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Education and Outreach

Applied Remote Sensing Training (ARSET)

Project Participants (BAERI): Cindy Schmidt, Amber McCullum, Vickie Ly

Project Description

NASA’s Applied Remote Sensing Training (ARSET) Program offers satellite remote sensing training that builds the skills to integrate NASA Earth Science data into an agency’s decision-making activities. The project’s goal is to increase the utility of NASA Earth Science data for applied resource management professionals, policy makers, and regulatory agencies.  ARSET operates with a gradual learn approach, where they often conduct basic introductory webinars followed by more in-depth advanced webinars or in-person trainings. Their webinars consist of multi-week sessions about a specific topic and can be a combination of lectures, live demos of tool, and tutorials. Recordings of the live webinars are freely available. Most webinar materials are available in Spanish and English. Many courses need no previous experience with remote sensing, but there are prerequisites for advanced webinars. The ARSET program regularly partners with organizations to host two to four day in-person workshops with regionally specific curricula. Conducted in a computer lab, workshops provide a combination of lectures and hands-on activities and frequently feature guest speakers from NASA and other organizations. Attendees learn how to access, interpret and apply NASA data on local and global scales, with an emphasis on case studies.


  • Conducted advanced webinar: Creating and Using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from Satellite Imagery (February-March);
  • Conducted introductory webinar: Remote Sensing of Forest Cover and Change Assessment for Carbon Monitoring (June);
  • Conducted introductory webinar: Introduction to Remote Sensing for Coastal and Ocean Applications (July);
  • Conducted in-person workshop: From Earth Observations to Earth Applications: Satellite Applications for Biodiversity Conservation, IUCN World Conservation Congress, Hawaii, (September)
  • Conducted in-person workshop: Application of Satellite Remote Sensing Data for Fire & Smoke Monitoring, International Smoke Symposium, Long Beach, CA (November);
  • Organized and attended a best practice meeting with the USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Training Center, Salt Lake City, UT (March); and
  • Participated in annual programmatic retreat to assess and refine the ARSET mission and vision, Goddard Space Flight Center (November)

Publications and Presentations: 

Wildfire PI meeting, Boise, ID, March

Hyperwall presentations on the use of NASA data for Wildfire applications, IUCN World Conservation Congress, Hawaii, September

From Remote Sensing Dud to Stud: NASA’s ARSET Program, AGU Annual Fall Meeting, NASA Booth Presentation, December 2016

Student Airborne Research Program (SARP)

Project Participants (BAERI): Emily Schaller

Project Description

The Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) is an eight-week summer program for junior and senior undergraduate and early graduate students to acquire hands-on research experience in all aspects of a scientific mission using NASA’s DC-8 or P-3 airborne science laboratories.  The DC-8 and P-3 are major NASA resources for studying Earth system processes, calibration/validation of space-borne observations, and prototyping instruments for possible satellite missions.  Participants assist in the operation of instruments onboard the aircraft to sample atmospheric chemicals and to image land and water surfaces in multiple spectral bands. Along with airborne data collection, students participate in taking measurements at field sites. The program culminates with formal presentations of research results and conclusions.  Students participating in the program have a strong academic background in disciplines relevant to the Earth system including the physical, chemical or biological sciences or engineering. Many have experience with image processing and GIS systems.


  • Management of the 2016 Student Airborne Research Program including program design, faculty recruitment, participant recruitment, selection and logistics;
  • Selected the top student presentations for participation at the AGU conference; and
  • Organized the conclusion of SARP 2016 with final student presentations, the final graduation meeting, collection of student evaluations and SARP laptops, and checkout from the UCI housing, return of the students for their flights home to the John Wayne airport, and return of SARP equipment and staff to Armstrong Building 703

Click the Jet above to visit SARP


Project Participants (BAERI): Juan L. Torres-Pérez

Project Description

The Applied Sciences’ DEVELOP National Program addresses environmental and policy issues through interdisciplinary research projects that apply NASA Earth Observations to community concerns around the globe.  DEVELOP bridges the gap between NASA Earth Science and society, building capacity in both its participants and partner organizations to better prepare them to handle the challenges that face our society.  DEVELOP creates capacity for young professional from diverse academic backgrounds (undergraduate, graduates and recent graduates) on the use of remote sensing and GIS to assess environmental problems.  As such, the Ames projects during the past year have comprehended a wide range of themes such as drought, decision support systems for the Navajo Nation, impacts of methane concentrations on the air quality of the San Francisco Bay Area, assessment of the invasive seaweed Sargassum in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, and environmental factors that influence the presence/absence of disease vectors (e.g., mosquitoes) in tropical countries.  Dr. Juan L. Torres-Pérez began working with DEVELOP as the Center Mentor in 2014. Since then, he has mentored multiple teams of participants in about 20 different projects.


  • Provided advice on the use of different imagery available for analysis, methodologies, results, and comments/edits on the deliverables of each project (technical paper, posters presentations, oral presentations, lightning talks, Earthzine videos, etc.);
  • Participated each week in staff meetings and seminars;

During the interim periods between terms they conducted multiple interviews with the applicants. In total, they reviewed about 150 different applications for all three terms.  Usually they expect to recruit six participants on each of the Fall and Spring terms and 12-15 for the Summer term to work on two-three different projects during each term. Throughout the year, they are continuously looking for project partners and ideas for new projects. They usually submit about 7-8 different project proposals per year to the National Program Office for their approval.

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