Report from Washington, D.C.

NASA and USAID Work Together on Earth Issues

Written by: developer

NASA and USAID Work Together on Earth Issues NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have signed a five-year memorandum of understanding that formalizes agency collaborations that use Earth science data to address developmental challenges, and to assist in disaster mitigation and humanitarian responses. The agreement also encourages NASA and USAID to apply geospatial technologies to solve development challenges affecting the United States and developing countries.

The agencies will continue collaborations to stimulate innovative science and technology solutions to international development challenges by using Earth science data, research results, computer models, visualization applications and remote-sensing techniques.

USAID is the lead federal development agency implementing U.S. development efforts through field-based programs and projects around the world. NASA has broad experience with Earth science research, development of Earth science information products and technology applications.

Since 2003, NASA and USAID have worked together building and expanding the SERVIR program, which integrates satellite observations, ground-based data and forecast models to monitor and forecast environmental changes and improve response to natural disasters in Central America, the Caribbean, East Africa and the Himalayan region of Asia. The Earth observations are used for agriculture, biodiversity conservation, climate change, disaster response, weather forecasting and energy and health issues.

The agencies also collaborate on the LAUNCH program, a NASA, USAID, Department of State and Nike partnership that  helps science and technology innovators in the non-profit and private sectors achieve greater impact on sustainability issues. 

The agencies have agreed to explore how efforts promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education can be advanced through joint support of programs such as Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE), a worldwide primary and secondary school-based science and education program funded by NASA and other U.S. agencies.

For more information about the SERVIR program, click here; for more information about the LAUNCH program, click here; for more information about NASA and agency programs, click here.


This article is part of Space Watch: May 2011 (Volume: 10, Issue: 5).