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Highlights Archive
Earth Science Division Highlights for April 2008
  • Steve Hipskind (Chief) participated in the fifth NASA Ames GREEN Team/Google symposia, held at Ames, April 17.   Center Director Pete Worden’s introductory remarks discussed the importance of the ARC/Google collaboration, the topic of human stewardship of the Earth’s environment, and how subsequent knowledge can be parlayed into establishing human life support systems on other planets. John Hogan (Code SCB) talked about the concept of designing a virtual “dashboard” to deliver real-time data about the environment that would be useful in predicting natural disasters. James Boyd, Visiting Professor, Stanford University, lead a discussion of economic valuation of ecosystem services.  Hipskind spoke about Earth observation (space based and airborne), and Bill Collins (Head, Climate Science Department, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) talked about Earth System modeling.  Patrick Hogan, NASA World Wind Project Manager, wrapped up the symposia with a discussion of World Wind, an Ames geospatial visualization tool.  (POC: Steve Hipskind,, 4-5076)
  • Brenda Mulac, the recent appointment as the NASA liaison to the Federal Aviation Agency’s UAV office, visited NASA Ames on April 21.  The purpose of her visit was to speak with folks about this new position, and to understand science requirements for using UAS in the national airspace. (POC: Matt Fladeland,, 4-3325)
  • A team composed of Vince Ambrosia (CSUMB), Steve Wegener and Sally Buechel (BAER Institute), Francis Enomoto (Code TI), Bruce Coffland (UARC), Don Sullivan and Jim Brass (SGE) attended the USFS Remote Sensing Applications Conference (RS2008), April 14-17, in Salt Lake City, UT.  Ambrosia was on the Organizing Committee for the conference, and he, Wegener, Sullivan, Buechel, Coffland and Enomoto presented results from the 2007 Western States UAV Fire Mission series.  Brass and Coffland also staffed the NASA and Airborne Science booth at the conference.  (POC: Vince Ambrosia,
  • ARCTAS* is a NASA led International Polar Year field campaign being performed in the Arctic/sub-Arctic in the spring and summer of 2008.  Its activities are being closely coordinated with multiple U.S. (NASA, NOAA, DOE), Canadian, and European partners.  Several Ames Earth Science staff members are participating in this campaign: Hanwant Singh and Phil Russell (SGG) are lead scientists, and Kent Shiffer and Mike Gaunce (ESPO) are in charge of project management.  The spring phase of ARCTAS was successfully completed in April 2008.    Some 200 scientists conducted this campaign from bases in Fairbanks and Barrow, Alaska.  Outstanding facilities for meetings and flight planning were provided by the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.  Instrumented NASA DC-8, P-3, and B-200 formed the core of this airborne campaign.  Satellite validation was a central activity in all these platforms with focus on CALIPSO, Aura, and Aqua satellites.   The spring deployment successfully targeted plumes of urban-industrial pollution, soil dust, and biomass smoke from Asia, Europe, and North America that contribute to Arctic haze. It investigated the composition, chemistry, and radiative effects of the resulting air masses.  This campaign provided new knowledge about Arctic composition at a level of detail never possible before.  The campaign activities were extensively covered by media and visited by students from local schools and colleges.  (POC: Hanwant Singh,, 4-6769)

*Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites

  • John Shupe (CSUMB) gave a presentation at the 2008 Western Snow Conference in Hood River, OR, April 14-17 on his paper, “Enhancing Stream Forecast Modeling in California Mountain Watersheds”. The paper will be published in the conference proceedings later this year. (POC: John Shupe,, 4-0629)
  • Hanwant Singh (SGG) participated in the conference “Climate Change: How Do We Know What We Know?” held at U.C. Berkeley, April 24-26.  Sponsored by the German-American Conference on Organization, Research Management and Science Policy and hosted by the Institute of European Studies, the conference addressed the needs and challenges of managing climate research at three different levels: (1) the organization of climate observation, measurement campaigns, and simulation studies of the climate system, (2) the management of interdisciplinary consensus and uncertainty, and (3) policy implications.  Singh was on the panel discussing climate system observation.  His presentation topic was entitled “Integrated Science Campaigns that Investigate the Interaction of Pollution, Chemistry and Climate”.  (POC: Hanwant Singh,, 4-6769)


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