Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Earth visualization innovator wins award

17.07.2008
An award commemorating a remarkable scientist who died in the 9/11 attacks was presented today to a man deemed a revolutionary at using satellite data for the good of humankind.

This year's Charles S. Falkenberg Award commends Daniel E. Irwin for creating an unprecedented monitoring and visualization system that's shared among scientists, scientific agencies, and governments in Central America and the Dominican Republic and that harnesses Earth imagery from space for the benefit of that part of the developing world.

Since Irwin pioneered the system in 2003 with funding from NASA, this system--known as SERVIR ("to serve," in Spanish)-- has been used to promote environmental sustainability through innovative application of space imagery and has enabled satellites to support responses to hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, algal blooms and other disasters across Central America.

A Central American environmental leader recalled in a letter supporting Irwin's award nomination the "incredible support" El Salvador received from Irwin and SERVIR in response to an earthquake, the eruption of the Santa Ana (Ilamatepec) volcano, and Hurricane Stan.

Irwin is now working to build similar systems and international collaborations in other developing regions of the world, such as East Africa.

"Daniel Irwin is leading a revolution in the application of Earth science information for sustainable development," said Woody W. Turner, NASA's program manager for ecological forecasting.

Irwin accepted the award today at the 2008 Summer Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Conference, which is taking place from 15-18 July 2008, in Durham, New Hampshire.

The Falkenberg Award, given jointly by ESIP and the American Geophysical Union (AGU), honors "a scientist under 45 years of age who has contributed to the quality of life, economic opportunities, and stewardship of the planet through the use of Earth science information and to the public awareness of the importance of understanding our planet."

Charles S. Falkenberg was a computer scientist who advanced techniques for collecting and visualizing earth and environmental science data. He, his wife, and their two young daughters lost their lives when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

An earth scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., Daniel Irwin has more than 15 years of experience in using satellite remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Central America. He is currently the NASA Project Director for SERVIR, which was developed at the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. A SERVIR operational facility is located in Panama at the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC) and is supported by the US Agency for International Development.

SERVIR is considered an early achievement of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS)--a 70-plus country effort to develop a 21st century network for earth observation systems.

"On behalf of the entire SERVIR team, I'm deeply honored and humbled to receive the 2008 Charles S. Falkenberg Award," said Irwin today. "It's a real privilege to be able to transition valuable NASA Earth observation data and models developed by NASA and other partner agencies to improve the quality of life in the developing world."

While Irwin is not from the Central American region, he is "of the region," according to one of Irwin's colleagues from Panama. Irwin has developed numerous satellite remote sensing and GIS workshops and trained hundreds of Central American scientists and researchers.

Prior to joining NASA, Irwin developed GIS laboratories for conservation organizations in Guatemala and for the Guatemalan government. On his own time, he created playgrounds and the Viva La Selva ("Long Live the Forest") library for children in Guatemalan villages. He also founded an Internet cafe and other small businesses as economic alternatives to tropical rainforest slash-and-burn agriculture.

Still, SERVIR is the focus of Irwin's award. Turner called it "an entirely new approach to environmental management." With SERVIR, "Dan Irwin and his team have shown all of us that managing our environment and resources on a regional scale is no longer a dream for the future but a reality today."

About AGU: AGU is a worldwide scientific society of Earth and space scientists with more than 50,000 members. The organization advances, through unselfish cooperation in research, the understanding of Earth and space for the benefit of humanity.

AGU conducts meetings and conferences, publishes journals, books and a weekly newspaper, and sponsors a variety of educational and public information programs.

About ESIP: The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners is a network of researchers and associated groups that collects, interprets and develops applications for satellite-generated Earth observation information. Founded in 1998 under a grant from NASA, the consortium includes more than 100 member organizations, spanning NASA's and NOAA's data centers, government research laboratories, research universities, education resource providers, technology developers, and nonprofit and commercial enterprises.

Peter Weiss | American Geophysical Union
Further information:
http://www.agu.org
http://www.nasa.gov
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/multimedia/photos/2008/photos08-085.html

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Million funding for Deep Learning project in Leipzig
15.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

nachricht Advanced Grant for Grain Boundary Phase Transformations
06.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>