Innovative and practical applications

DEVELOP builds capacity in participants and partners to use Earth science information through 10-week feasibility studies. DEVELOP projects are co-developed with partner organizations and center on the decision-making needs of partner organizations and community priorities, tailoring products that apply NASA Earth science information to the decision at hand.

DEVELOP conducts over 50 projects a year, each assessing the feasibility of using Earth science information to address a spectrum of community concerns. Projects span nine thematic application areas: Agriculture, Climate, Disasters, Ecological Forecasting, Energy, Health & Air Quality, Urban Development, Water Resources, and Wildfires.

DEVELOP teams, made up of students, and early and transitioning career professionals, spend 10-weeks conducting projects and rapidly iterating with partners culminating in an assessment of the feasibility of using NASA Earth observations to address their decision-making needs. These methodologies include how to access, acquire, process, and analyze freely available geospatial data. Because these are rapid feasibility projects, validation efforts are limited, and the scope and scale of the projects are focused typically from the city to state level.

develop project characteristics

There is great diversity in the types of projects, their geographies, partners involved, and thematic focus; however, at their core, they share a key set of characteristics:

  • Highlight the applications and capabilities of NASA Earth Observations.
  • Address community concerns relating to decision-making for real-world environmental issues.
  • Partner with organizations that can benefit from using NASA Earth observations to enhance decision-making by providing decision support tools.
  • Align with at least one of the nine NASA Applied Sciences Program’s thematic application areas.
  • Create a consistent set of deliverables.
  • Research is conducted by teams with diverse backgrounds under the scientific guidance of DEVELOP science advisors and mentors from NASA and partner organizations.

Explore DEVELOP's archive of projects

Agriculture DEVELOP's Agriculture projects promote innovative use of NASA satellite data, model products, and scientific findings to assist with agricultural management. The projects focus on topics associated with the production and availability of food products around the globe.  
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Climate DEVELOP's Climate application area supports communities with information to help identify and address climate risks to critical infrastructure, policy analysis, and resilience planning.
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Disasters DEVELOP's Disasters projects use NASA's capabilities in spaceborne, airborne, surface observations, modeling, and data analysis to improve natural disaster forecasting, mitigation and response. The projects contribute to an improved understanding of the natural processes that produce hazards, the vulnerability of local communities, and the development of hazard mitigation technologies.
 
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Ecological Forecasting DEVELOP's Ecological Forecasting projects assist decision-makers with access to science-based tools in order to understand and predict the impacts of environmental change on the ecosystems that support the existence of life on Earth. The projects apply NASA remote sensing and technologies to topics like conservation, habitat health and suitability, land use practices and planning, and invasive species.
 
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Energy DEVELOP's Energy application area promotes the application of NASA Earth observations and model products for societal benefit through improved techniques in locating and utilizing energy sources. The goal is to support decision-makers with information to help increase efficiency, use of non-traditional energy sources, and best energy practices.  
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Health & Air Quality DEVELOP's Health & Air Quality projects utilize satellite and airborne Earth observations, model products, and scientific findings to support air quality and public health management and policymaking.
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Urban Development DEVELOP's Urban Development projects focus on the application of NASA Earth observations to enhance urban planning, monitoring of land change over time, assessment of urban footprints, and the development of sustainable and resilient urban environments. The goal is to support the sustainability, resilience, and safety of cities and human settlements through informed planning and management of climate and disaster risks.

 
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Water Resources DEVELOP's Water Resources projects address concerns and decision processes that are related to water availability, water forecast, and water quality. The goal of the Water Resources theme is to apply NASA satellite data to improve the Decision Support Tools (DSTs) of user groups that manage water resources.    
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Wildfires DEVELOP's Wildfires application area supports pre-fire (fuel loading, fire risk), during (active fire detection), and post-fire (fire extent, intensity) monitoring and modeling.
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