system science perspective:

* Where Deserts and Mountains Collide: Snowmelt and Disturbed Desert Dust

Probing the link between dust storms, mountain snowpack, ecosystems and the impact on water resources in arid regions of the world. Presented by Tom Painter, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

* A New View of Arctic Haze

Early results from a NASA mission investigating the complexities of the “Arctic haze” phenomenon, its causes, and its climate impacts. Presented by Jim Crawford of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

* Rethinking What Causes Spring Phytoplankton Blooms

A new analysis of satellite data is challenging assumptions about the cause of the North Atlantic spring bloom. Presented by Michael Behrenfeld, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.

* New Tools for Carbon Detectives: Tracking Carbon Emissions and Sequestration

A breakthrough in producing high-resolution maps of carbon release and uptake by people, plants, and soils over North America using satellite and atmospheric data. Presented by Anna Michalak, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

A press room will be available throughout the symposium for registered journalists. Reporters are required to pre-register for the symposium at:
http://dels.nas.edu/osb/nasa.shtml

Background material and visuals supporting the presentations will be available online one hour before the start of each briefing at:

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earthsystem_science.html

Reporters who cannot attend the briefings may participate via teleconference. For dial-in instructions, contact Steve Cole at stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov. Audio of the media briefings will be streamed live on NASA’s Web site at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

The symposium also features a free public event on June 23 from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. in the National Academy auditorium. “Observations of Our Changing Earth from Space” will feature a panel discussion with several Earth scientists and a performance from violinist Kenji Williams.

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Image Credit: NASA

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