Identifying drought-prone areas and developing an early warning system for crop damage. Protecting biologically diverse areas of the National Park System with a trail monitoring tool. Confirming flooded areas to better inform decision-makers during a disaster.

Each program area supports a variety of projects that utilize Earth observations to identify challenges around the world and create innovative solutions. Our portfolio demonstrates the benefits of using NASA Earth observations to enhance decision-making and improve life on Earth.

Sort by program area to find specific projects or explore them all below.

 

Principal Investigator

Amy Thomas

This proposal nominates a group of experts in air quality to participate in the SERVIR Applied Sciences Team. The Battelle group, led by Dr. Amy Huff as the proposed PI, includes scientists with expertise in air quality meteorology, monitoring, forecasting, and data analysis, as well...
Principal Investigator

Terra Edenhart-Pepe

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NDWI-processed imagery using 2019 Landsat 8 OLI data with summer 2019 NLDAS precipitation grid cells overlaid. A subset of Maryland is displayed with Ellicott City just above center. Regarding NDWI, lighter shades of blue represent higher surface and plant water content and darker shades approaching black represent lower. Square grid cell color illustrates average hourly rainfall with magenta squares denoting the highest rainfall. Together, high NDWI and precipitation suggest greater flood risk.

As flooding events in the United States grow in frequency and intensity, the use of technological advancements and applied science is increasingly necessary for effective flood monitoring and warning systems. Governments are exploring new ways of using science and technology to...

Principal Investigator

Robert Jones

Palau, a small island state in the Pacific Ocean, relies heavily on seafood for the food security of the citizens. Aquaculture is emerging in Palau as a strategy to supplement seafood production from wild resources, but farming practices can threaten the fragile marine ecosystems if...

Principal Investigator

Gordon Luikart

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) presence in freshwater ecosystems has increased over the past several years as a result of climate change and anthropogenic landscape change. The spread of AIS is harmful to the health of native aquatic species, and therefore threatens the health of aquatic...

Principal Investigator

Eli Simonson

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Assessing and Assisting Monitoring Efforts of Water Clarity to Identify Potential Areas of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) in the Chesapeake Bay

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) is vitally important to the Chesapeake Bay, serving as one of the primary food sources for the organisms that inhabit the bay. This project evaluated the efficacy of remote sensing applications to monitor water quality parameters, specifically turbidity, to indicate areas...

Principal Investigator

Gavin Pirrie

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NDVI processed imagery from Suomi-NPP VIIRS in late June 2019 composited with elevation and aspect from the NED. The Henry Mountains in southern Utah are displayed. The lighter yellows and pinks indicate higher elevations and greater vegetation concentration where darker colors, including green and blue, indicate lower elevations and areas concentrated with less vegetation. Areas with higher vegetation indices indicate higher live fuel moisture content which aids decision-makers in allocating resources before and during wildfires.  Keywords: NDVI, aspect, elevation, live fuel moisture, Gavin Pirrie, Helena Bierly, Avery King, Katherine Mistick

The eastern Great Basin (EGB) extends throughout the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, covering approximately 411,000 km2. In recent years, wildfires in the EGB have increased in frequency and size, representing a growing concern for our partners...

Principal Investigator

Flavia Dias de Souza Moraes

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Assessing Changes in Cloud Dynamics in the Luquillo Tropical Montane Cloud Forest Using NASA Earth Observations and In Situ Measurements Following Defoliation from Hurricane Maria

The Luquillo Mountains in the El Yunque National Forest contain the most biologically diverse forest in the United States. It is a cloud forest rich in endemic species and its streams bring clean water to the people of Puerto Rico. This unique environment was exposed...

Principal Investigator

Dionne Blanks (Project Co-Lead)

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Assessing Changes in Vegetation and Marine Environments at the Isla del Coco Marine Reserve with Satellite Imagery

The Isla del Coco Marine Reserve, located off the coast of Costa Rica, is experiencing several environmental challenges including rising sea surface temperature (SST), coral reef bleaching, coastal erosion, and loss of cloud coverage above its cloud forest. These challenges not only threaten the well-being...

Principal Investigator

Sabine Nix

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NDWI (2013-2020) and supervised land cover classification (2020) from Landsat 8 OLI imagery, SRTM elevation, global HAND data, and FEMA 100 and 500 year floodplains combined into a flood risk map near the headwaters of the Cheat River in Parson’s West Virginia. High-risk flood areas are represented in dark purple, while low-risk areas are light yellow. High-risk areas indicate where local organizations can prioritize flood mitigation and response efforts.  Keywords: Landsat 8 OLI, Flood Risk, SRTM, NLCD, Supervised Classification, FEMA, Flood Extent

The Cheat River, primarily located in northeast West Virginia, experiences major flooding events that negatively impact nearby communities. Poor water quality due to acid mine drainage and excess sediment loads during flood events threaten the health of communities and numerous...

Principal Investigator

Brittany Greene

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Land surface temperature (LST) derived from September 2018 Landsat 8 TIRS data, processed with bands 4,5, and 10. This image was taken over southeastern Iowa around the Des Moines River. The darkest red values indicate higher temperatures around 40˚C while the darkest blue values indicate the lower temperatures around 24 ˚C. Higher temperatures indicate greater amounts of plant stress.

Iowa dedicates 92% of its land to agriculture, leaving the state economically and culturally vulnerable to drought. Current climate trends show increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation levels, which are environmental factors that put stress on vegetation and force farmers to...