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Apply and Join The International Earth-Doc team

An international group of inter-disciplinary postdoc researchers advancing the next generation of integrated Earth System science towards global sustainability: through World-Earth Systems modeling

An Earth League Initiative

The Earth League is setting out to advance the next generation of integrated Earth System analysis. This is in response to the current urgent need to deepen our understanding of potential pathways and transformations within this increasingly turbulent Anthropocene towards future world development on a resilient and stable planet.

Therefore, we are embarking on a joint state-of-the-art World-Earth Systems modeling and analysis program, igniting the deeper fusion of biophysical systems and human dynamics. For this, Earth League invites applicants for 7 postdoc research positions, to be known as Earth-Docs. For further information on the rationale behind this program, please see here.

We appeal for excellent young scientists from different backgrounds in sustainability research, with the ability to bring powerful contributions to areas including:

·       Integrated Earth System modeling
·       Global governance and economics for sustainability
·       Sustainable energy, and technological and societal transformations
·       Global equity, human security and human behavior

This initial group of 7 postdoc researchers will be hosted by 5 Earth League member institutions:

·       Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany (1 position)
·       Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden (1 position)
·       Centre for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, China (2 positions)
·       Earth system science centre, INPE, Brazil (2 positions)
·       HZG/Climate Service Centre 2.0, Germany (1 position)

The Earth-Docs will form one international team carrying out their research within the Earth League World-Earth Systems program.

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) will function as a collaborative global hub for the Earth-Doc team, gathering the group of young scientists 1-2 times per year for joint scientific work sessions.

Each Earth-Doc will have at least 2 senior supervisors from the group of leading Earth League scientists leading the overall scientific program.

Applications should include:

·       Cover letter
·       CV
·       1-2 page vision on your perspective of the scientific challenge within Earth system modeling for global sustainability
·       The names and contact information of two referees
·       Indication of preferred host institution, from those listed above

For those interested in applying to Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK), please follow this link.Those interested in the position hosted at Earth system science centre at INPE must be aware that funding must be applied for separately, however this will happen with full support and guidance of INPE.

Applicants should have a doctorate in a related field, and fluent written and oral skills in English. Attributes should also include strong team building skills, intellectual leadership, and the ability and enthusiasm to travel as well as to work within an international network of scholars.

The Earth-Doc positions will start at different times this year, according to the timeframes of each host institution. Position duration and payments will also vary according to the conditions offered by the different institutions.

We are looking to create a diverse and rich team. Therefore, we encourage applications from all geographical backgrounds, gender affiliations, as well as those with disabilities.

Deadline for submission: 1st May 2015.

Please send submissions by email to: earthdoc@the-earth-league.org

For any queries, please contact the Earth League Secretariat using the same email address.

Landsat 8 'Remote Sensing' Journal Special Issue: Free Artcile Access

The ‎Landsat‬ 8 'Remote Sensing' Journal Special issue is now available.

A trio of Landsat calibration scientists—Brian Markham, Jim Storey, and Ron Morfitt—have guest-edited a new Landsat 8 Special Issue of the journal Remote Sensing.

From the editors:
Landsat 8 (formerly LDCM) was launched on February 11, 2013. There are two new sensors on Landsat 8: the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). Unlike historically used whisk broom scanners (as on the ETM+ sensor on Landsat 7), these new sensors are examples of push broom technology. In addition to having new instruments that have their individual characteristics and calibrations, the change in sensor technology produces significant differences in data characteristics and quality. This Special Issue aims to provide the user community with a good understanding of the radiometric and geometric properties of the Landsat 8 instruments and their data. This understanding will enable the community to effectively use the data in conjunction with data from other earlier Landsat sensors.

View 18 open access papers on topics such as:

OLI Design
OLI Spectral Characterization
OLI Absolute Radiometric Calibration and Traceability
OLI Radiometric Characterization
OLI Radiometric Cross calibration
OLI Spatial Performance Characterization
OLI Geometric Characterization and Calibration
TIRS Design
TIRS Spectral Characterization
TIRS Absolute Radiometric Calibration and Traceability
TIRS Radiometric Characterization
TIRS Radiometric Cross calibration
TIRS Spatial Performance Characterization
TIRS Geometric Characterization and Calibration
Landsat 8 integrated data product geometric performance
Landsat 8 Image Assessment System

Access the special issue here.

SMAP Soil Moisture Mapping Satellite Launched

Press Release. NASA successfully launched its first Earth satellite designed to collect global observations of the vital soil moisture hidden just beneath our feet.

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory, a mission with broad applications for science and society, lifted off at 6:22 a.m. PST (9:22 a.m. EST) Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket.

About 57 minutes after liftoff, SMAP separated from the rocket's second stage into an initial 411- by 425-mile (661- by 685-kilometer) orbit. After a series of activation procedures, the spacecraft established communications with ground controllers and deployed its solar array. Initial telemetry shows the spacecraft is in excellent health.

SMAP now begins a three-year mission that will figuratively scratch below Earth's surface to expand our understanding of a key component of the Earth system that links the water, energy and carbon cycles driving our living planet. SMAP’s combined radar and radiometer instruments will peer into the top 2 inches (5 centimeters) of soil, through clouds and moderate vegetation cover, day and night, to produce the highest-resolution, most accurate soil moisture maps ever obtained from space.

The mission will help improve climate and weather forecasts and allow scientists to monitor droughts and better predict flooding caused by severe rainfall or snowmelt -- information that can save lives and property. In addition, since plant growth depends on the amount of water in the soil, SMAP data will allow nations to better forecast crop yields and assist in global famine early-warning systems.

"The launch of SMAP completes an ambitious 11-month period for NASA that has seen the launch of five new Earth-observing space missions to help us better understand our changing planet," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "Scientists and policymakers will use SMAP data to track water movement around our planet and make more informed decisions in critical areas like agriculture and water resources."

SMAP also will detect whether the ground is frozen or thawed. Detecting variations in the timing of spring thaw and changes in the length of the growing season will help scientists more accurately account for how much carbon plants are removing from Earth's atmosphere each year.

"The next few years will be especially exciting for Earth science thanks to measurements from SMAP and our other new missions," said Michael Freilich, director of the Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "Each mission measures key variables that affect Earth’s environment. SMAP will provide new insights into the global water, energy, and carbon cycles. Combining data from all our orbiting missions will give us a much better understanding of how the Earth system works."

SMAP will orbit Earth from pole to pole every 98.5 minutes, repeating the same ground track every eight days. Its 620-mile (1,000-kilometer) measurement swath allows SMAP to cover Earth’s entire equatorial regions every three days and higher latitudes every two days. The mission will map global soil moisture with about 5.6-mile (9-kilometer) resolution.

"SMAP will improve the daily lives of people around the world,” said Simon Yueh, SMAP project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. "Soil moisture data from SMAP has the potential to significantly improve the accuracy of short-term weather forecasts and reduce the uncertainty of long-term projections of how climate change will impact Earth's water cycle.”

The SMAP team is engaged with many organizations and individuals that see immediate uses for the satellite’s data. Through workshops and tutorials, the SMAP Applications Working Group is collaborating with 45 “early adopters” to test and integrate the mission's data products into many different applications. Early adopters include weather forecasters from several nations, as well as researchers and planners from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United Nations World Food Programme.

During the next 90 days, SMAP and its ground system will be commissioned to ensure they are fully functional and are ready to begin routine science data collection. A key milestone will be the deployment of the spacecraft’s instrument boom and 20-foot- (6-meter)-diameter reflector antenna. The observatory will be maneuvered to its final 426-mile (685-kilometer), near-polar operational orbit, and the antenna will spin up to 14.6 revolutions per minute.

SMAP science operations will then begin, and SMAP data will be calibrated and validated. The first release of SMAP soil moisture data products is expected within nine months. Fully validated science data are expected to be released within 15 months.

SMAP is managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington by JPL, with instrument hardware and science contributions made by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. JPL built the spacecraft and is responsible for project management, system engineering, radar instrumentation, mission operations and the ground data system. Goddard is responsible for the radiometer instrument and science data products. Both centers collaborate on science data processing and delivery to the Alaska Satellite Facility, in Fairbanks, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder. NASA's Launch Services Program at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida was responsible for launch management. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more information about SMAP, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/smap

Join The Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop (CPASW) 2015

Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop (CPASW)
March 24-26, 2015
Las Cruces, New Mexico
New Mexico State University

The annual Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop (CPASW), initiated in 2002 by the NOAA National Weather Service Climate Services Division, brings together a diverse group of climate researchers, climate product producers, and climate information users to share developments in research and applications of climate predictions for societal decision-making. A unique planning team, consisting of several NOAA climate services partners, organizes and hosts CPASW at a different location each year to ensure varying climate application focuses, and both regional and national perspectives.

2015 CPASW
The 13th Annual CPASW will bring together climate researchers, information producers, and users to share developments in research and applications of climate predictions for societal decision-making. The 2015 CPASW will be hosted by the New Mexico State University and the USDA Southwest Climate Hub and co-hosted by the NOAA National Weather Service Climate Services Division. Please see full list of organizers as several agencies help to organize the workshop logistics and agenda. From March 24-26, 2015, the 13th Annual CPASW will convene in Las Cruces, New Mexico, at the New Mexico State University, with a workshop theme of "Climate and Drought Information for Food Resilience, Agriculture, and Water Resources." This theme will integrate broad national, international, and global aspects of climate and drought information applications in various decisions related to food resilience including agriculture, ranching, food processing, water availability and water rights, among others. Climate is a cross-cutting concern for all of these areas and provides a link for critical decisions in building resilient communities such as planning, allocating resources, sustaining development and management, as well as preserving livestock, cropland, and rangelands. Special emphasis will be given to climate and drought information systems in support of the President's Climate Action Plan and the White House Climate Data Initiative, including the Climate Resilience Toolkit. Additionally, the 2015 CPASW will foster the coordination of climate services provided by government agencies, research institutions, and private enterprises, as well as build partnerships with professional societies to expand and sustain climate services development.

The Workshop format will include a combination of symposium-style sessions and breakout discussions that address the workshop theme. We invite abstracts that address the use of climate data, monitoring, predictions and projections in all of the focus areas listed above. We also invite papers on specific decisions and challenges associated with using seasonal climate predictions; heat, drought, and other climatic extreme products; and best practices in climate information use and communication.

Who Should Attend the 13th Annual CPASW:

    Agriculture, Rangeland, Ecological and Water Management Specialists
    Climate and Agro-weather data providers
    International organizations
    Applied climatologists and scientists who use climate information
    Decision-makers who utilize climate predictions, products, and services
    Developers and providers of climate data, forecasts, applications, and tools
    Climate extension specialists and communicators of climate information
    Social Scientists who work with climate information users and stakeholders

William T. Pecora Award Winners 2014 Announced

On Tuesday afternoon, at the Pecora 19 conference in Denver, Colorado, the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA presented a group Pecora Award to The Landsat 8 Team.

This group award recognizes a team that has made major breakthroughs in remote sensing science or technology that impact the user community.

The Landsat 8 Team—including members from NASA, USGS, and the aerospace industry—is being recognized for its role in developing, building, launching, and operating the highly successful Landsat 8 satellite. Landsat 8 carries on the more than four decade Landsat data record using advanced new sensors. Its data collections contribute towards our evolving understanding of Earth’s land surface and coastal regions.

The 2014 individual Pecora Award was presented to Christopher Justice. Dr. Justice, a leading remote sensing scientist, has served as a remote sensing advisor, educator, and research director. His work has advanced the field of remote sensing science while influencing and encouraging many of the field’s current innovators.

The William T. Pecora Award was established in 1974 to honor Pecora. Sponsored jointly by the Department of the Interior and NASA, it is presented annually to individuals or groups that make outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing.


Free NASA Forum on Changing Landscape: Observations from Space This Weekend

This Saturday, November 8, 2014, a NASA Climate Change Forum is being held at Howard Community College in Maryland. The forum will focus on urban, agricultural, and forest changes in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that result from development and climate change. The forum takes place tomorrow from from 9 a.m. to noon in the HCC’s Health Sciences Building.

Talks by Molly Brown (NASA) on food security, Peter Claggett (USGS) on the Chesapeake Bay, and Joseph Sexton (UMD) on land use change will be featured along with a panel Q&A, and related exhibits.

Register for this free event at http://howardcc.edu/NASAforum

Featured Video

The Penn State Public Broadcasting launched the Geospatial Revolution Project, an integrated public media and outreach initiative about the impact of digital mapping. Watch two of the four high-definition video episodes that have already been released. You can visit the project via: geospatialrevolution.psu.edu.

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