1.4 NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite Applications Program: Advancing Co-Production of Earth Science Knowledge

Monday, 13 January 2020: 9:15 AM
Sabrina Delgado Arias, NASA-GSFC/Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Greenbelt, MD; and M. E. Brown, A. Steiker, S. Tanner, T. Neumann, and M. F. Jasinski

Launched on September 15, 2018, the NASA Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission provides us with spatially dense and fine precision global measurements of our earth’s surface elevation. ICESat-2’s measurements are advancing our knowledge on ice-sheet elevation change, sea ice thickness, and other key observations for ecosystem, climate, inland water and ocean science and applications. ICESat-2’s Applications Program provides insight into the range of potential uses of ICESat-2 observations and helps communicate the value and impact of mission products. Through this program, scientists at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, have aimed to identify applications that will increase the value of ICESat-2; considered the use of the data products by end users other than the research science community during satellite mission planning; and examined applications oriented concerns and opportunities. This has created a dialogue between users of remote sensing observations and satellite mission scientists that clarifies how ICESat-2’s science data can be integrated, improved or leveraged to advance science objectives aligned with or beyond those of the mission and in support of a range of decisions and actions of benefit to communities across the globe.

The Applications Program implements various engagement and participatory outreach activities, as well as an Early Adopter and Applied Users program, to build broad support for ICESat-2 applications, as well as to clarify the key data characteristics uniquely inherent to individual decision processes and operations (e.g. latency, spatial and temporal resolutions). In this presentation, we highlight the pre-launch and post-launch engagement initiatives, including information on the Early Adopter and Applied Users Programs to encourage and facilitate a pluralistic understanding of the utility of ICESat-2 data products within different decision-making contexts. Specific examples we will discuss are 1) use of land-vegetation height to inform national wildfire decisions, regional long-term land management, and international wind energy resources assessments; 2) use of inland water body height to inform coastal mapping and monitoring; and 3) use of sea ice height to inform operational ice charts for improved navigation in ice-infested waters. We will also discuss preliminary findings on the impact of the applications program to the mission and NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC), including how the program led to smarter design of the data products.

Overall, we present the ICESat-2 Applications Program as a novel pathway for building partnerships between satellite data users and mission scientists. The program allows direct feedback on the functionality and utility of ICESat-2 science data, along with tools and services supported by the NSIDC DAAC, to facilitate its integration into decision systems that support actions that influence the well-being of broad target communities. As such, we present the ICESat-2 Applications Program as an example of how the NASA Earth science community is supporting the coproduction of knowledge for new earth science observations to increase the effectiveness of their use in societally relevant decision processes and actions.

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