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Highlights Archive
Earth Science Division Highlights for week ending Oct. 25, 2006.

Rama Nemani selected as member of Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Science Team:

Rama Nemani (SGE) was selected to the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Science Team, October 16. He will serve as an advisor for developing biophysical products for Landsat.

The LDCM Science Team combines USGS leadership, USGS and NASA scientists, and a group of external scientists and satellite data applications specialists. Expected to launch soon after 2010, the LDCM is designed to supply Landsat-like data from the next generation of Earth observing satellites. The scientists and engineers on the science team will advise the USGS and NASA on issues critical to the success of the LDCM and will recommend strategies for the effective use of archived data from Landsat sensors. Additionally, they will determine the requirements for future sensors that will meet the needs of Landsat users, including the needs of policy makers at all levels of government. The team will cooperate with other Earth observing missions, both nationally and internationally.

The first meeting of the team will be held in November 2006. The members will serve in their advisory capacity through the development and launch of the next Landsat-type satellite and through the first year of data collection. (POC: Rama Nemani, 4-6185)

Jay Skiles judges national science and tech competition:

Dr. Jay Skiles (SGE) was a judge for the ninth Siemens-Westinghouse Science and Technology Competition held at the Education Testing Service (ETS) campus in Princeton, NJ, October 12-17. High school students from around the country submitted papers detailing their research in such areas as mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, and biology. Over 1050 papers were received for this year's competition, more than 600 of them in biology. Skiles and fifteen other biologists read and judged the biology papers and rated them according to originality, merit, comprehensiveness, and clarity of presentation. Those papers that survived the first cut were re-read and judged against a more rigorous set of criteria that included scientific importance, contribution to biology (or a sub-discipline thereof) and contribution of mentors. A third stage consisted of combining all of the finalists across all the disciplines and then dividing the submissions into six geographic regions within the U.S. Skiles read more than eighty papers during the five-day judging period. A regional competition will be held in the first or second week in November with regional winners receiving $25,000 scholarships for their college education. Regional winners will compete in New York City in December with the national winners (individual and team) each receiving $100,000 collage scholarships. Skiles has served as an invited judge for the Siemens-Westinghouse competition since 1999. (POC: Jay Skiles, 4-3614)

SGG scientists participate in Sally Ride Science Festival:

Laura Iraci (SGG) and Jimmie Lopez (BAER Institute/SGG) supported the Sally Ride Science Festival, held at NASA Ames on October 21. They taught nearly fifty middle school girls about the structure and chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere while demonstrating some neat science. They generated nitrogen dioxide (NO2, one of the players in smog formation) from copper pennies and used liquid nitrogen to demonstrate the cold temperatures required for the polar stratospheric clouds that facilitate the ozone hole. (POC: Laura Iraci, 4-0129)

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