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Highlights Archive

Earth Science Division Highlights for week ending September 5, 2007

Western States Fire Mission in the news.
A number of news articles have appeared, in print and on the Internet, about the on-going Western States Fire Mission (WSFM). The San Jose Mercury News had an article on its front-page, Aug. 30: “A New Mission for NASA: fight wildfires from the sky”. It featured interviews with Project PI Vince Ambrosia (CSUMB/SGE), Brent Cobleigh (DFRC), and Everett Hinkley (USFS) who explained the benefits and advantage of using UAVs in fighting wildland fires. (URL for online version of story: ). To date, Ambrosia, Hinkley, and/or Cobleigh have given 25 interviews, and the mission has been the subject of nearly 40 features in both print and broadcast media. (POC: Vince Ambrosia, 4-6565, )


Liane Guild attends U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.
Dr. Liane Guild (SGE) served as the NASA member on the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force at the Task Force meeting in American Samoa, August 20-25. Guild represented Dr. Paula Bontempi, NASA's Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program Manager at the meeting. Attending Task Force members included representatives from various federal agencies and Pacific Island and Caribbean governments. Also attending was Gerhard Kuska from the Council on Environmental Quality (under the Executive Office of the President). Highlights of the meeting included a panel on coral reef ecosystems in a changing climate. Climate change impact evidence includes massive bleaching from increased sea temperature, ocean acidification dissolving reefs, and changes in weather impacting coastal water quality and sea level. The Task Force adopted the Coral Reefs and Climate Change Resolution to address the threat that global climate change poses to coral reef ecosystems. Regional approaches to coral reef management and assessment of local threats was presented in a special session. Additional resolutions adopted included support for local action strategies to study, protect, and manage reefs in U.S. jurisdictions. All delegates were invited to a reception hosted by Governor Tulafono and First Lady Mary Ann Tulafono at the Government House in Pago Pago. More information about the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force can be found at . (POC: Liane Guild, 4-3915,


Laura Iraci serves on Discovery Program Science Panel .
Dr. Laura Iraci (SGG) served on the Science Panel and participated in the TMC (Technical, Management and Cost) Review for the down selection process in the Discovery Program. Three Phase A Concept Study Reports were evaluated throughout August, and comments were prepared for the Program Executives and Selecting Official. NASA Discovery class missions are PI-led Planetary Science investigations that can be achieved at a cost of $425M or less. (POC: Laura Iraci, 4-0129,

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Last Updated: September 5, 2007
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