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Highlights Archive

Earth Science Division Highlights for week ending January 9, 2008

WRAP Project as special presentation at NASA HQ. Vince Ambrosia (CSUMB) traveled to Washington, D.C. to brief NASA administrators and other agency leads (USDA-Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, FEMA, Dept. Homeland Security) on the 2007 Southern California Wildfire UAV Emergency Support Missions.  The presentation, delivered Jan. 8 at NASA HQ, was given at the request of Michael Freilich, Director, Earth Science Division, at NASA HQ.  Supporting Ambrosia was Everett Hinkley (USDA Forest Service) and Brent Cobleigh (NASA Dryden).  The presentation emphasized the integration of NASA technology and USFS procedures for wildfire monitoring and response, and it highlighted the synergy between the agencies in supporting emergency efforts in combating the fires.  Representatives from the USFS and BLM at the presentation expressed their strong support of the on-going collaboration with NASA.  Teresa Fryberger, Director of the Applied Sciences Program at NASA HQ, described the WRAP project as a great success for the program and a model for other projects.  (POC:  Vince Ambrosia, 4-6565,

Extreme environment paper noted in Nature Geoscience.  A paper* by Hector D’Antoni (first author) and Jay Skiles (co-author) that was recently published in Geophysical Research Letters, is featured in the “News and Views” section of January’s issue of Nature Geoscience (1, 13 (2008),
doi:10.1038/ngeo.2007.66).  “Environmental biology: Trees of Extreme” by Alexandra Thompson sums up D’Antoni et al’s research into the environment of Tierra De Fuego that attributes much of its harsh landscape to increased solar radiation. The article can be viewed at:  (*Full citation: D’Antoni, H., L. Rothschild, C. Schultz, S. Burges, and J. Skiles.  2007. Extreme environments in the forests of Ushuaia, Argentina. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L22704, doi:10.1029/2007GL03196.) (POC: Hector D’Antoni, 4-5149,

Ecocast Team noted in USA Today.  The collaborative work that NASA ARC’s Ecological Forecasting lab is conducting with UC Davis on forecasting mosquito abundance and virus transmission risk was mentioned in a recent issue of USA Today.  The article, “Earthbound mission for NASA: Public health” by Andrea Stone, appeared Dec. 12, 2007.  It details how NASA's Terrestrial Observation & Prediction System combines satellite imagery and ground-station data to collect, integrate and analyze in nearly real time 30 environmental factors that could contribute to outbreaks of West Nile virus.  Such information is shared with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Defense Department, state health agencies, the World Health Organization, and foreign governments.  (POC:  Forrest Melton, 4-2787,

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