About the Node Hosts: The NASA DEVELOP node in Asheville, North Carolina fosters unique collaborations between NASA's Applied Sciences Capacity Building Program and other influential organizations. The node in Asheville is housed within NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) headquarters, alongside the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) line office and the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites - North Carolina (CICS-NC). These organizations focus on the operations, maintenance, and research efforts of NOAA satellite missions and data products, such as the GOES-series satellite and the Joint Polar Satellite System.
NOAA's NCEI in Asheville holds the world's largest climate and weather data archive, containing extensive data that ranges from weather observations taken by Thomas Jefferson and petroglyphs from indigenous peoples to near-real time satellite remote sensing data. In 1951, the Federal Government consolidated millions of pages of archived weather data from across the country to Asheville for safekeeping. In 2015, NOAA merged its three major data centers to create NCEI as a way to meet a growing demand for environmental information. As one organization, NCEI can be viewed as “The Nation’s Official Scorekeeper” of climate and environmental information. One mission of NCEI is to focus on end-user needs and engagement, creating a perfect niche for NASA DEVELOP within NCEI's headquarters.
Another important organization to the DEVELOP program at NCEI is the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), which is a multi-agency partnership that coordinates drought monitoring, forecasting, planning, and information for the United States in a comprehensive, holistic way. NIDIS has been involved with DEVELOP NCEI since 2018 and supports drought-focused projects at this location each year. Molly Woloszyn, Midwest Drought Early Warning System Regional Coordinator, became the lead science advisor for DEVELOP’s NCEI location in 2021, building on NIDIS’ role with the program and enhancing collaboration between NASA, NOAA, and NIDIS.
History of the DEVELOP Node: The node at NCEI started in 2014. The partnership that drove the creation of this new node began in the summer of 2014, when a DEVELOP team at NASA's Langley Research Center collaborated with Dr. L. DeWayne Cecil, a primary contractor to NOAA, and Dr. Carl Shreck of the CICS-NC on the California Climate project, stationing two participants at NCEI. The node has since hosted projects that have gone on to create impactful products and analyses for various end-users. The node has been recognized for influential projects, such as the Pacific Water Resources I project, which led to multiple publications, several conference presentations, and was honored by a 2015 NCEI Employee's Choice Award for Innovative Product of the Year.
About the Node: DEVELOP NCEI is still growing and node leadership is heavily invested in expanding the capacity of the node. Every year NCEI hosts approximately 10-15 participants and completes an average of 4 projects. Projects at the node tend to focus primarily on climate and drought applications due to its embedded relationship with NCEI's Climate and Weather Service and NIDIS. Participants work in the midst of some of NOAA's top scientists, including Nobel Prize nominees. Many projects in the past have gone to these experts for mentorship and often find open doors and project advice. The NASA DEVELOP location at NCEI provides participants with direct access to renowned meteorologists and influential climatologists. Many of the science advisors have diverse backgrounds, and the affiliation with NCEI gives teams access to NOAA's Regional Climate Service Directors, as well as many other NOAA organizations.