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Highlights Archive
Earth Science Division Highlights for May 2008
  • SG staff attend NASA CC&E Joint Science Workshop

    SG management and a number of SGE scientists attended the NASA Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Joint Science Workshop in Aldelphi, MD, April 28-May 2.  The workshop, convened by NASA Program Managers, was a venue for sharing scientific research results and fostering interdisciplinary interactions within the CC&E focus area.

    Steve Hipskind (SG Chief) Ed Sheffner (Deputy Div. Chief) attended.  Sheffner co-chaired “Science for Decision Support: Supporting Scientific Assessments” during the breakout session on Science, Emerging Issues and Future Directions.  Liane Guild presented "Coral Reef Bleaching and Threats to Biodiversity in Puerto Rico" during the Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting Team Meeting.

    The work of other SGE personnel was featured in the poster sessions.  Among them were:

    • Forrest Melton, Rama Nemani, Sam Hiatt, Hirofumi Hashimoto, Michaelis Andrew, Milesi Cristina, Wang Weile: “Applications of Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Modeling for Monitoring and Management of U.S. National Parks.”
    • Gary N Geller, Rama Nemani, Stefano Nativi:  “Ecological Model Web: New answers from networks of existing models.”
    • Galli Basson, Bettina Schiffman, Anjanette Hawk, Dustin Ottman, Evan Lue, Forrest Melton, Ramakrishna Nemani, Cindy Schmidt, J. W. Skiles: “Estimation of Leaf Area Index (LAI) Through the Acquisition of Ground Truth Data in Yosemite National Park.”
    • Jennifer L Dungan, Weile Wang, Andrew Michaelis, Rama Nemani: “Structural uncertainty arising from ensembles of carbon models”

    S. Hipskind and E. Sheffner visit CIESIN and GISS

    Steve Hipskind and Ed Sheffner visited the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, May 2.  At CIESIN, they discussed the potential use of "NightSat" data in the socio-economic studies that are supported by CIESIN.  The response to the "NightSat" concept was positive.  At GISS, they discussed implementing GISS global climate models on NASA Ames computers and the potential use of the models by ARC ecosystem scientists.  (POC: Ed Sheffner,, 4-5899)

    NASA UAS Support to 2007 Southern Calif. Firestorms topic of Director’s Colloquium

    Vince Ambrosia (CSUMB) and Francis Enomoto (TI) co-presented a NASA Ames Director's Colloquium entitled, "NASA Science Serving Society: UAV/Sensor Mission Support to the Southern California Firestorms of October 2007," on May 15.  Ambrosia and Enomoto detailed the use of UAS technologies, developed under the NASA Earth Science Applications program, that assisted firefighters in the October 2007 wildfires through Southern California.  Their discussion provided insight into the future of the technologies, science, and concepts that were displayed during a true “test of fire.”  (POC: Vince Ambrosia,, 4-6565)

    D. Sullivan gives invited talk at GEOSS Workshop

    Don Sullivan (SGE) gave an invited presentation during the GEOSS Task DA 07-04 Sensor Web Workshop held in Geneva, Switzerland, May 15-16.

    His presentation detailed the unique NASA capabilities used during the response to the Southern California Fire Siege in October 2007. The Sensor Web created during the firestorm incorporated ground, model, airborne, and satellite based information systems and Web Services.  Additionally, Sullivan described the enhancements, made in response to real-world events, which will be incorporated into the 2008 wildfire campaign, and invited observers from all over the world to watch/participate.  Lastly, he outlined the UAS-AVE (UAS Aura Validation Experiment) Sensor Web, currently under design, that will utilize the NASA Global Hawk UAS with its twelve atmospheric sensors as the airborne element

    The program has been nominated as a GEOSS scenario/use-case. (POC: Don Sullivan,, 4-0526)

    S. Hipskind attends CCST Council meeting

    Steve Hipskind (Chief) traveled to Sacramento, May 21-22, to attend a meeting of the California Council on Science and Technology.  The council meets three times a year to inform state leaders about CCST’s ongoing projects and initiatives as well as other science and technology issues.  Attendees include heads of state agencies, legislators, and experts from various scientific and technological fields.  At the dinner and reception the evening before, Hipskind had a chance to speak briefly with Lt. Governor John Garamendi, who helped to initiate the CCST 20 years ago.  Garamendi was very interested to hear about the work of Dr. Rama Nemani (SGE) and his team applying NASA remote sensing and modeling to improve the irrigation efficiency in California's Central Valley.  (POC: Steve Hipskind,, 4-5076)

    Jens Redemann Invited Speaker at AGU Joint Meeting

    Jens Redemann (BAER Inst.) delivered an invited presentation, “A-Train Measurements of Aerosol Fine Mode Fraction: Assessment of Past Performance and Future Possibilities,” at the joint meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 28. (POC: Jens Redemann,, 4-6529)

    Guest speakers at NASA Ames’ Earth Science Division:

    • John Schnase from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Office of Computational and Information Science and Technology (CISTO) visited Ames, May 8, to lead a seminar entitled, “The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS) Project: A Case Study of Hysteresis in Studied Cases.” Schnase, the Functional Area Lead for Information Sciences and Technology Research at CISTO, gave a demonstration of software developed over the last few years for analysis and mapping of invasive species habitat. 
    • George A. Ban-Weiss of University of California, Berkeley, visited Ames, May 13, as part of the Ames Earth Science Seminar.  His talk, “Characterization of Gas- and Particle-Phase Emissions from On-Road Motor Vehicles,” discussed the issue of motor vehicles being a significant source of air pollutants that may cause adverse health effects, degrade visibility, soil buildings and materials, damage crops, and alter the Earth’s radiative energy balance leading to global climate change.
    • Craig B. Clements of the Department of Meteorology, San José State University, visited the division, May 22, to discuss how wildland fires present challenges in making atmospheric measurements and the need to better monitor fire-atmosphere interactions and dynamics.


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