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Marissa Kunerth

Congratulations to the winners of the NASA Earth Science in Action Comic Strip Contest, an international competition led by the NASA Applied Sciences Prizes and Challenges Program and non-profit organization, SciArt Exchange.  

The challenge invited youth and adults to create action-packed comics that show how NASA satellite imagery benefits life on Earth by helping communities protect oceans, air, and land. Artists created original comic strip artwork inspired by these three stories:  

  1. Palau Fish Stocks in Danger – Satellite Data to the Rescue! 

  1. Citizens of Thailand Avoid Harmful Air with Quality Satellite Data! 

  1. Satellite Data and Savvy Scientists Save Civilians from Worsening Wildfire Hazards 

The goal of this challenge was to show the impact of Earth science applications through educational and inspiring comics from artists around the world. 

The challenge received over 95 submissions from more than 105 artists in 14 countries.  

All submissions were evaluated and scored based on the following elements of artistic expression and scientific reality: aesthetics and skill, creativity, scientific accuracy, and fulfilled intent. 30 comics advanced to the final round of the challenge.  

A panel of finals judges, consisting of comic artists, illustrators, astronauts, and scientists reviewed the top submissions and chose a winner and runner-up from each age group and story category. Congratulations to the ten winning artists! 

Palau Story Winners: 

Adult Winner – David Alegria, Spain 

Adult Runner-Up – Gustavo Soria, Guatemala 

Youth Winner – Jiandi Chi, Canada, 

Youth Runner-Up – Divyangana Vashist, Canada 


Thailand Story Winners: 

Youth Winner – Katie Chung, United States 

Youth Runner-Up – Iris Behr, United Kingdom 


United States Wildfire Story Winners: 

Adult Winner – Folahanmi Akinleye, United States 

Adult Runner-Up – Aral Olgun, United States 

Youth Winner – Nicholas Jean, United States 

Youth Runner-Up – Sofia Garzon, Columbia 


In addition to awarding the judges’ selections, the top 30 comics were published on the NASA Applied Sciences site. The public was able to vote from October 3-10, 2022, on favorite comics in each age group and story category to win a People’s Choice Award. Congratulations to the five People’s Choice Award winners! 


Palau Story People’s Choice Award: 

Adult Winner – Gustavo Soria, Guatemala 

Youth Winner – Ratnesha Gupta, Vanshika Soni, and Hitakshi Gupta, India 


Thailand Story People’s Choice Award: 

Youth Winner – Amna Khan, Pakistan 


United States Wildfire Story People’s Choice Award: 

Adult Winner – Aral Olgun, United States 

Youth Winner – Sofia Garzon, Columbia


The winning comics will be shared globally to inspire and educate others about the impact NASA’s satellite imagery has here on Earth. Winning artists will receive a personalized trophy and signed certificate for their participation.  

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